The hurt, the pain, the anguish, it is all over for Sunderland. It has been 48 years since they lasted lifted silverware after taking home the 1973 FA Cup.
The honour on this occasion might not have been as prestigious but Black Cats supporters won’t care; they are now EFL Trophy winners.
Gone are the days of Phil Parkinson, Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven. They now have Kyril Louis-Dreyfus at the helm and he already has a trophy to show for his troubles.
Lee Johnson has led a tremendous revival at the Stadium of Light and after lifting the club into the playoff places in League One, he engineered a memorable afternoon at Wembley on Sunday. It finally seems like the club are on the right track.
Lynden Gooch had a quiet first half but ultimately scored the goal that made the difference. He was set free by Aiden McGeady in the second half before stroking the ball home for the only goal of the game.
Rate Scowen’s performance out of 10…
There were a number of heroes in London. Luke O’Nien was given the Man of the Match award while McGeady came up with several important actions.
That being said, with places up for grabs, Josh Scowen did himself no favours.
The 27-year-old played in midfield with Carl Winchester cup-tied but he didn’t exactly prove himself to Johnson that he should be a regular in the XI. A host of players staked their claims, no less Gooch, but unfortunately, Scowen didn’t do the same.
He and Grant Leadbitter were often overrun in the middle of the park with Tranmere enjoying far more of the ball than Sunderland would have liked.
They were pegged back on numerous occasions with Callum McFadzean enduring a particularly tough game against the marauding Otis Khan. The Tranmere right-back was relentless in the final third, completing four dribbles down the right-hand side.
That being said, the defender did prevail in four of his defensive duels. Scowen, on the other hand, was rather lightweight.
He won just 14.2% of his ground and aerial duels during the contest, a measly amount when you consider the position he plays in and the pressure the Black Cats had to withstand.
Scowen failed to make a single tackle while his passing, despite a completion rate of 90%, was far from inspiring.
With Leadbitter back from injury and Winchester beginning to adapt to life in the north-east, Scowen needs to improve.
His performance on the big stage was not good enough and will have told Johnson plenty ahead of the promotion run-in. He missed a chance to make an impression here.
AND in other news, Dreyfus may be on the verge of repeating one of Donald’s biggest SAFC mistakes already…