|Venue: Optus Oval||Date: Saturday April 27, 1996|
|Result: Win by 1 point||Umpires: Carey, Dore & Norden.||Crowd: 19,772|
|Goalkickers: E.Spalding 3, M.Clape, S.Camporeale, G.Williams 2, B.Pearce, B.Ratten, R.Welsh 1.|
|Best: A.Koutoufides, G.Williams, B.Ratten, C.Bradley, G.Manton, E.Spalding, A.Christou, M.Clape.|
|Reports: Nil||Injuries: B.Pearce (hand)|
Game ReviewDifferent year; same result. The year after Carlton pipped West Coast at Subiaco by 1 point, Carlton again pipped West Coast by the smallest possible margin in this thriller at Princes Park.
Carlton would be without Captain, Stephen Kernahan, Peter Dean, Fraser Brown, Mil Hanna and Dean Rice, while Brad Pearce, who had just returned after 2 weeks out with a hamstring injury would suffer a further injury, this time to his hand and not have a great impact. The Blues would have to scrounge for goals in a tight game where both defences prevailed – this week fittingly through West Australians Earl Spalding, playing his 200th AFL game, with 3 and Matt Clape with 2. But it was perhaps a goal claimed by Greg Williams that would be the difference in this match – despite it coming from the feet of Eagle Tony Evans. Evans soccered the ball through the Blues' goals at the Lygon St End of the ground to try to concede a behind, only for Williams to raise his hands to try to claim it as a goal, to which the Goal Umpire agreed. In a game of tight margins, this event could have been the difference, though it would be one of a number of questionable umpiring decisions.
That being said, the game could have gone either way for any number of reasons. Almost half of all the goals in the game were kicked in the last quarter as the game exploded from the typical, dour, defensive Eagles style and became a nervous end to a classic match. The margin at 3/4 time was just 2 points. The Eagles then kicked 3 goals in succession but Carlton then rallied to kick 5 in a row through Pearce, Hickmott, Camporeale, Ratten and Spalding to go 8 points up. The Eagles then replied, to be just one point behind. Carlton then attempted to close the game down.
Throughout, the star was Anthony Koutoufides, who was everywhere and would dominate the game with the very impressive statistics of 26 kicks, 18 marks and 9 handballs. On two occasions late in the game, he would fly high in defence to repel desperate Eagle attacks which would save the game. He was ably supported by the miraculous goal-kicking (2) of Greg Williams, who had 29 touches, Craig Bradley with 27 and the ever-present Brett Ratten with 24.
This game is remembered fondly by Carlton fans, and is considered one of our best wins in the Home & Away rounds of the 1990's. For more games like this, please click here. It is also remembered as one of Carlton's controversial finishes, a theme explored in a Blueseum exclusive article available here.
Blueseum Footnote: This game has been selected by the Blueseum as one highlighting the career of Anthony Koutoufides. To read more, click here.
|B:||22 Glenn Manton||1 Stephen Silvagni||39 Ang Christou|
|HB:||34 Ron De Iulio||14 Michael Sexton||9 Adrian Hickmott|
|C:||16 Scott Camporeale||2 Greg Williams||43 Anthony Koutoufides|
|HF:||6 Matt Clape||11 Earl Spalding||29 Simon Beaumont|
|F:||19 Brad Pearce||3 Rohan Welsh||33 Matthew Hogg|
|Ruck:||44 Justin Madden||7 Brett Ratten||21 Craig Bradley (a/c)|
|Interchange:||32 Adrian Whitehead||17 Brent Heaver||25 Ben Sexton|
Milestones200 Games (AFL): Earl Spalding (109 games with Melbourne).
Round 4 | Round 6