Dockers power past Crows
Fremantle's Tendai Mzungu is tackled by Rory Sloane as he attempts to mark. Pic: Getty Images

Fremantle have moved into fifth spot on the AFL ladder after a workmanlike 40-point win over Adelaide at Patersons Stadium this afternoon.

The Dockers dominated possession after quarter-time, strangling the Crows and keeping them to four goals over the rest of the match.

And it could have been a bigger with for Fremantle if not for inaccuracy in front of goal in the 12.18 (90) to 7.8 (50) victory.

"We should have kicked 16 goals today," Dockers coach Ross Lyon said.

The Dockers have improved their record to 7-4 but can still be pushed down the ladder by the end of the round if Collingwood can get the better of Melbourne on Monday.

Aaron Sandilands was outstanding with 38 hit-outs, four clearances, eight marks and 20 disposals, while Lee Spurr gather 32 possessions off half back while keeping the dangerous Eddie Betts goalless.

But Fremantle will sweat on the fitness of Michael Johnson, who was substituted out of the game with a right knee injury at half-time.

The 2013 All-Australian injured the leg in a slinging tackle late in the second term and spent the rest of the day on the bench nursing some crutches.

Lyon said Johnson had a slight medial strain and thinks he will miss "two to four weeks".

Matthew Wright was a late withdrawal for Adelaide after failing a concussion test, allowing Cam Ellis-Yolmen to debut in the green vest.

Nat Fyfe was passed fit to line up after struggling with an ankle injury during the week and immediately copped a hard tag from youngster Sam Kerridge.

Fyfe got on top of Kerridge after half time, especially in the air, and the Crow ended his day when he was subbed off for Ellis-Yolmen at three-quarter-time.

As expected, Ryan Crowley went straight to Patrick Dangerfield and restricted the exciting midfielder to 18 touches and just one goal.

Lee Spurr collects ahead of Taylor Walker. Pic: Getty Images

The Dockers started hot but wasted early opportunities before Crows goalsneak Betts got free over the back and got the ball to young West Australian Charlie Cameron for the opening goal.

Pavlich then had two shots on goal and nailed the second to steal the lead back but it was hard work from there for the home side as Adelaide heaped on the pressure and held the ball up forward.

Dangerfield dragged Crowley forward and kicked one and set up another to help give the visitors the edge at the first break.

Fremantle came out firing early in the second quarter but were again wasteful with only Paul Duffield and Fyfe able to goal from nine gettable opportunities.

And when Cameron got free in the pocket and slotted his third major of the game, the visitors again had the lead heading into half time.

Whatever Lyon said during the break worked.

Despite losing key rebounder Johnson to injury, the Dockers really started to dominate the contest, booting four goals to one and taking a decisive 25-point advantage into the final term.

The Crows rarely got the ball past the centre line and when they did Luke McPharlin, Spurr, Garrick Ibbotson and Duffield mopped it up.

Josh Jenkins gave his side hope when he kicked the first goal of the final term within the opening minute.

But the Dockers weren’t about to give up a second loss at home this season as they aim to surge into the top four in the coming weeks, booting four of the next five goals to take the comfortable win.

Michael Johnson limps out of the action. Pic: Getty Images

SCOREBOARD

FREMANTLE1.43.9 8.1312.1890
ADELAIDE3.2 4.55.67.8 50
GOALS - FREMANTLE: Pavlich 3; Fyfe 2; Ballantyne, Duffield, Sheridan, Dawson, Suban, D Pearce, Mayne. ADELAIDE: Cameron 3; Dangerfield, Martin, Jenkins, Smith.

BEST - FREMANTLE: Sandilands, Spurr, Mundy, Fyfe, Hill, Duffield. ADELAIDE: Thompson, Smith, Sloane, Cameron, Mackay.
INJURIES - FREMANTLE: Johnson (leg). ADELAIDE: Wright (late withdrawal, concussion).
REPORTS: none.
UMPIRES: D Margetts, M Stevic, S Hay.
CROWD: 35,389 at Patersons Stadium.

The West Australian

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