Essendon coach Brad Scott says there’s no reason to get carried away. But with his Bombers sitting relatively pretty with four wins and two losses, even Scott admits some satisfaction.

“It’s good reward for effort,” Scott said after Essendon’s gritty three-point away win, with Kyle Langford kicking two goals, against Adelaide.

Nic Martin launched from 55 metres on the run for the final goal as the Bombers prevailed 10.18 (78) to 11.9 (75) at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

“We obviously had a really poor two quarters here two weeks ago, probably two and a half quarters (against Port Adelaide).

“But outside of that, the effort and intent [has] been pretty good for the year and we sit now four and two.”

Essendon’s initial six games included three away — against both South Australian clubs in Adelaide and the Swans at the SCG.

“It’s pretty hard to avoid the odds these days when you look at a fixture, I think we’ve started favourite in one of those (games),” Scott said.

“I can say we’ve got a lot of work to do but clearly at least the bookmakers in the industry think the same. We’re certainly not getting ahead of ourselves. We know where we’re at. But it’s good reward for effort to sit here 4-2.”

The Bombers next meet Collingwood at the MCG on Anzac Day with growing confidence. “Belief is something you build one step at a time and we’ve taken another step in that,” Scott said after downing the Crows. “But Anzac Day is an unbelievable privilege. It’s a unique game.”

Scott savoured his first experience as an Essendon coach on Anzac Day last year. “I knew it was huge but last year I was blown away,” he said.

“I’ve been really fortunate in my AFL life to be a part of some really big games and finals and grand finals and Anzac Day sits out on its own.

“It’s a huge occasion for the club, we’re really looking forward to it. We are privileged to be able to put ourselves in a finals-like atmosphere at round seven, against the reigning premier, so what an opportunity.”

The Crows were left disappointed after umpires did not pay holding the ball against Essendon’s Sam Draper (centre, on ground) in the final seconds.(Getty Images: AFL Photos/James Elsby)

A contentious non-decision in the final seconds of the game saw Sam Draper escaping a holding the ball call which would have allowed Taylor Walker a shot to win it after the siren.

Draper found himself laying on his stomach with the ball pinned beneath him as the clock ticked down, but the umpire let him off and called for a ball up a split second before the siren sounded.

Adelaide players protested to the umpire as their Bombers opponents celebrated a thrilling away win.

Essendon climb into the top eight with a fourth win of the season but the Crows remain in the mire with one win and five losses.

Martin’s strike with about eight minutes left put the visitors six points up, and the Bombers then held on bravely despite a series of Adelaide attacks.

Essendon skipper Zach Merrett was a standout with 28 disposals, seven clearances and a crucial last-term goal while Jade Gresham (26 touches) was also busy.

Martin capped his influential 27-disposal display with the late game-breaker while Harrison Jones and Kyle Langford had two goals each.

Adelaide’s Jake Soligo continued his break-out form in the midfield with 31 disposals, 10 clearances and a goal.

His captain Jordan Dawson was superb with 31 touches, two goals and nine tackles while backman Mitch Hinge (25 possessions) had patches of influence.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our live blog.

Key events

Final score

That’s it from the blog for tonight

We’re having a good run for close games, aren’t we? Last Saturday was an overload of thrillers, and now we’ve had some Friday night fun as well.

Make sure you join us tomorrow to see where round six goes next. Hope to see you then!

Key Event

Matthew Nicks won’t be discussing the Draper call

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The Crows coach has expressed his disappointment about Adelaide’s slow start, poor work at the contest in the first half and overall poor performance.

He admits they would have “stolen one” had they managed to win tonight.

But he plays a perfectly straight bat to questions about the late holding the ball non-call.

“I’m not going to make a comment around umpiring. That would just add to the mire.”

Key Event

Sam Draper gives his verdict on that decision

Keep in mind he’s chatting to Brian Taylor in the rooms for Seven, so it’s probably a slightly more lighthearted interview than others.

“I think that I got pushed or my legs gave way, either way I’m not sure. What else can I do? It makes up for the one at half-time they gave the Crows.”

Keep this footage away from Crows fans

I reckon Sam Draper knows he got away with one there. I don’t reckon Sam Draper cares.

Key Event

FT: SIREN! BOMBERS WIN! Crows apoplectic!

