The January winners of the Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month Award are:
Sky Bet Championship
Gustavo Hamer – COVENTRY CITY v Huddersfield Town – 28th January
Coventry City midfielder Gustavo Hamer is the Sky Bet Championship Goal of the Month winner for January.
Hamer took 10 touches in a run which saw him twist and turn, play a one-two with Viktor Gyokeres, waltz past four Huddersfield defenders and finally curl his shot into the far corner.
Hamer said: “I am buzzing to win the award, of course! It was a great ball from Ben [Wilson], he saw me standing free, and Viktor [Gyokeres] also played his part with a little one-two inside their box.
“It was a team goal that took us from the back to the front. When I got the ball I had to do a little bit of improvisation but I was buzzing to see the ball hit the back of the net.
“I had to contribute more goals this season, it was something that I had to do better than last year. I always want to improve and I am already on five, which is the joint-most I have scored in a single season. It is good that I have been able to contribute more to the team in that way and it is great that I have won an award for one of them.”
Lead Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month judge and Sky Sports Pundit Don Goodman said: “This is a goal which mixes tenacity with real quality, and what impresses me the most is that Hamer has no right to score from where he picks the ball up.
“In total, Hamer has seven Huddersfield defenders and the goalkeeper to beat, and yet he manages to find a way through them with the help of a one-two with Viktor Gyokeres and a calm, calculated finish.”
Hamer beat off competition from Burnley’s Scott Twine, Reading’s Jeff Hendrick & Rotherham United’s Ollie Rathbone.
Sky Bet League One
Max Bird – Cheltenham Town v DERBY COUNTY – 14th January
Derby County midfielder Max Bird is the Sky Bet League One Goal of the Month winner for January.
Striding onto a bouncing clearance 35 yards out, Bird controlled it neatly and had no other thought in his mind than driving it into the top corner with an unerring swish of his left boot.
Bird said: “I’m happy to win the award and it is a nice personal touch. The gaffer has been trying to get me to shoot a bit more and I’ve been practising in training.
“I know I need to get more goals and add them to my game and hopefully more will come for me.”
“It was funny because in the lead-up to the Cheltenham game in training I was blazing efforts over the bar and wide of goal.
“In the game, the ball sat up nicely and I just focussed on hitting it well and not too hard. It was a nice feeling to see it fly in the top corner and, as you will have seen from my celebration, I didn’t know how to react!”
Lead Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month judge and Sky Sports Pundit Don Goodman said: “At first glance, this goal appears to be a run-of-the-mill 30 yard screamer, but when you watch it back a few times, you begin to appreciate the incredible skill that Bird uses to cut across the ball and swerve it away from the keeper and into the top corner.
“In a month of particularly strong candidates in League One, it’s this more than anything which sets Bird’s goal apart. Incredible.”
Bird beat off competition from Sheffield Wednesday’s Will Vaulks, Barnsley’s James Norwood and Bolton Wanderer’s Aaron Morley.
Sky Bet League Two
Theo Archibald – LEYTON ORIENT v Doncaster Rovers – 7th January
Leyton Orient winger Theo Archibald is the Sky Bet League Two Goal of the Month winner for January.
The danger looked to have passed as the ball eventually dropped to Archibald 25 yards out. Not so. His right foot cushioned it before his left immaculately timed a wickedly dipping volley.
Archibald said: “It’s one of those that falls to you quite nicely on the edge of the box – I don’t think too many times in my career I’ll get the chance to loop it over the goalkeeper in that fashion again.
“I’d had a good game up until that point and I think there’s a lot to be said about having the confidence to actually try it, the rest of it is somewhat second nature.”
“We needed a goal and I took a gamble and it obviously paid off quite nicely and we got a much needed three points at that time, which has helped us to get back on track for our aim of promotion.”
Lead Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month judge and Sky Sports Pundit Don Goodman said: “When Doncaster thought they had done enough to clear the ball from danger, Theo Archibald had other ideas.
“Everything he did was perfect, from the adjustment as the ball arrived, the touch on his right thigh, and the incredible technique and execution of the volley with a defender closing him down.
“It’s one of those efforts where if you tried it 1000 times you may only score once…the goal of a lifetime.”
Archibald beat off competition from Salford City’s Conor McAleny, Crewe Alexandra’s Charlie Colkett & Harrogate Town’s George Thomson.