Swanea 4 Hull 2

Saturday, 3 May 2003, 0:00
3 mins read

Home > Story Index >Swansea 4 Hull City 2

You could feel the sense of anticipation and nervousness as you walked to the Vetch today with people expressing mixed emotions and general conversation was that we should never have got ourselves into this situation. All roads leading to Swansea were packed as a mixture of shoppers and football fans headed into the city.
With rain pouring on Swansea it seemed almost appropriate that this was the day that would signal our fate in the football league – no doubt it rained here for our first game as well!!
Swansea took the field to a chorus of noise at just before 3pm and the nerves were kicking in already. A first minute challenge from Burgess on Cutler was quite rightly rewarded with a yellow card for the Hull man and the tone was set for the ninety minutes that was to follow.
It was the dream start for the Swans though as they took the lead on eight minutes. Leon Britton burst into the Hull penalty area and was bought down by the defender as he took him on and the referee, to the delight of 9400 screaming Jacks, pointed to the spot. Thomas cooly stepped up and slotted the penalty home – the nerves had settled just a little.
But less than two minutes later the nerves were back as Lee Jenkins hesitated in his own penalty area allowing Stuart Elliot to get beyond him and fire home past Cutler for the equaliser. By this stage, news had filtered through from Exeter of a 15-minute delay and it looked as if maybe everything was going against us.
Swansea lost their shape a little at this point I thought with too many balls being played into nowhere with little threat on the Hull goal. Indeed it was Hull who scored the next when a second hesitation in the Swansea defence, this time from Mickey Howard, saw Reeves nip in behind him to put the second home and you could almost hear the hearts of those 9400 Jacks collectively dropping at the sight of a Hull second goal.
You really were beginning to feel that this was not to be our day but before half-time we found ourselves level. Britton again had the ball in the Hull area and as he lifted it over the defender it was a hand that deflected it and for the second time we had a penalty. Thomas again stepped up and bought us back to level terms as we entered the interval.
There were now just 45 minutes left to save this season, and with news that Southend had missed an early penalty at Exeter there was still that nagging doubt that this was just not to be our day.
But within three minutes of the re-start we were back ahead. Thomas won a ball swung into the area and as it dropped, Johnrose swung his foot at it and rifled it into the back of the net to really give that belief back that we would stay up. Ten minutes later we had the breathing space that we wanted when Thomas turned the last defender and lobbed the Hull goalkeeper from close on thirty yards to give the Swans a 4-2 lead.
Coates could, and maybe should, have made it five shortly after but all of a sudden people were less occupied with events at Exeter and in realisation that the Swans were more than likely to stay up. Hull seemed to have lost most of their interest at this point and threatened very little while Swansea were content with what they had and also created little.
Three minutes of stoppage time passed in a flash and strangely enough the referee blew for time with a corner just in front of the players tunnel. Something tells me that may have been to ensure that most of the players got off before the predicted crowd invasion of celebration happened.
Britton and Cutler were two unlucky ones who didn’t make it and both were hoisted onto the shoulders of fans minus shirt, and in the case of Britton boots and all.
That was clearly the most nerve wrecking 90 minutes of football I have ever watched and I can safely say that I never want to go through that again in my lifetime. The battle was won, the hard work starts now in rebuilding for next season and ensuring that the first Saturday in May 2004 sees Swansea in a much more favourable league position.
Not a great performance, but one that was needed and full credit to the eleven players used by Flynn today. After two mistakes in the first half it would have been easy to see the heads drop, for a while they did, but they bounced back and they gave us the three points we wanted, and in the end the three points that we needed.
We can now safely say it and know that it is true – THE JACKS ARE STAYING UP!!!!

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