Matt's magical memories
Oldham Athletic's Matt Smith and AFC Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe have been named by Football League sponsors npower as the League One player and manager of the month for April.
Striker Smith only played in five of his side’s eight games in April but what a contribution he made, scoring the only goal in the victories over Bury and Yeovil Town, and then a thunderous opener in the win over Crawley Town which secured Latics' safety.
Though they may be disappointed to have missed out on the npower League One title, Howe's men had another month to remember, winning four and drawing just the once to ensure a near perfect finish to the season. Like Brian Flynn and Doncaster Rovers, Bournemouth can now look forward to playing in the Championship next year.
The two awards are determined by two separate expert panels. The manager-of-the-month award is decided by former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson, League Managers Association Deputy CEO Olaf Dixon and npower Partnership and Sponsorship Manager Katy Thomas. The player-of-the-month panel sees Katy Thomas joined by Wolves legend Don Goodman, BBC Sport’s Mark Clemmit and The Football League’s Head of Communications, John Nagle.
Speaking about Howe's win, Curbishley commented: “Eddie Howe made a fantastic impact following his appointment at Bournemouth and his team's form in April was a vital ingredient which ensured they will now be playing Championship football next season.”
npower Partnership and Sponsorship Manager Katy Thomas added:
"As for Matt Smith, his goals were crucial in ensuring Oldham avoided the drop and with so many winning goals scored, his contribution cannot be understated."
“It was clearly a great month for both winners. Eddie Howe has been an absolute revelation in his return to the south coast and this final month really showed why the Cherries deserve to be playing Championship football next season.
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As Smith is on holiday in Los Angeles, Latics' manager Lee Johnson is pictured receiving his award.
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