Football: Sublime Swansea glide to victory: Welsh pride stirred at Wembley

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The Independent Online
Huddersfield Town. . .1

Swansea City . . . . .1

(aet: Swansea win 3-1 on pens)

SOME poor man's FA Cup final. Chelsea and Manchester United will do well in three weeks' time to provide as much entertainment, drama and sportsmanship as these two sides did yesterday for a 47,733 crowd at the Autoglass Trophy final, won by Swansea on the first visit to Wembley in the Welsh club's 82-year history.

The manner of Huddersfield's defeat made it worse still for those from West Riding old enough to remember the anguish of Preston's penalty winner in the last minute of extra-time in the '38 final. And it was their fourth defeat in four Wembley visits.

But there was more to it than beginner's luck for Swansea, who came strong again in injury-time after having control of the game wrested from them after half-time. The quickest goal in this the 11th of these finals, after seven minutes, served to settle Swansea's nerves. It was a goal which reflected their style - long but impressively accurate - Andy McFarlane, their 6ft 4in central striker, taking the free- kick of Roger Freestone, his keeper, on his chest before slotting home from a tight angle.

With John Cornforth's raking passes picking out the nimble John Bowen at will and Mark Clode, a natural southpaw at left-back, excelling fore and aft the Welsh looked as though they would swan it.

The half-time introduction of Iain Dunn, however, was as positive for Huddersfield as the departure through injury of Clode a short while later was negative for Swansea. Richard Logan's far-post, headed equaliser on the hour to Phil Starbuck's disputed corner had been 15 minutes coming.

After their gargantuan effort, Huddersfield went out like lambs at the climax. Graham Mitchell and Starbuck hitting post and bar before Freestone gathered up Tom Cowan's apologetic kick.

Huddersfield Town (4-4-2): Francis; Billy, Mitchell, Scully, Cowan; Baldry, Robinson, Logan, Bullock (Dunn, h-t); Booth, Starbuck.

Swansea City: (4-3-3): Freestone; Jenkins, Basham, Harris, Clode (Ford, 68); Pascoe, Cornforth, Ampadu; Bowen, McFarlane, Hodge (Torpey, 83).

Referee: J Rushton (Stoke-on-Trent).