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Hartlepool 2 Swansea 2
Hartlepool 2 Swansea 2
Sunday, 18th Sep 2005 00:00

Trundle's Double Tonic Keeps Swans Top

LEE TRUNDLE prevented another Hartlepool horror show as his two-goal salvo kept Swansea City top of League One.

The high-flying Swans had taken the quick route for the 350-mile trip to the north-east by letting the plane take the strain on Friday afternoon.

But Swansea were in danger of being grounded by their robust Hartlepool hosts until Trundle netted for the sixth successive game, striking twice in the space of four second-half minutes.

Trundle's double - one a downward header and the other a follow-up after his penalty had been saved - wiped out the half-time deficit and, even though Antony Sweeney grabbed a point for 'Pool, there was understandable relief in the Swansea camp.

"I'm satisfied with a point the way the game went," reflected Swans' boss Kenny Jackett after his side had withstood a pounding from Hartlepool's aerial approach.

"At 2-1 ahead we were all hopeful of the three points. But collectively we weren't at our best, so I'm pleased to be going home with a point."

Swansea stay in pole position because of results elsewhere but Jackett knows his players must show more than they did here if they are not to be remembered just as early-season pace-setters.

Jackett kept faith with the team which beat MK Dons 3-1 in midweek for Swansea to claim top spot in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1992.

The early action was scrappy and the visitors were grateful for the presence of Garry Monk who was prominent in dealing with searching long balls directed towards the Swansea back four.

Hartlepool demanded a ninth-minute penalty when Izzy Iriekpen handled Michael Nelson's shot but referee Tony Leake deemed the contact accidental.

The Swans suffered a blow when Paul Connor limped out of the action after 16 minutes and 'Pool were soon ahead when Roberto Martinez fouled Thomas Butler 25 yards out. Though Ritchie Humphreys struck the free-kick well, Willy Gueret appeared to have it covered but the Frenchman could only palm the ball inside the near post.

Having been out-muscled in the opening half-hour, Swansea eventually found some rhythm and Trundle turned smartly before sending a tame shot at Greek keeper Dimi Konstantopolous.

There was another scare for Swansea on the stroke of half-time when Mark Tinkler's 20-yard shot shaved Gueret's post.

Hartlepool were made to pay in dramatic fashion when Trundle spun the contest on its head after 56 minutes.

First Alan Tate galloped into space down the right and his cross found substitute Lee Thorpe at the far post. The ball fell invitingly to Andy Robinson who swivelled and his looping centre was met by the predatory Trundle.

The small band of Swans fans were celebrating again when Kevin McLeod's firm header allowed Trundle to turn Neill Collins in the box and the Scouse striker was crudely upended.

Konstantopoulos guessed correctly to his left but Trundle followed up his spot-kick smartly and prodded the ball home with his right foot.

But Swansea hopes of a fifth straight win were ruined when Michael Maidens whipped in a cross from the right and Sweeney planted a super header inside Gueret's right-hand post.

REPORT: WALES ON SUNDAY

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