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REVIEW | February

A look back at the seventh month of the season

23 June 2017

The Reds played seven matches in the second month of 2017.

February began at home to Stevenage – where James Collins’ penalty put the side ahead during the first half. But Matt Godden’s double late on meant the visitors came away with the victory – that win was the second of a nine game unbeaten run that saw Darren Sarll’s men challenge for the play-off positions.

Three days later the Reds drew 0-0 away to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road before travelling to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town on the Saturday.

A competitive affair in Bedfordshire ended in defeat, but Collins opened the scoring for the second time in a week when he stylishly finished from the edge of the area after Jimmy Smith’s cutback.

But Danny Hylton’s double within six minutes turned the game around and gave Nathan Jones’ men the three points.

Jimmy Smith’s first ever senior hat-trick followed in midweek as the Reds triumphed 3-2 away to Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium – Denny Johnstone had put the U’s ahead before the Reds’ captain fired a perfect treble.

Ben Dickenson’s late-free kick was in vain for the hosts as the Reds picked up their first win of the month.

A disappointing defeat at home to Morecambe followed – and the Reds found themselves 3-0 down at half time.  Goals from Rhys Turner and Paul Mullin’s double meant Jim Bentley’s men were comfortably ahead at the break.

Collins’ second half penalty – his second spot-kick and third goal of the month, proved no more than a consolation.

Seven days later the side made it successive away victories with a 2-1 success over Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park. Adebayo Akinfenwa put the home side ahead before Joe McNerney’s near post header from Dean Cox’s corner got the Reds back on level terms.

The game looked to be set to end all square, before substitute Josh Payne stepped off the bench to curl in a superb free-kick off the underside of the crossbar to give the away side a vital win.

The month ended with a 2-1 home defeat to Exeter City at the Checkatrade Stadium. Ollie Watkins and Jordan Moore-Taylor put the Grecians two goals ahead before Mark Connolly’s last minute header halved the deficit.


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