Highlights: Essendon v Western Bulldogs
The Dons and Dogs collide in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup
Brendon Goddard in action for the Bombers during their NAB Cup opener against the Dogs at Etihad Stadium
FORMER Saint Brendon Goddard has enjoyed a solid outing in his first game in the red and black, leading Essendon to a 26-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.
The Bombers took charge late in the first half, and smothered the Bulldogs in the second stanza to chalk up an 1.5.6 (45) to 1.1.4 (19) victory.
Essendon fans keeping the faith
Most, if not all, of Goddard's 13 possessions were of quality. He never looked rushed, as he spent a bulk of his playing time through the midfield.
Also enjoying a long stint in the midfield was third-year Bomber Dyson Heppell, who gathered eight touches in a solid second-half performance.
Pies steal win after late charge against Dons
The Bombers had a point to prove given the much-talked about supplement saga that has engulfed the club in the past two weeks.
Their advantage was gained late in the first half with a goal to Alex Browne - helped by a 50m penalty from Dogs defender Dylan Addison - that gave them 13-point lead at half-time.
Their pressure in the forward half - led by Alwyn Davey - was sharp, forcing the Bulldogs' defenders into some costly errors
At the other end of the ground, the ever-steady Dustin Fletcher was influential in defence, directly preventing two Bulldogs goals in the first half. In his 21st season in the AFL, Fletcher had 10 touches and four tackles.
Collingwood class rises to sink Dogs
Jake Carlisle, too, chopped off several Bulldogs attacking moves, while dashing defender Michael Hibberd created important drive from the back half with 11disposals.
Essendon had a certain calmness when transitioning from defence to attack, patiently waiting for options to open up and supporting teammates with hard running.
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, seemed to lack the necessary composure and verve with ball in hand.
Although captain Matthew Boyd (17 touches) and midfielder Nick Lower's (15) efforts could not be faulted.
Defender Dale Morris also showed positive signs in his first game for 18 months, after his sickening broken leg.
But the Bombers proved too experienced and classy, with Nick Kommer's goal late in proceedings capping off a strong first up effort from the Bombers.
Shaggy-haired mature age recruit Nick Kommer (MID, $102,700) showed plenty in his debut for the Bombers, with a capacity to rack up the fantasy points. Kommer gathered eight disposals and a late goal on his way to 44 AFL Fantasy points. He was a bundle of energy and his defensive pressure was critical in the Bombers' win. The 22-year-old is competitive and displayed an ability to link up through the middle of the ground. Expect him to earn praise from coach James Hird and feature in the later rounds of the NAB Cup and possibly, even, Essendon's round one side.
1.2.4 1.5.6 (45)
1.0.3 1.1.4 (19)
Bellchambers, Browne, Davey Dell'Olio, Kommer
Fletcher, Goddard, Hibberd,
24,817 at Etihad Stadium