On This Day | That victory over Hull

3rd May 2020

James Thomas’ hat-trick helped Swansea City to a 4-2 victory over Hull that preserved their Football League status on May 3, 2003.

This was undoubtedly the Swans’ biggest game in the club’s 91-year history.

Brian Flynn’s side needed three points at Vetch Field on the final day of the 2002-03 season to preserve their Third Division status and avoid relegation from the Football League.

Anything else would mean they would have to depend on results elsewhere.

But the Swans did go into the game outside the bottom two following a crucial 2-1 victory away at Rochdale the previous weekend.

In the most crucial of games, they made a flying start as Thomas converted from the penalty spot after just six minutes.

However, the hosts were pegged back almost immediately as a defensive error allowed Stuart Elliott to equaliser before another saw Martin Reeves put Hull in front.

The Swans rallied and levelled just before half-time with Thomas on target from 12 yards once again.

They built on that momentum after the break with Lenny Johnrose firing them back in front from close range.

And the celebrations could well and truly begin 10 minutes later, when Thomas completed his hat-trick with a delightful long-range chip over the head of Tigers keeper Alan Fettis.

The final whistle sparked scenes of ecstasy and relief at the Vetch, where the Swans could look forward to another season in the Football League.

Five years later, Roberto Martinez’s side were presented with the League One trophy after securing a second promotion since that win over Hull.

Having secured the title two weeks earlier, they said farewell to the third tier with a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on the final day.

Febian Brandy scored what proved to be the winner 12 minutes from time at the Withdean Stadium, where Garry Monk held the trophy aloft soon after the final whistle.