Paddy Ryder had the perfect retort for the Essendon boos, kicking four goals in Port Adelaide’s 13-point AFL win.
Three of those goals crucially came in the last term as the Power hung on for a 20.9 (129) to 17.14 (116) win on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.
Port started the weekend two and a half games outside the top eight and must do everything right with six rounds left if they are to make the finals.
Ryder left Essendon at the end of last season amid the club’s ongoing supplements scandal and the Essendon fans let him know how they felt about it whenever he went near the ball.
But he had the final say with his brace of goals in the last term.
Fittingly, Power captain Travis Boak kicked the last goal of the match to cap his best-afield performance.
Despite hurting his knee in the first half, Boak starred with 27 possessions.
Essendon had their chances, but paid for goalkicking inaccuracy through the middle of the game and then over-possession in the last term.
The crowd of 23,705 was Essendon’s lowest home attendance in 15 years at Etihad Stadium.
The ruck continues to be a big concern for Essendon, who refuse to give Jonathan Giles his club debut.
Shaun McKernan again struggled against Ryder and Matthew Lobbe, although he was also on the wrong end of some mystifying free kicks for ruck infringements.
Ryder’s first goal early in the third term put his team up by 20 points and teammates rushed to congratulate him.
But Essendon rallied with the next three goals and scores were tied at three-quarter time.
Essendon trailed by a point at 12 minutes into the final term, but Port kicked the next three goals and then held out the Bombers for the win.
The Bombers made the early running and had a 10-point lead at quarter time.
That extended to 17 points in the second term, before Port dramatically turned the game around.
They kicked six out of seven goals in just 14 minutes to take a 14-point lead.
Essendon then had the game back on their terms, but ended the first half with six successive behinds.
They had sprayed 2.8 for the quarter and trailed by eight points at the long break.
The Bombers did not kick a goal from 18 minutes in the second term until eight minutes into the third.
Brendon Goddard was best for Essendon, while the performances of youngsters such as Nick O’Brien and Zach Merrett were a positive.