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The last play of the game – literally in the final five seconds – was Sam Draper laying on his stomach with the ball trapped underneath him. The Crows players pleaded for holding the ball, and perhaps in another moment of the game they would have got the call.

As soon as the whistle blew for a ball up, the siren sounded. Taylor Walker led the Adelaide appeals to the umpire, but it’s all for naught now. Essendon win by three points.

How do you wrap that game up? The right team won the game, as Essendon were the better side on the night. However. In my opinion Adelaide should have had a shot after the siren to win it, as Draper should have been penalised for holding the ball in those final stages.

All the talk this week will be about that final decision, but there was more interesting stuff to discuss. Adelaide weren’t very good tonight but still nearly pinched it. Essendon played good footy but were awful going forward and nearly chucked it away. The Bombers are now 4-2, and yet they’re still a tough team to read.

Rachele snaps … a behind!

Oooof, that would have been something! Thirty seconds to play, the Crows have to turn it over and go forward again.

Sixty seconds to go

Stoppage right at the top of Adelaide’s goalsquare. Can they manufacture something? Bombers have EVERYONE back now.

Ninety seconds left

Stoppage inside Adelaide’s attacking 50. They need a goal.

Less than three minutes to play

Crows coming home strongest, but trail by four points. There is space behind for Essendon, who are one counter-attack away from victory.

But Adelaide are still coming!

Josh Rachele drops a mark alone in the pocket

Jordan Dawson’s kick couldn’t have been better, but somehow Rachele managed to spill it.

Rachele is having a weird season. For such a talented player, there have been a lot of moments like that. There are five minutes on the clock for him to redeem himself.

Nic Martin from 50! In game number 50!

Sensational finish from Martin to give Essendon a six-point lead.

He got the hands running past after Goldstein marked just outside the 50, and nobody was picking Martin up. He streamed to the arc and banged home a big Bombers goal.

Scores are level at Adelaide Oval

With nine minutes to play, we are all square.

We got to that point thanks to Sam Draper shanking one from directly in front, somehow missing the chane to give Essendon the lead.

It’s been that sort of night for the Bombers, but they may yet get away with it.

Zach Merrett answers for Essendon!

Merrett is doing all he can to lift his team, including a crumbing, snapping goal from 20 out to bring the margin back to a point.

He’s been tremendous tonight and all season. A real captain’s goal.

Izak Rankine! Goal from the stoppage!

The most dangerous man on the field has made the Bombers pay!

Rankine exploded onto the loose ball, and in only a tiny pocket of space threw the ball onto his right boot. He had to hold his breath as the ball bounced towards the post (and again during the score review, but let’s not talk about that), but it snuck through.

Seven point Adelaide lead.

Ben Keays gives Adelaide the lead back!

There’s that first goal! It’s come courtesy of a free kick, conceded by Jake Kelly and gratefully claimed by Keays directly in front, 20 metres out.

The Bombers have made so many little errors like that tonight, and so many of them have cost them dearly.

Five minutes played, still no goals

The last quarter has begun much like the third. It’s an arm wrestle, with the premium put on the first goal so high.

Essendon’s lead is out to four points, and they have looked the most likely to find that goal. But the Crows have something about them when they start whipping the handballs around. It’s right up for grabs.

Key Event

3QT: Bombers lead by three after Crows’ goal rush

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What an odd quarter.

I absolutely would not have guess at the start of it that an Essendon lead at 3QT would come as a surprise, but here we are. Adelaide opened the game up for a five-minute stretch in that quarter and got out to a three-goal lead. For all money it looked like the Crows were ready to use that momentum and take charge.

But the underlying numbers of the game hadn’t really changed, aside from Essendon’s tackling dropping off slightly. The Bombers kept on winning the hard balls and kept on getting the ball forward, eventually finding some goals to go with the hard work.

Who knows what happens next? It could be tight right to the siren, or either side could run out to a four-goal win. A true ‘who can say?’ situation out there right now.

Kyle Langford gives Essendon the lead back!

Langford was caught high while taking a shot on goal, which fell well short of the line, so got a second chance to put the Dons in front.

He made no mistake with the set shot. The siren is just a couple of seconds away.

Kyle Langford kicks another for the Bombers!

Right, so a game has broken out at Adelaide Oval.

Essendon get repeat entries again and force the ball to ground in the goalsquare, where weight of numbers wins out.

Clearance battle never been more important than it is now. Both defences are creaking.