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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 21:09 GMT 22:09 UK
Swansea 2-3 Wolves
Wolves' Ludovic Pollet (centre) wheels away after making it 2-2 against Swansea
Ludovic Pollet scores Wolves' second goal at the Vetch

A thunderbolt goal from Alex Rae proved decisive as Wolves came through a tough examination to win their Worthington Cup tie against Swansea.

The First Division side twice came from behind, with Nathan Blake and Ludovic Pollet cancelling out goals from Jason Thomas and Jamie Wood in a barnstorming first half.

There were more chances after the break but it took something special from Rae, 12 minutes from the end, for Wolves to see off their Division Three opponents.

Rae picked up a short corner on the left, before lashing a thunderbolt that Swans keeper Roger Freestone and a defender on the goalline could do little to stop.

Wolves nearly opened the scoring in the opening minute when Dean Sturridge latched onto a Paul Ince through-ball.

Jamie Wood celebrates after scoring Swansea's second goal against Wolves
Jamie Wood briefly put Swansea 2-1 ahead

But veteran keeper Freestone was equal to the weak shot from the former Derby and Leicester frontman.

Sturridge had another chance moments later but Kris O'Leary managed to block the goalbound shot.

Swansea player-coach Nick Cusack also had an early chance but his header was inches too high of Michael Oakes' goal.

It was Swansea who broke the deadlock after eight minutes when Thomas, returning from a three-match injury absence, curled home a 25-yard free kick.

It took Wolves just six minutes to draw level, however, when Rae whipped in a dipping cross for Blake to loop a header over the Swans keeper to make it 1-1.

It was a particularly painful equaliser for the Vetch faithful as it came courtesy of Wales striker Blake, once a player with arch-rivals Cardiff City.

Swansea retook the lead after 22 minutes through Wood, when the ex-Manchester United youngster tapped home from close range after Cusack had laid the ball back to him.

Swansea's Jamie Wood challenges Wolves keeper Michael Oakes
Wolves had to soak up determined pressure

Pollett's blunder had allowed Cusack to win the ball but the Wolves player made amends with just over half an hour on the clock, scrambling the ball home to make it 2-2.

After the break Wolves almost took the lead but Freestone saved superbly from Shaun Newton's strike.

It was a full-blooded cup tie and on the hour a late tackle from Newton on Paul Reid led to a mini fracas between the two sides, quickly quelled by the referee.

Blake almost grabbed his second goal only to see his 18-yard drive fly wide of Freestone's post, and later the striker saw a goal-bound effort well saved by Freestone.

But with 12 minutes remaining the Swansea defence went to sleep and allowed Rae time and space to smash home and send Wolves into the second round.


Swansea: Freestone, Jenkins, O'Leary, Evans, Howard, Reid, Moss, Phillips, Wood, Thomas, Cusack. Subs: Theobald, Marsh, Keaveny, Williams, Lacey.

Wolverhampton: Oakes, Irwin, Naylor, Pollet, Butler, Ingimarsson, Rae, Ince, Newton, Blake, Sturridge. Subs: Murray, Edworthy, Miller, Proudlock, Cooper.

Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire).

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Swansea goalkeeper Roger Freestone
"We're disappointed not to win the game"

Wednesday's games

First round - Tuesday
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