GOLDEN Square’s Clayton Anderson emerged as an unlikely hero inside 50 for the Bulldogs in their 67-point win over Kangaroo Flat at MyJet Oval on Sunday.
Anderson has long been renowned as the premier small defender in the Bendigo Football League.
But he showed the Roos on Sunday that not only is he mighty tough to kick goals against, he can boot them himself after bagging seven in the Bulldogs’ 21.7 (133) to 8.18 (66) victory.
“We’ve been dabbling with him up forward of late,” Bulldogs coach Nick Carter said.
“He had been getting used to the position and looking like he might fire up there and he did today.
“He was really impressive... he came up at the footy, took the ball out in front and kicked a couple of snaps as well.
“And he had six or seven tackles, too, so that was really pleasing.”
Anderson’s seven-goal bag against the Roos is the most by a Golden Square player since Grant Weeks left the Bulldogs at the end of 2012.
Golden Square only had two more scoring shots than the Roos, but its far superior conversion was telling in the final result.
After leading by two points at quarter-time, the Bulldogs made the match-breaking move in the second term when they added seven goals to three as they improved to 7-5 with the victory.
“I was happy with the effort overall today,” Carter said.
“Kangaroo Flat threw a fair bit at the boys for most of the game and they were able to stay in control. The leaders stepped up today and everyone played their role, so we were very pleased to get an 11-goal win.”
As well as spearhead Anderson, the Bulldogs’ best included onballer Jack Daley, consistent defender Jon Coe, Che Walls, Corey Jones (two goals) and Harry Donegan.
Shane Harris and Lachlan Woodward kicked three goals each.
The Roos kicked themselves out of the top five with their inaccuracy, with the defeat - their 28th in a row against Golden Square - sending them back to sixth.
“We couldn’t apply scoreboard pressure, and that’s the key when you’re playing a quality side like Golden Square,” Roos coach Jason Stevens said.
“We had enough opportunities and were in front in scoring shots for most of the game until late.
“Those missed opportunities really hurt us today.”
Ruckman Nick Lang’s dominant season continued for the Roos to be their best player.
The Roos also named defender Linc Frost - one of three players tried on Anderson through the game - Billy White and James Saville among their best players.
The Roos will now turn their attention to a massive clash after the general bye against the team they are fighting for fifth position with - Eaglehawk.