Here's what you had to say after Sunderland AFC sealed a third trip to Wembley in as many seasons

Sunderland fans have shared their delight on-line after the Black Cats secured a place in the final of the Papa John’s Trophy.

Wembley hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Black Cats over the years – Sunderland have failed to win at the national stadium since the famous FA Cup victory against Leeds United in 1973.

And another visit looked in doubt this evening, as Lee Johnson’s side made heavy work of a semi-final visit to the Stadium of Light by Lincoln City, going a goal behind before Charlie Wyke leveled to take the match to penalties.

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Local lad Grant Leadbitter held his nerve from the spot to secure the win and send his hometown club on their way.

Grant Leadbitter scored the decisive penalty to send his boyhood club to WembleyGrant Leadbitter scored the decisive penalty to send his boyhood club to Wembley
Grant Leadbitter scored the decisive penalty to send his boyhood club to Wembley

Sunderland will take on Tranmere Rovers, who secured their place in the final with a 2-0 away win at rivals Oxford United last night, in the big game on Sunday, March 14.

Fans shared their congratulations on the Echo’s Facebook page, tinged with regret that the coronavirus pandemic means there will be no repeat of the astonishing scenes from a couple of years ago when Black Cats fans took over the capital for the Checkatrade Trophy and League One play-off finals.

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Elaine Mansell wrote: “Congratulations. I listened on the radio – it was tentative and nervous at first but the penalties were outstanding. So very happy for you all”, while David Jackson reckoned this was the perfect time to break the Wembley hoo-doo: “48 years, no idea how many finals, surely can't be a better chance to win.”

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How Sunderland battled through a challenging evening to beat Lincoln City on pen...

Jack Reid was pleased with the win but had his eyes on a bigger prize: “Well done and hope they get back to the Championship and even better the Premiership,” he said, while Mark Petrie lamented the fact the Red and White Army would be unable to attend: “It’s written in the stars, we’re going to win at Wembley without the best fans in the world there.”

Carol Graham Cole thought the result was more important than then manner of the win: “As my daughter said, they did it the Sunderland way, not the easy way,” she said, while Mary Pinder put Tyne/Wear rivalry aside, writing: “Well done from a Newcastle fan.”

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Christine Stephen was gutted at missing out on a weekend in the Capital: “Would have been a topper way to spend Mother’s day and my 40th,” she wrote. "Away from my kids with more than 40,000 Sunderland fans.”

David Jackson was also unhappy at the prospect of missing out on seeing his heroes lift their first piece of silverware in decades: “Isn't it just sod’s law?” he wrote “Best ever chance to win since my 18th.”

Lyndsay DelGiudice was hoping for more good news this week, writing: “Just need the takeover announced now!” while Rob Dawson was tipping Sunderland’s man-of-the-moment for greater glory: “Wyke Euros.”

And Joan Boddy had the perfect recipe for the big day: “We'll have to do our own cheesy chips ‘n’ have them on the sofa with a pint.”

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