AAP AFL

Three Demons concussed in loss to Eagles

By AAP Newswire

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin wasn't the only one left with a headache after his side's shonky goalkicking cost them victory against West Coast on Friday night.

The Demons led by 19 points late in the third quarter, but conceded seven of the last eight goals of the match to lose by 16 points.

Melbourne won the inside 50s (62-47), contested possessions (158-141), hitouts (59-20) and clearances (39-33).

But a number of sprayed shots cost them dearly in the 13.7 (85) to 9.15 (69) loss.

Melbourne also had three players forced off with concussion - Tim Smith, Christian Salem, and Alex Neal-Bullen.

The trio are in doubt for next week's home clash with GWS.

Goodwin was proud of his team's effort against the Eagles, believing it was their best performance of the season.

"It was a young group that travelled to Perth and showed a lot of fight and a lot of resilience and played in the right way," Goodwin said.

Melbourne's most recent visit to Perth resulted in a 66-point preliminary final loss to West Coast.

But they were far braver this time around, with their run-and-stun style breaking open West Coast time and again.

Goodwin liked what he saw, and said the chatter about his team's most recent trip to Perth was irrelevant.

"It was a long time ago. This was a new game, a new opportunity, with 10 new players in our side," Goodwin said.

"We came over here with a fairly young side against a mature side. I thought we really took it up to them.

"That's as close to the brand of footy that we've wanted to play for a number of weeks."

Goodwin heaped praise on ruckman Max Gawn, who tallied 56 hitouts, seven clearances, and 15 disposals.

"Sensational. I thought he was brilliant," Goodwin said.

"He really stamped his authority on the game early and continued to work hard."