BRENDON Goddard says his overwhelming feeling was relief when the final siren sounded on Friday night, signalling St Kilda's four-point win over Geelong.
Goddard was within metres of his opponent Cameron Ling when the Cats captain appeared to kick the winning goal with 61 seconds of the game remaining.
But the goal was disallowed as umpire Matt Stevic paid a free kick to Saint James Gwilt, after he was pushed in the back by Cameron Mooney.
"I think it was mixed emotions when Ling kicked the goal and the relief afterwards when it was a free kick. We thought there was roughly a minute left. We got a message sent," Goddard said.
Though the star Saint was in the thick of the action, he admitted that he didn't see the tackle that resulted in the free kick.
"The ball got kicked over my head and they managed to get a finger in because Jimmy (Gwilt) was trying to get the ball to me over the back for a handball," he said.
Goddard said the final few minutes of the match "went for eternity" as the Saints desperately tried to hold on to a slim lead that had been whittled down from 33 points in the third term.
"They (the Cats) had about a five-minute spell there where the ball didn't get out of their forward 50 or at least their forward half. We managed to get it in our forward half and did a really good job holding it in," he said.
"At the end of the day we ran out of legs a little bit, but just because we'd worked so hard earlier on in the game. We felt we deserved to be ahead a little bit more but to their credit they bounced back. They are a great footy team and we expected it from them in the second half."
Goddard, who had 20 possessions in the first two quarters, was tagged by Ling after half time when he was identified as St Kilda's most dangerous playmaker.
He knew he had a job on his hands when Ling sidled up to him in the third term but switched his attention to taking the Geelong stopper out of the game.
"It was alright. I didn't know how well I was going to be honest. He is a great player and it was a good challenge," he said.
"I've never had him before and I played a role for the team in the second half to play as a seventh defender and take him back there."