Jamie Cureton glad to put barren run behind him with weekend brace
For a man who lives for scoring goals, the past couple of months have been hugely frustrating for Jamie Cureton. But a brace in Exeter City's 3-0 win at Morecambe last Saturday has put the smile firmly back on the Bristolian's face.
It was the first time the veteran goal poacher had scored since he netted a consolation penalty in the 3-1 defeat to Oxford United on Boxing Day.
The 37-year-old's last goals from open play came at Gillingham in November, but despite that barren run he remains npower League Two's second top goalscorer, with his weekend double taking his tally to 18 for the season so far.
"It seems ages since I played, to be honest. Obviously, with the suspension I had and the games being off, the suspension seemed to go on and on and it was nearly five weeks before I played," said Cureton, who is seven behind Port Vale's Tom Pope at the top of the scoring charts.
"I felt a bit rusty in last week's game and had to get used to being on the pitch again, but I felt back to it at Morecambe and it is nice that I can get back playing. I wanted to do that after my suspension and get back to the form I was in, and I played like I had all season on Saturday.
"It's nice to get off the 16 goals because, again, I feel like I have been on that for a while, but anything I can do to help us win is great because that is the main thing."
The next target for Cureton, though, is to hit the 20-goal mark. "It's something I felt I could get to and, with the start I had, I felt I could get to it quite quickly," said Cureton, whose first 15 goals came in just 21 games. "I should be on it already, really, without the suspension.
"But I am two away from it and my aim is to get to it and go beyond it, but the most important thing is the team wins and, if I am in the team, then hopefully I am scoring the goals that help us win."
Saturday's 3-0 win went some way to avenging defeat by the same scoreline to the Shrimpers on the opening day of the season at St James' Park. It also lifted the mood after the disappointment of losing the Devon derby to Torquay United and a 0-0 stalemate with Aldershot Town in the Grecians' two games prior to Morecambe.
"It was a massive win. It is great that I scored, but the main thing is that we won," Cureton said.
"Our home form has been a bit up and down, but, away from home, it seems to suit us and we have produced a typical away performance ourselves.
"Morecambe are a tough side, we had to withstand a lot of pressure, but we have come away with a 3-0 win, so we are really pleased."
Exeter's contrasting home and away form is one of the season's strange anomalies, but Cureton does have a theory of his own which holds some substance.
"It's strange because we don't set up any different," said Cureton. "We play the same formation, but the game is different because the home side is more inclined to attack and that suits us and we can break on teams more.
"We don't seem able to turn that round at home, but away from home, for some reason, it has gone that way and it has been like it since the start of the season.
"Hopefully we can keep it [the away form] going this way and we need to start turning that home form into wins as well."
Saturday's success created a new club record of ten wins away from home in a single season. Cureton added: "I didn't know, but the manager mentioned it after the game.
"It's a big thing, but it means nothing if we don't achieve what we want to achieve and that is getting out of this division.
"We can talk about it and reflect on it at the end of the season. It would be a shame if we end up with a record of winning away from home and end up staying in the division. We don't want that," Cureton concluded.