It may not have been ideal conditions, but the Demons established a lead early courtesy of six goals from Mitch Brown and never relinquished it in a statement 30-point win over Southport on Sunday.

Early on it was the Brown show, as the tall forward started off hot with three goals within 10 minutes.

From breathtaking contested marks to sizzling assists from teammates, Brown was everywhere and had four majors to quarter time, slotting one after the siren.

With Andy Moniz-Wakefield (18 disposals, two goals) also showing off his electric skills to get on the board, the Demons were never headed, leading by 38 points at quarter time before eventually running out 13.11 (89) to 8.11 (59) winners.

After the first quarter the weather took a turn for the worse and the Sharks matched Casey in the contest, as a run of eight straight goals came to a halt when Southport booted four in a row of their own.

But it wasn’t enough to halt the Dees, who had many contributors all over the ground in the resounding result.

A ripping roving goal snapped through by Jacob van Rooyen kept the Demons momentum rolling in the second term before Brown’s fifth extended the margin to 25 points at the main break.

The sustained pressure from van Rooyen (seven tackles), Moniz-Wakefield (six) and Chandler meant Casey always looked dangerous with the ball inside forward 50.

Casey coach Mark Corrigan said the trio put in the hard yards to benefit their teammates in imperfect conditions.

“You aren’t going to get it all your own way, so when you don’t get the ball, you need to deny them easy access,” Corrigan said.

“I thought our pressure was on show today from players who aren’t renowned for it and it was brilliant to see.”  

Once again, the likes of Mitch White (17 disposals), Jimmy Munro (16) and the returning Luke Dunstan (17) relished the contested battle, controlling the midfield and providing smooth movers like Jake Melksham (16) first use all day.

Melksham came into his own in the third term, following an exhilarating second Moniz-Wakefield goal with a classy dribble that evaded Southport defenders and slid through.

The key to constantly winning the midfield stoushes came from late inclusion Jack Bell, who took Majak Daw’s place and thrived in tandem with Sam Weideman.

Finishing with 10 hit outs and eight disposals, Corrigan said Bell’s ability to come in and play a role was crucial to Casey’s depth and winning streak.

“Belly was unlucky to be out, it was purely on the weather and the tall power we had in,” Corrigan said.

“But he came in and set the tone for us really early, which was important coming up against a hard and fit team.”

After half time the two sides fought out a low-scoring slog, relying on defences to hold firm.

Casey’s backline was once again strong, with Adam Tomlinson leading the way in a workman-like performance.

The AFL-listed defender looked too strong and athletic for his Southport opponents, finishing with 23 disposals and five marks in a commanding display.

With fellow tall back Corey Ellison also holding strong, the Demons put their best foot forward in the final term.

Van Rooyen received reward for his perseverance, slotting his second major from a 50-metre penalty, while Brown continued his fine day with a sixth goal.

Weideman then got on the end of a nice play to bend through his first goal for the day, steering the Demons clear in an impressive final term.

It may not have been the perfect display, but the first quarter was enough for Corrigan to see where his side is improving.

“That first quarter was as good a quarter of footy that we’ve played this year,” he said.

“That was our brand. We showed our ability to get in and win the contest.

“To Southport’s credit, we knew they were always going to come. I thought we responded well in the fourth quarter, all of our games have been arm wrestles this year and our ability to respond has been important.”

Now clear on top of the VFL ladder with seven straight wins, Casey face North Melbourne next Sunday as it looks to extend its unbeaten streak.

CASEY                      6.2       8.5       10.9     13.11 (89)

SOUTHPORT           0.0       4.4       6.8       8.11 (59)        

GOALS: Brown 6, Moniz-Wakefield, van Rooyen 2, Dunstan, Melksham, Weideman

DISPOSALS: Chandler 26, Tomlinson 23, Moniz-Wakefield 18, Brown, Dunstan, White 17

BEST: Brown, Moniz-Wakefield, Tomlinson, White, Chandler, Dunstan