Cureton double puts Royals in top quartet

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The Independent Online

Jamie Cureton scored Reading's goals in the 2-0 win over Port Vale at Vale Park as the Royals' defence, which has yet to concede a league goal this season, again held firm. Alan Pardew's side went level on 10 points with three other sides at the top of the Nationwide Second Division.

One of those sides, Colchester United, found their encouraging start to the season foundering on the rock known as Neil Ruddock. He scored the only goal of the game for Swindon Town to end Colchester's unbeaten run. The much-travelled centre-back, now at his seventh club and playing again for his former manager at Liverpool, Roy Evans, made the decisive strike in the 53rd minute.

Elsewhere in the Second Division, Peterborough picked up their first win of the season when Leon McKenzie scored the only goal of their match at Chesterfield. But still no win for Cambridge or Bournemouth who drew 2-2 at the Abbey Stadium.

In the Third Division, Rochdale, the unbeaten leaders, opened up a three-point gap after a 2-1 win at Carlisle. Two goals in as many minutes early in the first half from Michael Oliver and Clive Platt had the Lancashire side on cruise control until a late reply from Jonathan Allan.

The five closest pursuers all drew. Luton Town (second) slipped up at bottom of the table Exeter City. Steve Flack put the Devonians ahead but Matthew Taylor soon levelled. The Hatters were under pressure again in the 46th minute when Paul Hughes' second yellow card reduced them to 10 men. Seven minutes later Taylor's second put Luton ahead again but a Russell Perrett own goal handed Exeter a 2-2 draw.

Darlington (third) drew 1-1 with Lincoln City at Sincil Bank and fourth-placed Bristol Rovers were held to a goalless draw at home by Shrewsbury, who are fifth while Mansfield (sixth) drew 1-1 at Kidderminster. York City, 1-0 winners over Halifax, move up to seventh.

The most eventful match for goals came at Macclesfield where the hosts trailed visitors Scunthorpe 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 before Lee Glover's second goal of the game gave them a third equaliser. A second goal by Richard Tracey made it 4-3 for Macclesfield.

Leyton Orient won 2-1 at Southend despite the sending off of David McGee when the scores were level with 24 minutes left. Dean Smith got the O's winner. Cheltenham and Torquay drew 2-2.

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