A Lukas Webb-led revival almost saw Footscray pinch yet another nail-biting victory on Sunday, before time ran out and the Northern Blues held on by six points at Ikon Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was the sixth straight time that a Footscray game has been decided by less than 12 points.
The Dogs went into the final term 17 points in arrears and the Blues ascendant across the ground, before the visiting team slammed on five last quarter goals tp snatch the lead at the 20-minute mark of the last term.
But the Blues refused to lay down, answering with two quick goals late in the term, before a Webb goal again gave Footscray hope in the final minutes.
But it wasn’t to be, the siren sounded, the Blues were awarded the four points, and the Dogs were left ruing a slow start.
Webb was named best on ground with 32 disposals and seven tackles to go alongside his two late game goals, while Roarke Smith played his best game for the Club since returning from a knee injury.
Jordan Russell again led from the front with 25 touches and five marks, while Nathan Hrovat made an encouraging return from injury with 26 touches.
Footscray return to VU Whitten Oval next Saturday at 12pm to face the Box Hill Hawks.
Footscray 1.4 3.7 5.9 10.11 (71)
Northern Blues 4.3 6.4 8.8 11.11 (77)
Best: L. Webb, R. Smith, J. Russell, L. Nash, J. Adcock, M.Honeychurch
Disposals: L. Webb 32, Honeychurch 28, Adock, Hrovat 26, Russell 25.
Goals: Webb, Houghton 2, Adcock, Hrovat, Greenwood, Hayes, Hannan, Grabowski.