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Season Review: November

4 June 2013

A hugely successful month as Blues go November unbeaten.

There’s no doubting that November was Blues’ most successful month of the season as they went unbeaten in all competitions.

The month began with the FA Cup first round as Blue Square Premier side Stockport County headed to Roots Hall on 3rd November.

Barry Corr, making his first start for the Club in 18 months, set Blues on their way to a comfortable victory with a close range header.
Marc Laird netted his first goal for the club in the 85th minute before Freddy Eastwood added gloss to the scoreline when he smashed home an effort three minutes later.

Three days later and Blues took on Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

An entertaining game saw Rovers take the lead after 10 minutes, before Gavin Tomlin and Kevan Hurst turned the game around with goals just before half time in the 40th and 44th minute respectively.

Ryan Cresswell added a third with a trademark header.

David Clarkson scored a penalty after Sean Clohessy fouled Elliot Richards with just five minutes remaining, but Blues held on for a hard fought three points against a Rovers side that were reduced to 10 men when Oliver Norburn was sent off.

Matthew Lund played for the Pirates that day, the Stoke loanee joined Blues later in the season on loan from Stoke City.

Next up was a home game against promotion chasing Port Vale.

Blues had the majority of the ball but couldn’t find a way past Valiants ‘keeper, Chris Neal.

The bar came to Neal’s rescue twice, as Gavin Tomlin cracked the upright on a couple of occasions.

Vale had late chances from Tom Pope to win the game but the game finished 0-0 and all square.

That made it four games without defeat, and it soon became six, with two excellent away performances.

First up, Blues travelled to Devon to face a Torquay United side that included ex-Southend midfield Craig Easton in the starting XI.

The hosts, who were on a 10 game unbeaten run at Plainmoor, were 1-0 down inside the opening 10 minutes when Gavin Tomlin nutmegged Gulls goalkeeper Martin Rice.

Britt Assombalonga added another quick fire double to his season’s tally, netting in the 39th and 45th minute as Blues went in at half time with a commanding lead. 

Minutes after half time, Tomlin, a former Torquay loanee, added his second, tucking past Rice to almost put the game out of reach for the home side.

Ryan Jarvis scored in the 52nd minute but that proved to be only a consolation for Martin Ling’s side who had Lee Mansell sent off late on.

On the 17th, Blues recorded another four-goal haul, this time away at AFC Wimbledon.

Once again, Tomlin grabbed another couple of goals in the 41st and 67th minute, with another vintage Ryan Cresswell header sandwiched in-between.

Barry Corr finished the rout at Kingsmeadow, smashing home with just a couple of minutes remaining, as Blues rose to 8th place in League 2.

Paul Sturrock’s side continued their fine form with a third victory in a week, beating Rochdale 3-1 at Roots Hall, rising to a season high of 4th place in the table.

Once more, both teams went into the dressing rooms at half time with the scoreline at 0-0.

Rochdale came out of the blocks the quickest when Terry Gornell scored in the 50th minute.

However, Blues grabbed an equaliser soon after through Britt Assombalonga in the 57th minute. 

Gavin Tomlin made it 2-1 to Southend two minutes later as Michael Timlin’s cross was only palmed away as far as the striker, who tapped in.

Marc Laird’s dink over Josh Lillis to seal another win for Blues as they finished the month unbeaten in seven games and well in the promotion hunt.

The four league wins and the single draw was enough to see Paul Sturrock named Manager of the Month for November.

November Results:

3rd Nov (FA Cup): Blues 3-0 Stockport (Corr, Laird, Eastwood)
6th Nov: Bristol Rovers 2-3 Blues (Tomlin, Hurst, Cresswell)
10th Nov: Blues 0-0 Port Vale
17th Nov: Torquay United 1-4 Blues (Tomlin 2, Assombalonga 2)
20th Nov: AFC Wimbledon 0-4 Blues (Tomlin 2, Cresswell, Corr)
24th Nov: Blues 3-1 Rochdale (Assombalonga, Tomlin, Laird)

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