A look back on the month of February for the Blues.
It was a fantastic January for the Blues, but could we carry the good run of form on in the second month of the year - February?...
Saturday 7th February – Shrewsbury Town (A)
Following on from an impressive January, the Blues looked to continue the momentum gained from the month heading into February. However, they knew a trip to Greenhous Meadow would be tough – Shrewsbury hadn't lost at home in the league all season. Having had a few opportunities in the first half – notably an Adam Thompson header – Blues took the lead after the break through Jack Payne's superb finish after being picked out by Michael Timlin. The Blues were hanging on in there, and just like it looked as if the win was ours, Tyrone Barnett scored a thunderous effort from an acute angle to earn a share of the spoils.
Tuesday 10th February – Cheltenham Town (H)
Back in action three days later at Roots Hall, the Blues took on Cheltenham Town, who had struggled all season. Arguably the best first half performance of the season, Southend raced into a two-goal lead thanks to a Joe Pigott brace, and saw the game out comfortably in the end against a Robins side which included former Blues youth graduate Kane Ferdinand.
Saturday 14th February – Accrington Stanley (H)
So four points from a possible six set us up nicely for another home game, as Accrington Stanley came to Essex. However, it wasn't to be as planned. Ted Smith made his professional debut due to Dan Bentley picking up an injury. Both sides had chances in the first half, with Joe Pigott hitting the bar and Michael Timlin heading an effort off the line. But after the break Accrington took the lead through Piero Mingoia's precise finish before Terry Gornell added a second. Barry Corr pulled one back a minute later, but Southend couldn't find an equaliser, as our ten-game unbeaten run came to an end.
Saturday 21st February – Stevenage (A)
A local trip to Stevenage was on the cards next on a chilly February afternoon, with Phil Brown's side aiming to get back to winning ways. Dan Bentley returned in between the sticks for the visitors but there was nothing he could do when Roarie Deacon scored a fortuitous effort after half an hour. Down at the break but after half time Blues came out with the bit between their teeth. Joe Pigott fired in a David Worrall cross and soon after, Worrall was fouled in the box for a Southend penalty. Barry Corr slotted home to complete the turnaround, but Stevenage battled back again and won the game in a bizarre final 15 minutes as a Simon Walton penalty, Ben Kennedy and Dean Parrett sealed a 4-2 victory for the hosts.
Saturday 28th February – Carlisle United (H)
Ted Smith was back in goal for the Blues, with Dan Bentley still recovering from his troublesome injury. It had been a season of disappointment for Carlisle, but they'd turned a corner under new boss Keith Curle. A frustrating first half was lit up after the break, when Michael Timlin scored a stunning effort from 25 yards. The shackles were off, and after Carlisle had a penalty shout turned down by referee Trevor Kettle, Barry Corr notched for the third successive game with a volley.
The win against the Cumbrians kept us in fifth place on 57 points – three points off the third automatic promotion place.
What would March bring?...