A solid team performance was enough to finally win at Wembley, breaking our 48-year curse. Lynden Gooch’s strike was enough to separate the two teams. Here’s how the lads rated out of ten...
Lee Burge (8/10): Looked really confident and dependable, quick off his line to sweep up any Tranmere balls in behind.
Max Power (7/10): Power’s defensive frailties were exposed, but he worked hard as always and another good captain’s performance.
Tom Flanagan (6/10): Looked like he had a mistake in him but had to come off before half time so it’s unfair to rate him too harshly.
Luke O’Nien (9/10): Unbelievably calm at the back, not putting a foot wrong all game. Considering he’s an attacking midfielder, O’Nien is becoming brilliant at reading the play and stopping opposition strikers.
Callum McFadzean (6/10): Didn’t see a lot of the ball, but kept things tidy and actually looked very focused and solid defensively.
Grant Leadbitter (6/10): Although Grant worked hard and defended well, the quality on the ball just wasn’t there and the experienced midfielder seemed to still be suffering from his shoulder injury.
Josh Scowen (6/10): Ran himself into the ground and kept it simple on the ball.
Lynden Gooch (7/10): Had a very quiet first half but grabbed the only goal of the match. A smart finish that sees Sunderland win our first piece of silverware since 1973.
Chris Maguire (6/10): Looked dangerous in the first half, fading in the second when we defended deeper and deeper. Slowed the game down when we perhaps needed to speed things up and add intensity to the match.
Charlie Wyke (6/10): Held the ball up well but didn’t have a lot of service, looking isolated especially after we took the lead.
Aiden McGeady (7/10): Quick feet as always, providing the killer through ball for Gooch’s winner. McGeady’s experience proved invaluable when working to defend the one goal advantage.
Conor McLaughlin (7/10): Solid at the back, limiting Tranmere’s attackers to half chances.
Jack Diamond (7/10): A good outlet as we looked to hit Tranmere on the counter-attack.