'Gutted' George Honeyman's reaction after Wembley defeat and message to Sunderland players and fans

George Honeyman says Sunderland must use their Wembley misery as a spur to gain promotion from League One.

By Ross Gregory
Sunday, 31 March, 2019, 17:41

The Black Cats suffered Checkatrade Trophy heartache after a penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Portsmouth.

HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED: The story of the Checkatrade Trophy finalSunderland seemed to be cruising towards silverware after dominating the first half, with Aiden McGeady's stunning free-kick the reward for their efforts.

Lee Cattermole and George Honeyman.

However, Portsmouth were the stronger team after the break and Nathan Thompson ensured extra time after a late headed equaliser.

When Jamaal Lowe lobbed Jon Mclaughlin six minutes from the end, Portsmouth looked to be on their way to lifting the trophy, only for McGeady to slot home a dramatic equaliser and send the game to spot kicks.

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However, Lee Cattermole's effort was saved by the Pompey goalkeeper to ensure it was the blue half of the 85,000-strong crowd that were celebrating after a 5-4 win on penalties.

Honeyman paid tribute to the Sunderland fans who had taken over London for the weekend and said the Black Cats must now make sure they secure promotion back to the Championship.

He told BBC Newcastle: "To be captain of this club on a day like this, and see all those fans, it will live with me forever.

"I'm gutted not to lift a trophy but we have got to use it now to get out of the league."

Sunderland are six points behind second-placed Barnsley with three games in hand, starting against Accrington Stanley on Wednesday.