MFC Debut and First Game as Coach
With eight league debutants and a new coach in ex-Collingwood champion Wilson, Melbourne recovered from a disappointing end to the 1920 season to take two points off Essendon in the opening game of the new year. Despite the inexperience of his side, Wilson's team introduced Collingwood tactics and was rewarded with a fine performance.
With the aid of a stiff breeze, Essendon jumped to a big lead at quarter time but surrendered it by the half. When the Same Olds were expected to run away with the game in the third term they instead conceded six goals to three and saved their comeback for the last term.
Deep into the final quarter Essendon held the lead, and their fans were already celebrating when a defender made a mistake which gifted Melbourne a goal. When the bell rang the scoreboard showed the Reds two points in front, but there had been a mistake and the scores were actually level.
Talls Thomas and Lord impressed in their league debut, with Lord in the ruck and Thomas at centre half-back. Lethlean also impressed at full-back. Farrow, Wilson and Anthony won handily in the middle of the ground.
It was the first ever draw between the two sides, and Melbourne's last ever match at the East Melbourne ground.