Goal of the Year
Hudson, Powell, Byram, Wright and Cox in line for top award
Last Updated: 21/03/13 4:22pm
Mark Hudson: Found the target from inside his own half
There were some spectacular goals scored in 2012, but which strike was the pick of the bunch?
The Football League awards will honour the great and good on Sunday evening, with a gala ceremony at The Brewery in London set to acknowledge the efforts of those who have excelled in 2012/13.
Competition for the top gongs is as fierce as ever, with so many players having caught the eye.
There can, however, be only five contenders for the coveted Goal of the Year award, with it requiring something extra special to make a keenly-contested shortlist.
Mark Hudson - Cardiff City (v Derby County)
Centre-halves are hardly renowned for their ability to find the target, never mind their ability to hit the back of the net from inside their own half. That, though, is precisely what Hudson did during Cardiff's home date with Derby on 17th April. Rams keeper Frank Fielding thought he had done enough to clear his lines when hammering long down field. The ball dropped to Hudson, though, and after taking a couple of touches to steady himself, he returned it with interest - with a looping effort leaving Fielding back-peddling frantically before collapsing in a heap in the back of his own goal.
Nick Powell - Crewe Alexandra (v Cheltenham Town)
Powell had already earned himself a move to Manchester United by the time Crewe faced Cheltenham in the League Two play-off final on 27th May. He could afford to relax knowing he was on his way to the Premier League, but the highly-rated midfielder proceeded to provide one final moment of magic for the Crewe supporters to savour. Powell collected a pass 25 yards out with his back to goal, but spun to face the target with one sublime touch. As the ball sat up in front of him, he sent a dipping left-footed volley arching into the top corner.
Sam Byram - Leeds United (v Oxford United)
Byram had made just four senior appearances for Leeds before opening his goal account for the club. The 19-year-old full-back is considered to be a Premier League star of the future, and he showed why he is held in such high regard during a Capital One Cup clash with Oxford on 28th August. The youngster, unfazed by having been thrust into the spotlight, spun past one challenge on the edge of the box, touched the ball around another defender as he came out to meet him and produced the most delicate of finishes to loop the ball over Ryan Clarke.
Josh Wright - Millwall (v Burnley)
Grabbing your first goal for a new employer is always a special occasion, even more so when you almost take the net away from the goal frame with a stunning volley from 30 yards out. Wright announced himself to the Millwall faithful in some style on 25th February at Turf Moor. As a free-kick was swung over from the left, Wright hung back ready to challenge for the second ball should it drop his way. Sure enough, a headed clearance arched in his direction and he hammered an unstoppable effort past stunned Burnley keeper Lee Grant.
Simon Cox - Nottingham Forest (v Birmingham City)
A fine Autumn afternoon at the City Ground on 15th September was illuminated by a display of expert finishing from Nottingham Forest's summer signing Cox. The Reds trailed 2-0 at the time and needed to find inspiration from somewhere. Cox provided it as he peeled away from his marker and waited for a floated pass from Lewis McGugan to arrive at his feet. With the ball travelling into the penalty area, he had little time and space with which to work. That mattered not to the Republic of Ireland international as one deft touch to bring the ball under his spell allowed him to lob a controlled volley over the head of the onrushing Jack Butland.