The April winners of the Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month Award are:
Ruben Neves: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Derby County – 11th April
Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is the Sky Bet Championship Goal of the Month winner for March, receiving 64% of the public vote.
A once-in-a-career strike. Derby thought they had cleared the danger, but Neves had other ideas, flicking the ball up and looping a majestic 30-yard volley into the top corner at pace.
Lead Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month judge and Sky Sports Pundit Don Goodman said: “What can you say about this goal that hasn’t already been said? In a month with some extraordinary goals in it, Neves’ strike was a deserved winner, and quite possibly the Goal of the Season, too.
“As Neves has said himself, the first touch is actually behind where he wanted it to be, so the adjustment of his body and footwork to take the strike make the goal even more impressive.”
Neves said: “It was a fantastic goal, my favourite goal, but the most important thing was that we won the game.
“It was a corner for us and if I lose the ball there, it’s dangerous for our team, so I had to take a risk, but fortunately for me, I scored this goal.
“My first touch, the ball went a bit behind me, so I had to adjust my body a little bit to get the touch, but I don’t have too much to say because it was an incredible goal and I’m just happy to help the team.
“When you play, you have your characteristics, and one of mine is shooting from outside of the box. I have to improve, I have to take risks and I look forward to scoring more goals like this.”
Neves beat off competition from Sheffield United’s Lee Evans and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.
Gavin Massey: Fleetwood Town v Wigan Athletic – 21st April
Wigan Athletic striker Gavin Massey is the Sky Bet League One Goal of the Month winner for April, receiving 55% of the public vote.
Not content with a mini scorpion flick to feed the ball neatly into his own path, Massey completed his work of art with an intelligent turn to create space for a crafty low curler.
Lead Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month judge and Sky Sports Pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s easy to think that this goal is all about the delightful flick that brings the ball directly into his path, but even without it, the turn and finish are probably worthy of the Goal of the Month on their own.
“Massey has had an incredible 12-month period, from experiencing relegation out of the EFL with Leyton Orient, to being promoted into the Championship with Wigan, and he’ll be hoping goals like this will put him firmly in Paul Cook’s thinking next season.”
Massey said: “At the time it was a bit of a blur, but I saw it back on the replay afterwards. It was just a big clearance up the pitch and Griggy had a little bit of a mis-control and flicked it into my path.
“It was just instinct, the touch, everyone was probably thinking ‘did I mean it?’, but I meant the touch. How it got into my path is questionable, but I did mean it.
“Everything after that, spinning the defenders and putting it into the far corner, it was a great feeling.”
Massey beat off competition from Fleetwood Town’s Conor McAleny and Rotherham United’s Michael Smith.
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu: Luton Town v Crewe Alexandra – 14th April
Luton Town midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is the Sky Bet League Two Goal of the Month winner for April, receiving 61% of the public vote.
Proof that Mpanzu’s rocket shot was sweetly struck comes from the fact that after 25 yards of arrowing unerringly towards goal, the ball was still rising as the net intercepted it.
Lead Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month judge and Sky Sports Pundit Don Goodman said: “We’ve seen goals like this all season, when the ball drops out from a corner, but I don’t think we’ve seen a cleaner strike to drive the ball back into the top corner.
“The perfect touch set up the strike and Mpanzu’s shot was in from the moment it left his boot.”
Mpanzu said: “It was a great strike, we’ve scored a lot of goals this season so it was great to get on the scoresheet and my first goal of the season wasn’t too bad.
“The corner came out to me, and I just thought, ‘let me compose myself and have a good strike’, so I was delighted to see it go in.
“You might as well try because if you don’t shoot, you don’t score and luckily it was a great strike. Three points is the main thing but to win this award is a great achievement.”
Mpanzu beat off competition from Stevenage’s Danny Newton and Newport County’s Padraig Amond.