The brilliant story of the day as Sunderland finally win at Wembley - as Lynden Gooch's strike downs Tranmere Rovers

Sunderland have finally won at Wembley – after beating Tranmere Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy final.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 7:18 pm

The Black Cats hadn’t won at Wembley since 1973 but ended that long wait today after beating League Two Tranmere Rovers.

Lee Johnson’s side entered the game in a rich vein of form and are now unbeaten in nine games in all competitions.

And Sunderland were bolstered by the return of some key players from injury, although were without the likes of Dion Sanderson and Carl Winchester who were cup-tied and are were left sweating on Aiden O’Brien and Jordan Jones.

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The story of the day as Sunderland win at Wembley

But in Tranmere they faced another in-form side and one who possess a number of talented individuals. Indeed, Keith Hill’s side have already sprung some shocks in the Papa John’s Trophy this term were targeting another at Wembley.

Our team were at the national stadium to bring you comprehensive coverage of the game throughout the day as Sunderland target a trophy.

FT: Sunderland AFC 1-0 Tranmere Rovers (Gooch 58)

Last updated: Sunday, 14 March, 2021, 15:16

  • Sunderland face Tranmere Rovers in the final of the Papa John’s Trophy (kick-off 3pm).
  • The Black Cats are looking to win at Wembley for the first time since 1973 and end their long-running hoodoo at the national stadium.
  • Lee Johnson is sweating on the fitness Jordan Jones and Aiden O’Brien, but could welcome back Grant Leadbitter and Conor McLaughlin.
  • SAFC XI: Burge, Power, O’Nien, Flanagan, McFadzean, Scowen, Leadbitter, Gooch, McGeady, Maguire, Wyke

What’s the latest Sunderland and Tranmere Rovers team news?

Here’s how the squads are shaping-up ahead of Wembley...


The Black Cats are sweating on the fitness of Aiden O’Brien and Jordan Jones, both of whom were set to undergo late fitness tests on Saturday to see if they could feature at Wembley.

Lee Johnson is already without the likes of Bailey Wright, Denver Hume, Jordan Willis, Arbenit Xhemajli and Ross Stewart for the big game - but could welcome back Grant Leadbitter and Conor McLaughlin.

The pair have travelled to London having trained this week and could be invovled.

Dion Sanderson, Carl Winchester and Jake Vokins will all miss out as they are cup-tied.


Tranmere will be without their top scorer in James Vaughan, who had an operation this week and will miss the final.

Keith Hill also won’t be able to call upon Otis Khan and Sid Nelson for the game.

Our team are in place at Wembley!


And here’s how Sunderland line-up at Wembley: Burge; Power, Flanagan, O’Nien, McFadzean; Leadbitter, Scowen, McGeady, Maguire; Gooch, Wyke

And on the bench: Matthews, McLaughlin, Kimpioka, Diamond, Neil, Stewart, Younger

So that’s four changes from the win at Portsmouth - as Flanagan, Leadbiter, Gooch and Maguire replace Jones, O’Brien, Sanderson and Winchester.

On the bench, meanwhile, there’s a place for January signing Ross Stewart!

What a story this is!

Jordan Jones says he is ‘gutted beyond words’

Half an hour to go...

And Sunderland are being put through their paces ahead of kick-off.

They’re decked out in a new-look training kit which, I must say, looks very smart.

The Black Cats are warming-up in the same end in which they did for the last two Wembley finals. Third time lucky?

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Sunderland’s unavailable players are all here

Great to see the spirit in the team.

Even though they can’t play, the likes of Dion Sanderson and Aiden O’Brien are here today.

Meanwhile, on the field, Josh Hawkes and Anthony Patterson are both warming-up despite not being involved in the match day squad. A great experience for them!

Not long to go now...

How are the nerves holding-up, Sunderland fans?

Judging by the warm-up, it’s going to be Flanagan as the right-sided centre back with O’Nien on the left.

Maguire, meanwhile, looks like he’ll be playing behind Wyke with Gooch and McGeady out wide.

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