Essendon pull off huge upset to hold off Melbourne Demons

Essendon have pulled off an outstanding AFL upset, beating Melbourne by 13 points on Saturday at the MCG.

The Bombers team of top-ups, kids and a smattering of stars simply worked harder than the Demons and won 11.14 (80) to 10.7 (67).

There was speculation before the season started that the Bombes might not win a game in 2016.

Nine players had their first win as Essendon players.

It was also Essendon's first home game of the season and several thousand fans had marched to the ground before the match as a show of solidarity.

The Bombers continue to reel from the ongoing fallout from their supplements debacle.

But before the game the club also announced they had re-signed banned midfielder Heath Hocking, as well as two major sponsorship deals.

Key forward Joe Daniher, top-10 draft pick Darcy Parish and fellow onballer Zac Merrett all showed they are Essendon's future with impressive games.

Daniher's goalkicking was terrible - 2.4 and two out on the full - but he racked up 15 marks and was best afield.

Midfielder David Zaharakis also was huge in the last term and finished with 34 possessions.

After losing the tackle count 87-56 in last week's loss to Gold Coast, Essendon out-tackled the Demons 66-50.

Melbourne looked set to snatch the game from Essendon when they kicked the first three goals of the last quarter for a six-point lead.

It was the first time the Demons had led since the second term.

But Daniher kicked his second as the Bombers closed out the game with three goals.

Ben Kennedy was best for Melbourne with three goals.

After losing tackles and contested possessions in last week's 10-goal loss to Gold Coast, the Bombers beat Melbourne in those key areas throughout the match.

"It's obviously round two, so in the context of a normal season it's just nice to get a win on the board," said coach John Worsfold.

"But certainly for us, pulling the team together, the work and the desire the players have shown has been outstanding.

"It has been a big day for the club."

After blitzing GWS in the last quarter a week ago, Melbourne were flat-footed.

Despite a faultless pre-season and the round-one win, Saturday's scratchy performance fuels their reputation as a flaky team.

"I can absolutely see the Melbourne supporters' frustration and it often comes off the back of a really good performance so that probably adds to the frustration," said coach Paul Roos.

"We'd like to think we have come forward and certainly from a coaching point of view, well look at the reasons, but we've got to continue down the path we believe is the right path."

Captain Nathan Jones and Ben Kennedy, who kicked three goals, stood out for the Demons.