A look back on the penultimate month of 2014 - another fantastic November for the Blues.
After a disappointing October, surely things could only get better for Southend United in November – a month where history suggests we do quite well...
Saturday 1st November – Mansfield Town (A)
The first day of the month - and a clean-shaved skipper in John White, who was on day one of his Movember attempt – saw the Blues head north to take on Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.
It was arguably one of the best performances from the Blues, and we took the lead through a thunderous Ryan Leonard strike from the edge of the box after a neat 'training ground' corner routine, started by Michael Timlin.
Sascha Studer kept the Stags in the game with a couple of first half saves, but he couldn't deny David Worrall from adding to our tally with a great volley.
A mistake allowed Ollie Palmer to pull one back for the hosts but Blues held on to take the three points.
Saturday 8th November – Chester (H) (FAC)
The start of a possible FA Cup run gave us hopes and dreams, as Chester came to Roots Hall in the first round of the competition.
The visitors were a couple of divisions below the Blues, but started well, with Ben Heneghan giving them the lead after only five minutes.
But Blues responded well and were awarded a penalty when John White was taken down by John Rooney – brother of Wayne. Barry Corr stepped up to slot home and even the scores.
However, Chester got themselves back into the lead after half time when Craig Mahon weaved past a couple of defenders before lashing into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Despite having an additional eight minutes of added time, Blues couldn't find a way past a resolute Chester back line.
Saturday 15th November – Hartlepool United (H)
Hartlepool United were bottom of the table when they came to Roots Hall to take on a Blues side who were looking to shake off the FA Cup defeat to Chester a week earlier.
Pools' 'keeper Scott Flinders was in fine form and stopped the likes of Barry Corr and Michael Timlin giving the Blues the lead in the first half.
After the break Blues upped the ante and eventually found a way through thanks to David Worrall. The winger danced past a couple of Hartlepool defenders and found a way into the box before tucking the ball under Flinders to give Southend a 1-0 win.
Saturday 22nd November – Tranmere Rovers (A)
Back on the road again, Southend made for the Wirrall aiming to continue their good form in the league.
Tranmere were in a relegation battle themselves and Blues got off to the perfect start, with Jack Payne scoring from close range on 16 minutes.
Moments later and Phil Brown's side grabbed a second goal after Will Aimson deflected a David Worrall cross into his own net. It was definitely an OG, despite the Blues man attempting to claim it!
After the break Tranmere came out with nothing to lose and were awarded a penalty when Cian Bolger fouled Shamir Fenelon. Max Power stepped up and dinked the ball down the middle to reduce the arrears for the home side, but Blues defended resolutely to register their third consecutive win in the league.
The three points hauled Southend up to fifth place in the division, three points of Luton Town in third place.
Saturday 29th November – Northampton Town (H)
So the final game of the month was back at Roots Hall and Southend had a chance to turn a great month into a perfect one – if they could pick up the three points against Northampton Town.
John-Joe O'Toole joined the Blues a couple of days before the fixture – ironically from Northampton – and made his debut against his parent club. He came close to giving us the lead with a volley that was parried away early on.
Southend were knocking on the door, and Jack Payne missed a chance from close range in the first half.
However, after the break Southend did take the lead – and in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. Myles Weston's cross looked comfortable for Jordan Archer, but the Cobblers' 'keeper mis-judged it, the ball bounced to Barry Corr, who rounded Archer and was brought down in the box.
Blues had a penalty, Archer was sent off and Corr stepped up to calmly fire home and give Phil Brown's team the lead.
Blues added a second with 11 minutes to go when David Worrall turned home from close range to seal conclude a fantastic month for the Club.
Worrall's form and the team's performances led to the midfielder winning the Player of the Month award, whilst Phil Brown earned the Manager of the Month gong.
So a great penultimate month of the year sets us up nicely for a busy December schedule for Southend...