Sunderland set up a Wembley date with Tranmere Rovers yesterday, beating Lincoln City 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Lee Johnson put out a strong side against the Imps, with Charlie Wyke and Aiden McGeady both starting, but it was the visitors who had the better chances in a tepid and dour first half. Both teams played some nice football but offered little in terms of penetration and clear-cut chances.
After the break, Lincoln started strongly, getting the game’s first shot on target on 46 minutes. The Imps broke the deadlock on 64 minutes, substitute Cohen Bramall setting up Conor McGrandles who fired at Lee Burge. The Black Cats’ stopper could only parry the effort to Anthony Scully, who netted from close range.
After that, it was all one-way traffic, with Sunderland having several chances to score before McGeady and Wyke combined to level on 73 minutes. Wyke had earlier seen a lovely downward header clawed over the bar by Imps’ keeper Alex Palmer, but the in-form striker wasn’t to be denied after an impressive second half.
Despite two further McGeady efforts, the game went to penalties, with only Remy Howarth fluffing his lines for the Imps. The Imps took defeat graciously, putting a tweet out on their official site wishing Johnson’s side good luck in the final.
We regroup and go again on Saturday 👊
— Lincoln City FC (@LincolnCity_FC) February 17, 2021
That has drawn plenty of Wearsdiers to social media to similarly praise their rivals, who currently lead Hull City by a point at the top of the division. It seems that if Sunderland were to get to the Championship this season, then many of their fans would be delighted if it were the Imps who joined them, as you’ll see from the messages below.
Have you tried our Sunderland quiz?
There is no shame in losing to us, it was a semi final but you are top of the league and hopefully you lot get championship football next season
— rhigxdrhh (@rhigxdrhh) February 17, 2021
Two sides very evenly matched. All went down to a lottery. Great club with great supporters having an outstanding season.
Let’s hope we can both celebrate promotion come the end of the season 🤩 #SAFC
— Speak Sunderland 🇫🇷 (@SpeakSAFC) February 17, 2021
Classy response by a classy club with the best fans in the country, apart from ours of course. I wish our fans created as much atmosphere at games as your fans do. Good luck for the rest of the season, hopefully we will both go up to the Championship at the expense of Portsmouth.
— Gaz K (@gazk_mackem) February 17, 2021
Nothing between the two sides tonight. Very fine margins that we've been on the wrong side of many times. Good luck for the rest of the season.
— Peter Beuster (@PeterBeuster) February 17, 2021
Good Luck for the rest of the season, Imps! Great club and great supporters 🤝
— JC95 (@Collings1995) February 17, 2021
Well done lincoln…good game…great spotsmanship…
— John (@John67684101) February 17, 2021
A VERY hardworking team and a manager I really admire and respect. Sorry if was not meant to be for you guys but based on what I saw tonight your going to take some catching. All the best Lincoln City FC 👍
— COLIN LYNCH (@COLINDLYNCH) February 17, 2021
Very classy from the Lincoln twitter team. Getting a little soft spot for them
— Kiel Tulloch (@KielTulloch) February 18, 2021
Quality tweet from quality club. Hopefully get to visit next season but we need to get our fingers out to join u in the championship. Good luck. 👍
— Peter Clewes (@PeterClewes2) February 17, 2021