A look back on the month of January for the Blues last season.
After a bit of a disappointing December, how would Blues cope with a gruelling January schedule?...
Saturday 3rd January – Northampton Town (A)
A trip to Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium was going to be a stern test for the Blues for the first game of 2015. Both sides had their chances in the game, with ex-Blue Ryan Cresswell hammering the crossbar for the hosts with a header before Ben Coker's free kick hit one post and rolled along the line before being cleared. After the break Blues grabbed the lead when Shaq Coulthirst's scrambled effort was adjudged to have crossed the line. However, the Cobblers battled back late on and equalised when Lawson D'Ath's header found the bottom corner of the net to earn a point apiece.
Saturday 10th January – Plymouth Argyle (H)
Back at home a week later to Plymouth would be another difficult match. Joe Pigott arrived on loan from Charlton Athletic on the morning of the game and he was thrown straight into the starting XI for our 'Game to Remember' against Argyle. Unfortunatley neither side could find a breakthrough the the game finished as it started.
Saturday 17th January – Oxford United (A)
The tricky games were coming thick and fast and in mid-January, we made the trip to Oxford United' three-sided Kassam Stadium. Things didn't start well for the Blues when Callum O'Dowda raced through to score with a low finish, but Blues responded through David Worrall's excellent header from Ben Coker's cross. Gary Deegan was sent off just before the break for a challenge on Michael Collins and moments later Oxford regained the lead through Sam Long After half time Blues came again, and Joe Pigott equalised with a diving header, nodding home another Coker cross. The the battling Blues earned a deserved winner with eight minutes left when Barry Corr tucked home a low cross from that man Coker to register the three points for Southend. That win took us to 44 points and kept us in sixth place in the league.
Saturday 24th January – Portsmouth (A)
On the road again a week later, Blues were down on the south coast to take on Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Over 15,000 were crammed into the ground, with more than 1,000 of those vociferous Southend United supporters. The hosts took the lead through Adam Webster's header at the back post after 24 minutes, however, Blues battled back and levelled the scores five minutes later through Ryan Leonard's close range finish – off his thigh! And with 20 minutes left, Joe Pigott made it two in two by scoring what proved to be the winner for a dominant Southend.
Saturday 31st January – York City (H)
Back at Roots Hall on the last day in January, Russ Wilcox brought his York City side to Essex aiming to pick up what could have been a crucial three points for the Minstermen. Luke Summerfield forced Dan Bentley into a splendid save in the first half in a game of few chances. It looked as if it would be another 0-0 draw for the Blues at home, but after being awarded a penalty, Blues were rewarded with a couple of minutes left when Shaq Coulthirst drove the spot kick home to earn a vital win for Phil Brown's side.
So not a bad opening month of 2015 for the Blues, who went through January unbeaten and dropping just four points in total against some tough opposition at tricky places to go. Could we carry on this good form in February though?...