A controversial free kick to Todd Goldstein has helped North Melbourne beat St Kilda by seven points in an AFL thriller.
The 11.16 (82) to 11.9 (75) win on Sunday at Etihad Stadium maintained North’s unbeaten start to the season and was Drew Petrie’s 300th game.
Scores were level with 90 seconds left when Goldstein went up against Tom Hickey in a ruck contest, 50m from North’s goal.
The free kick against Hickey for shepherding infuriated Saints fans and Goldstein kicked a behind from outside 50m.
North then locked the ball in their half of the ground and Mason Wood kicked a goal after the final siren.
Wood milked the 30-second rule for a set shot to ensure there was no time for the Saints if he missed.
“It’s mixed emotions – it’s good to win, but gee we were lucky,” Petrie told Channel Seven.
The Kangaroos had a game-high lead of 26 points early in the last quarter before Saints captain Nick Riewoldt sparked their fightback.
Riewoldt kicked the first of four unanswered St Kilda goals that set up the frenetic last few minutes of the match.
The Saints tied the scores with a rushed behind with about six minutes left.
North’s run of three goals late in the first term after an even start proved crucial.
The Saints were left to rue a period in the second term when they dominated play, but could not kick a goal.
Riewoldt continued his outstanding season with another best-afield performance, taking 16 marks and kicking three goals.
North tagger Ben Jacobs shut down midfielder Jack Steven, while Kangaroos onballers Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington were solid.