Derby joy, teenage kicks and cheesy chips on Wembley Way: A-Z of Sunderland's road to Checkatrade final

Sunderland reached the Checkatrade Trophy final having overcome Stoke City, Carlisle United, Morecambe, Notts County, Newcastle United, Manchester City U21s and Bristol Rovers.

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 10:10 am
Updated Saturday, 30th March 2019, 10:18 am
The A to Z of Sunderland's Checkatrade Trophy campaign

Here we take an alphabetical look back over the club’s Checkatrade Trophy campaign.

The 26-year-old centre-back has been a Checkatrade Trophy regular this campaign, playing the six games leading up to the semi-final win, when injury ruled him out.
The 19-year-old made a name for himself with a series of impressive displays in the competition, netting twice in five games including goals against Carlisle United and Newcastle United.
The song has become a fan favourite ever since the League Cup final against Manchester City, and supporters have been singing it loud and proud since the semi-final win at the Memorial Stadium.

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Well, a derby win, of sorts. Sunderlands first team were drawn against Newcastle Uniteds U21s in the third round, the Black Cats running out 4-0 winners. To the relief of Jack Ross and the Sunderland fans in what was a no-win situation.
Its proved a frustrating season for the Sunderland academy graduate. Robson was limited to three Checkatrade Trophy appearances - including a goal against Carlisle - before injury struck.
Sunderland were strong favourites for the Checkatrade Trophy this season from the outset and theyve lived up to their billing, so far. Can they go all the way?
The academy graduate will lead Sunderland out at Wembley after all thanks to his three-game league ban not including Checkatrade grames, thanks to a change in the rules midway through.
Was handed a start against Stoke City U-21s, impressing so much that he then played against Fleetwood, Rochdale and Coventry City before injury struck. Hume is very highly rated at the Academy of Light.
Sunderland have a two-week break in fixtures leading up to the Checkatrade Trophy final after the League One fixture against Fleetwood on March 23 was postponed due to international call-ups.
Has overseen the Checkatrade Trophy this season and led the side to a Wembley final in his first season managing in England. The last time the Scot was at the old Wembley was the England v Scotland Euro 96 game.
Joined the Black Cats on loan in January, but he wont be able to play in the final against Portsmouth as he is cup-tied having played for parent club Spurs against Pompey and Oxford earlier in the season.
It might only be the Checkatrade Trophy but there will be wild scenes of celebration in the stands and back home on Wearside should Sunderland win at Wembley.
Sunderland overcame Manchester Citys second string 2-0 at the Stadium of Light at the quarter-final stage, Duncan Watmore and Lynden Gooch on the scoresheet.
The first series of Sunderland Til I Die, produced by Fulwell73 went down a storm. Filming for the second series is ongoing and a Wembley final is just what the producers would have wanted.
League One is the priority this season but a cup final win at Wembley would be a major achievement for the club given were it was this time last year, in turmoil on and off the pitch.
Promotion rivals Pompey stand in the way of Sunderland lifting the trophy on Mothers Day. The two sides battling on two fronts as we head into the final weeks of the season.
Another fan favourite as the count down to Wembley continues. It may only be the Checkatrade Trophy but the club - and fanbase - have taken the competition seriously. And now have a strong chance of winning it.
The Dutch keeper has made six appearances in the competition this season yet he was dropped for the semi-final win at Bristol Rovers. Ross favouring Jon McLaughlin. Tough on Ruiter, with the Scot set to start the final.
Sunderland were allocated just shy of 40,000 tickets for the final and they were snapped up by supporters in just five-and-a-half days. Incredible support, with the Black Cats averaging more than 30,000 for home league games
A number of Sunderland youngsters have been handed a chance in the trophy this season, including Bali Mumba, 17, and Benjamin Kimpioka, 19.
he involvement of invited U21s sides continues to cause controversy. Sunderland, themselves one of the invited U21 sides last season, beat Man City U21s on their way to the final.
The Checkatrade Trophy, or Football League Trophy, has had a number of sponsors over the years including twice being named after vans; Sherpa Van and LDV Vans.
The national stadium will be a sea of red and white when 40,000 Sunderland supporters head to London later this month. The Echo will be there to capture the scenes of anticipation in the build-up to the final.
The final will go to extra-time and penalties if it remains goalless at the full-time whistle. Games in the earlier rounds that have ended goalless have gone straight to penalties.
The change to competition specific bookings meant Bali Mumba sat out the Manchester City game after picking up two bookings in the earlier rounds.
The collective sound of the Stadium of Light after the competitions opening game against Stoke City, the game ending 0-0. Sunderland winning 4-2 on penalties.