Bombers bright spots offer light in four-game AFL skid
Flashes of encouragement are keeping Brad Scott buoyant despite a fourth-straight Essendon loss.
The Bombers were beaten by 42 points in Brisbane on Saturday night but led by 10 at halftime.
Their injury-hit defence unit disturbed the Lions' fluency, the hosts eventually evening up the numbers and kicking 10 goals to two after the main break for a sixth-straight AFL win.
It followed close losses to Port Adelaide, Geelong and Collingwood since their last win in round five over Melbourne.
Despite the blow-out there was cause for optimism considering defenders Jordan Ridley, Jayden Laverde, Zach Reid and Jake Kelly were all sidelined.
Andrew McGrath kept Charlie Cameron goalless, Mason Redman was brave with 30 disposals and Zach Merrett and Dylan Shiel held their own in a midfield missing Darcy Parish.
Ridley is likely to return from his concussion to face Richmond next Saturday but Scott isn't holding his breath for reinforcements.
"He was super, McGrath and great support from Redman," the coach said.
"If we don't (have players returning) we give opportunities to other players.
"We're asking a lot of them at this stage of their career without a lot of key position support.
"But that's the lot we've got at the moment and to their credit we're not making excuses.
"They're (Brisbane) clearly at a different stage to where we are but ... we came here to win and gave ourselves a good chance.
"There was still a bit to like; we're disappointed but not disheartened."
Shiel limped off in the third quarter with an ankle injury after being tackled by Cameron Rayner but returned later in the match.