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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 May, 2003, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Swansea 4-2 Hull

James Thomas scored a hat-trick
James Thomas saved the Swans
James Thomas scored a priceless hat-trick as Swansea defeated Hull to preserve their League status.

But the result means that fellow strugglers Exeter will be playing Conference football next season.

Thomas drilled home a sixth-minute penalty but the Tigers hit back to take a 2-1 lead thanks to two defensive howlers which led to goals from Stuart Elliot and Martin Reeves.

But Thomas was back on the scoresheet one minute before the interval to make the score 2-2.

The second half opened in sensational fashion as Lenny Johnrose fired home through a crowded goalmouth to restore the hosts' lead.

Local boy Thomas sealed the much-needed victory in the 57th minute when he cleverly lobbed the keeper to complete a deserved hat-trick.

With only one player on the Swansea books with a contract for next season, a drop into the Conference would have meant wholesale changes.

In the event, however, Swansea overcame their nerves, Thomas delivered their goods and they can now look forward to another season in the Football League.


Swansea: Cutler, Jenkins, O'Leary, Tate, Howard, Coates, Britton, Martinez, Johnrose, Nugent, Thomas. Subs: Freestone, Hylton, Jason Smith, Richards, Williams.

Hull: Fettis, Otsemobor, Whittle, Joseph, Smith, Delaney, Melton, Keates, Reeves, Elliott, Burgess. Subs: Musselwhite, Burton, Webb, Anderson, Regan.

Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire)





SWANSEA

HULL


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