Saints prolong Carlton's horror AFL season

Michael Ramsey

St Kilda have prolonged Carlton's horror AFL season, downing the Blues by 64 points in a Friday the 13th massacre at Etihad Stadium.

Pressure is certain to mount on coach Brendon Bolton after the bottom-placed Blues blundered their way to a dismal 16.20 (116) to 7.10 (52) defeat.

The Blues have just one win this season and have saved two of their worst performances for the past fortnight in games against fellow bottom-four teams.

Bolton's men were outscored eight goals to two after halftime, with repeat turnovers ensuring the ball rarely left St Kilda's forward half.

Carlton lost ruckman Matthew Kreuzer in the opening minutes, the Blues later revealing he had suffered shortness of breath.

Kreuzer's absence forced the Blues to improvise with Charlie Curnow, Liam Jones and Harry McKay sharing ruck duties.

But there was no justifying the Blues' basic skill errors, lack of focus and dreadful decision-making, exemplified by the fact they twice had players penalised for the rare mistake of overstepping while kicking the ball into play.

Carlton trailed by just eight points at the end of a heated first term but spent the remainder of the game on the back foot as the relentless Saints peppered the goals.

Brilliant midfielder Patrick Cripps was typically prolific for the Blues, finishing with 35 disposals (23 contested), 10 clearances and a goal, while exciting young forward McKay (15 touches, seven marks) showed plenty of promise.

But as has been the case throughout their season, the Blues had far too many passengers and the final margin flattered them.

The AFL's decision to hand the Blues four marquee Friday night timeslots has come under heavy criticism and Collingwood great Dane Swan didn't miss the opportunity to stick the boot in.

"Carlton should play on Monday arvo's when everyone is at work so no one has to watch em. Floating fixture for Friday night games please," Swan posted on Twitter.

Jack Steven (33 disposals, two goals) led the way for the Saints, who lost defender Jimmy Webster to a quad injury for the final quarter.

Blues defender Jed Lamb is likely to face match review scrutiny after he appeared to claw at the face of a prone Jade Gresham during the second quarter.

It's unclear whether Lamb made contact with Gresham's eyes but a serious misconduct charge could see him referred directly to the tribunal.