January was the shortest month during the 2017/18 season in terms of number of games played, but it was by no means an uneventful start to the year for Southend United.
The 12.30pm postponement on the afternoon of the Rochdale game, for a waterlogged pitch, meant Blues were involved in just four games.
However, the dismissal of Phil Brown from his position as manager, the subsequent appointment of Chris Powell and a five-goal thriller provided the storylines in the opening month of 2018.
It all began with a dour 2-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Liam Trotter opened the scoring, following up from Lyle Taylor’s header, and in the second half Tom Soares bundled home to seal the win and condemn Blues to their sixth defeat in seven.
You can watch the goals back below.
That became seven defeats in eight in all competitions five days later when fellow strugglers Northampton Town helped themselves to three points.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side ran-out eventual 3-1 winners, despite Jason Demetriou continued penalty-taking responsibilities which weren’t enough to help Brown’s side to any points.
It was only Northampton’s third win in 11 games, and it spelled trouble for Blues.
Four successive defeats and eight in their last nine left the writing on the wall for Brown, who survived a matter of days after losing 2-1 at home to Fleetwood Town.
Toumani Diagouraga and Paddy Madden were on the scoresheet for the Lancastrians, and Michael Kightly’s deflected effort was only a consolation in front of 6,489 at Roots Hall.
Ricky Duncan and Kevin Maher were placed in temporary charge of Blues for the game away to Rochdale, but they were cruelly denied the chance to manage the team with the game postponed two and a half hours before kick-off.
By the time the Scunthorpe United game came around on 27 January, it was the new Southend boss Chris Powell who was in the dugout. Maher and Duncan assisted the former Blues left-back in an incredible opening game in charge.
It got off to a bad start when Tom Hopper opened the scoring inside 15 minutes, but Kightly and Stephen McLaughlin were on hand to turn the tide.
Kevin van Veen equalised, however, four minutes after McLaughlin’s free-kick in the 56th minute.
There was a fairytale ending, though, when Michael Turner was on hand to force home the winner and provide Powell with the perfect start.
The scenes were wild. In the End of Season Awards, Turner’s goal won Champagne Moment of the Season - for obvious reasons.