Norwich’s City’s in-form loan striker Cody McDonald has scooped League Two’s player-of-the-month award after scoring six goals in seven appearances for play-off chasing Gillingham.

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McDonald’s February haul included a first professional hat-trick of his career in the Gills’ 5-1 league win against Stockport along with a brace to beat Aldershot and the only goal of the game to defeat Northampton at the Priestfield.

McDonald, who also scored twice as Gillingham beat Rotherham 3-1 on Tuesday night, has now plundered 17 goals in 26 appearances for Gillingham since his season long loan switch as part of the deal that took Simeon Jackson to Carrow Road.

Gills’ boss Andy Hessenthaler praised McDonald’s blistering form.

“Cody has been phenomenal for us and, knowing him as I do, I’m sure that he would be the first to praise the team as a whole for his award, especially Bayo Akinfenwa who has been outstanding alongside him,” said Hessenthaler.

“For any individual that award is a fantastic achievement and he thoroughly deserves all the accolades he is getting. Cody looks like he is going to score every time he goes out on the pitch at the moment.

“He has been at Norwich and made a few appearances but this is his first full season in the League. It took him a little while to find his feet and he had a few injuries but it’s all coming to fruition now and he is showing us what a quality striker he is.”

Sixth-placed Gillingham are currently only three points out of the automatic promotions places ahead of this weekend’s trip to Crewe.

McDonald is one of nine City players currently out on loan, with midfielder Stephen Hughes becoming the latest player to move on a temporary basis yesterday, when he joined League One outfit MK Dons for a month. Turn to Page 50 for a full report.

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