Accrington Stanley striker Shay McCartan has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for March.
A haul of six goals in seven games only tells half the story for the mercurial striker, who staged his own personal free-kick competition with stunning efforts against Barnet, Exeter, Morecambe and Grimsby, all of which earned his side points.
McCartan said: “I am delighted, it’s nice to get noticed with an award. I have got the accolades for scoring the goals but it’s a team effort as the defence has kept clean sheets while the midfielders and the wingers have also been excellent.
“To go 12 games unbeaten is a great feat and we will just see where it takes us.
“For me, the free kicks are now going in. At the start of the season, they were going over the crossbar but I have been practicing hard and now have scored five free kicks out of my nine goals this season. It’s all about confidence and belief and the gaffer has believed in me to keep taking them.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “McCartan was the top goalscorer in all four leagues in March, goals which drove Accrington up the league.
“His technique from free kicks rivals the very best on offer anywhere at the moment, and opposition goalkeepers and defenders must fear the worst when they see him lining up.
“There have been many players at all levels of football all over the world that have scored wonderful free kicks but surely at professional level, no one has scored four in the same month as McCartan did in March?”
Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery said: “Scoring from a direct free kick is a thing of beauty, and in a month where Accrington dazzled their fans it was McCartan with four special set pieces that really stole the show.
“He added another two to his tally, making it six in a busy month of seven games for his side. That he featured in all seven games speaks volumes about McCartan’s importance to John Coleman, who has seen his side rally late in the season.
“Free scoring Stanley are 14/1 to make the League Two Play-Offs and McCartan’s goal scoring form will be key to continuing their rise up the table.”
The judging panel for the Sky Bet Player of the Month comprises Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Football Trading Manager Paul Lowery.