Bulldogs survive late surge from desperate Carlton
The Western Bulldogs have weathered a late surge from a desperate Carlton to hang on for a gritty 20-point AFL win at Marvel Stadium.
Cruising when they led by 31 points early in the third quarter, the Bulldogs conceded the next six goals as Carlton grabbed the lead midway through the final term.
But the Bulldogs responded in fine fashion, with goals to Arthur Jones, Bailey Smith, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and a third from Anthony Scott sealing the 11.13 (79) to 8.11 (59) triumph.
The victory puts Luke Beveridge's team into sixth on the ladder, winning a sixth game from their past seven starts.
After kicking just one goal until the 10th minute of the third quarter, the Blues came alive with some of their best football of the season during a scintillating period.
Carlton were booed off at halftime, the second time in as many weeks the passionate Blues faithful have expressed their frustration at Marvel Stadium.
Michael Voss' Blues were blasted from all corners of the AFL landscape after their disappointing 26-point defeat to the premiership contending Brisbane Lions.
Fans, powerbrokers and ex-players all expressed their frustration at Carlton's start to the season as they aim to play in the finals for the first time since 2013.
The Blues were insipid for the first two-and-a-half quarters, but should be able to take confidence from the way they played later in the match.
"For large parts of that second half, we put ourselves in such a great position and we weren't able to close out the game exactly like we would want to," Voss said.
"We'll go back and review that strongly, but I felt like we walked out of the game with more moments that look like us."
However, Carlton's twin towers Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay continue to struggle to have the same impact they had last year.
McKay finished goal-less, spraying a set-shot from 30m out directly in front during the first quarter as he went with his preferred snapping technique.
Curnow was important during the late-game surge, slotting a big goal in the last quarter, and finished with 2.3, but is not starring like he was during his Coleman Medal-winning campaign last season.
For the Bulldogs, Bailey Smith was back to his prolific best with 30 touches, while premiership midfielder Tom Liberatore was the catalyst in the last quarter with a vital goal.
"We've been challenged a few times over the course of the year and early in the year we weren't responding too well," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.
"In the scheme of things it's another opportunity to build some belief and keep the momentum going."
Carlton (4-1-4) face another giant test next Sunday when they take on in-form rivals Collingwood in a blockbuster at the MCG.
The Bulldogs (6-3) will head to Ballarat to host their first game of the season in the regional city against Adelaide on Saturday.