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6:04pm  May 25, 2018

Freo notch fourth win at home

afl.com.au  May 12, 2018 7:19 PM

Watch the team song!

Fremantle has notched it's fourth win at Optus Stadium, but not without a scare from St Kilda.

The Freo Dockers staved off a spirited St Kilda fightback and won 13.11 (89) to 8.11 (59).

Led by superstar Nat Fyfe (36 disposals, 13 clearances), who probably pocketed three Brownlow Medal votes for the fifth time in 2018, and giant Aaron Sandilands (41 hit-outs), the Freo Dockers commanded stoppages (39-29) and inside 50s (57-46).

Lyon's men motored to a game-high 43-point break early in the third stanza but, with his side under the pump, Richardson coached from the bench and it seemed to inspire his troops.

St Kilda hadn't even kicked more than 10 goals in a game since round one – the last time they tasted victory – but suddenly sprang to life with a blistering six-goal-to-two term.

The Saints were down by just 14 at the final change, but inaccuracy again came back to haunt them.

Tim Membrey (1.5) was the main culprit, pushing two straightforward set shots wide when the Dockers were on the back foot.

But late goals to Darcy Tucker and Brandon Matera snuffed out the Saints' fightback, as Freo squared the ledger at 4-4 for the season and remained undefeated by an interstate side at Optus Stadium.

Freo are still in touch with the top eight ahead of a potentially season-defining stretch against Sydney, North Melbourne, Collingwood and Adelaide.

But the Saints have soul-searching to do, sitting 16th on the ladder with one win and a draw.

Sometimes hitting the road can be the circuit-breaker, but it wasn't on Saturday night.

With Paddy McCartin worryingly sidelined by his seventh concussion, St Kilda lacked any sort of threatening target in attack.

The Saints' best player Jake Carlisle, who took five intercept marks in the first quarter, had to be thrown forward in the second term.

But it was a short-lived experiment, with Carlisle copping a knee to the head from Fyfe which ended his night.

With his club under pressure, Fyfe stepped up again, while sidekick Lachie Neale (32 possessions, nine clearances) was also superb and Ed Langdon (33) continued his purple patch.

Luke Ryan (27) provided valuable run from defence, especially with damaging half-backs Stephen Hill and Nathan Wilson sidelined, while youngsters Adam Cerra (two goals) and Andy Brayshaw (16 disposals) impressed again.
 

The Saints didn't have enough four-quarter performers, however Jack Steven (23) tried hard against Bailey Banfield's tag, while debutant Ed Phillips (24) showed some good signs alongside hard-working Jimmy Webster (31) and Luke Dunstan (26).

MEDICAL ROOM
Fremantle: The Fremantle Dockers lost Stephen Hill to quad tightness before the match, with the classy half-back failing to overcome the issue from last round's loss to Richmond.  

St Kilda: The Saints' best player Jake Carlisle had his night ended early in the second quarter after he was collected on the side of the head by Nat Fyfe's knee.

NEXT UP
Fremantle hit the road to face the Swans at the SCG, where they haven’t won since 2011, while St Kilda returns home to Etihad Stadium and take on in-form Collingwood.

FREMANTLE         3.2     7.5     9.9     13.11     (89)
ST KILDA             1.2     1.5     7.7       8.11     (59) 

GOALS
Fremantle: Cerra 2, Matera 2, Ballantyne, D.Pearce, Fyfe, Mundy, Tucker, McCarthy, Neale, Sandilands, Cox
St Kilda: Gresham 2, Hickey, Steven, Gilbert, Geary, Newnes, Membrey

BEST
Fremantle: Fyfe, Langdon, Sandilands, Neale, Blakely, Mundy
St Kilda: Webster, Dunstan, Steven, Ross, Acres, Phillips

INJURIES
Fremantle: S. Hill (quad) replaced in selected side by Nyhuis, Ballantyne (corked thigh)
St Kilda: Carlisle (concussion) 

Umpires: Hay, Gianfagna, Mollison

Crowd: 41,752 at Optus Stadium

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