Spotswood is lurking in the rear vision mirror of the premiership front-runners in the Western Region Football League division 1.
The Woodsmen have been ultra competitive against top four opposition in the first half of the season – but only on Saturday did they get their first big scalp.
After honourable close losses to Altona and Werribee Districts, the Woodsmen were desperate to take four points off a title contender.
The Woodsmen came from behind at quarter-time to overrun six-time defending premier Deer Park by 17 points away at John McLeod Oval.
Woodsmen coach Anthony Eames was not surprised by a result that some would believe to be an upset and was thrilled with the comeback.
“We went in pretty confident to be honest,” Eames said.
“It was good to have a close game against a top side and win it. To fight back from that [27-point deficit] – we haven’t done that against Deer Park in my time at Spotty.”
Spotswood had to work its way back from 21 points down at quarter-time to register the win.
The Woodsmen trailed by as much as 27 early in the second term, but found a way to get to within five points at the main break.
“The boys knew at half-time we were a massive chance if we just stuck to our structures,” Eames said.
Spotswood was the dominant side in the second half, the Woodsmen kicking six goals to two to run out convincing winners.
It was a victory built on defence, both in terms of limiting the supply to the dangerous Deer Park forward line and winning the one-on-one battles inside the defensive 50.
“I’m not sure who’s kept them to 15 scoring shots recently, but that was certainly a focus for us,” Eames said. “I thought our boys stacked up well out of the backline.”
Harley Walshe was a pillar of strength in Spotswood’s defence.
Walshe was given the tough task of nullifying former Western Bulldogs forward Jack Redpath and kept him goalless.
“I thought Harley Walshe played his best game for the year on Redpath,” Eames said. “He did a terrific job.”
Sam Davis wore the competition’s leading goalkicker, Deer Park forward Jase Perkins, like a glove. Perkins was restricted to one goal.
Grant Williams kept Deer Park’s mosquito fleet quiet and John Dawson looked comfortable at this level in a key defensive post.
Steven O’Bryan was superb offensively through the middle for Spotswood. The midfielder was able to make and break tackles at will.
With Spotswood star Murray Boyd unavailable, Zach Del Grosso rucked one-out for most of the day and did a commendable job.
Baxter Norton kicked three crucial goals for the Woodsmen.
Spotswood will goes into Queen’s Birthday in third place and snapping at the heels of the top two.
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