Colchester Utd 3 Stoke City 0: Cureton at double for Colchester

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The Independent Football

Promotion talk is in the air at Layer Road again after two first-half goals from Colchester United's striker Jamie Cureton continued his side's run of home victories, now nine, and ended Stoke City's sequence of over 10 hours without conceding a goal.

The scoreline may suggesta one-sided encounter, but Lee Hendrie, Ricardo Fuller and Darel Russell were all guilty of wastefulness in the final third as Stoke's eight-match unbeaten run came to an end. Their manager Tony Pullis said: "Even when we were two-nil down we created so many chances, but we never forced the goalkeeper to make a save."

Cureton opened the scoring after two minutes with a 20-yard shot, which struck Clint Hill and looped over a helpless Steve Simonson. Mamady Sidibe thought he had equalised for Stoke moments later, but the effort was adjudged offside. Cureton then took advantage of some static defending by Stoke, being the only one to react to a neat Kemal Izzet flick to prod home his 12th of the season.

A delighted Colchester manager Geraint Williams said: "We have 37 points from 23 games and that's all we are looking at. At the end of the season we will see what the League position is then. We have never said survival is enough, all we have said is we will go out to try and win every game we play."

Richard Garcia completed the scoring just after the hour when his header, from a Chris Barker cross, looped over Simonson.

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