Demons dish up Friday night fright show

Jack Viney and Demons teammates looks dejected after their dismal defeat to the Swans at the MCG.
Jack Viney and Demons teammates looks dejected after their dismal defeat to the Swans at the MCG.

Melbourne supporters have seen this AFL horror show before.

The inability to run and defend, the impotent forward line, the finger pointing, the appalling skill errors, the lack of energy and, worst of all, the apparent absence of any hope that it will get better.

All the things that made the Demons a basket case not so long ago were on display in their worst loss of the year - a 15.5 (95) to 5.12 (42) drubbing by Sydney at the MCG on the big stage of Friday night footy.

Geelong beat them by a greater margin in round two, but the Cats have gone on to top the ladder all season, while the Swans had just one more win than Simon Goodwin's side and took a six-game losing streak into round 22.

The Demons couldn't muster a goal in the second and third terms against a team that won't play finals, was missing a host of stars and didn't have a recognised ruckman to battle the might of Max Gawn.

Melbourne have injuries too, but the effort by those who did take the field cannot be excused.

Just 23,700 fans braved the inclement Melbourne weather to watch their team's last home game of a dire campaign and who can blame them for staying away?

Certainly not Goodwin.

"I can understand their disappointment, I can understand their frustration and I think they deserve better," Goodwin said.

"Tonight was unacceptable and probably reflective of where we've been this year in how the game was played out.

"But we're going to take responsibility.

"We're in a poor position right now as a footy club, but we're going to work really hard at getting ourselves out of it.

"The only way we're going to do that is together."

With one match to play - against North Melbourne in Hobart - last year's preliminary finalists are all but guaranteed of finishing second bottom.

If not for a three-year contract extension, signed before the start of the season, Goodwin's head would surely be on the chopping block after such a dizzying drop-off.

"I sit here (as coach) of a team that's 17th on the ladder and I take responsibility for where we sit but it's reinforced the things that I know we need to get right," he said.

"I'll learn from this experience, I'll learn from where we are now.

"It's hurting me greatly because I know how much the Melbourne supporters want us to be great."

Australian Associated Press