A minor score in the dying seconds has seen Essendon VFL lose to Southport by one point in their round four clash at the NEC Hangar on Saturday.

In a low-scoring, scrappy affair, Essendon fought their way into a 14-point lead with five minutes to play in the final term through a clever Tex Wanganeen goal, however a late run from Southport heaped pressure on the Bombers’ defence.

After conceding a goal in the final minute to tie the scores, the Bombers pushed numbers back into their defence for the final play but failed to prevent the Sharks from forcing a behind to seal victory.

It was a disappointing finish for a young Bombers side that despite showing marked improvement week-to-week, are still looking to tidy up their lapses in the second half of games.

The performance of Vigo Visentini will be a major positive for Bombers’ fans – the 203cm rookie thrived as a key forward, booting three goals from his nine touches (two of those majors coming at key stages in the final term).

Factored with his mobility to work up the ground and pinch-hit in the ruck supporting a stellar Nick Bryan (33 hit-outs, 22 disposals), Visentini’s long-term progression will be one to watch this season.

Lewis Hayes continued his good form in defence, racking up 26 disposals and nine marks on the last line.

Calder Cannons product Matthew Foley showed a clean pair of heels throughout, finishing with 25 disposals and a goal in arguably his best game as a Bomber.

Leaders Xavier O’Neill and Jackson Hately each had 28 disposals in solid outings, while the early form of Dylan Shiel (24 disposals, eight clearances) has looked promising as he integrates back from a long injury layoff.

The Dons will be looking to bounce back in the Anzac Round fixture against Collingwood at Victoria Park next Saturday.

ESSENDON     2.3     4.8     5.8    8.10   (58)
SOUTHPORT      2.4     3.4     5.11     7.17  (59)

Visentini 3, Wanganeen, O'Neill, Foley, J. Davey, Caddy

O'Neill, Visentini, Hayes, Hately, Bryan, Foley, Shiel