The Black Cats faced an uphill battle having come away empty handed from the first leg in Lincoln, but the former Premier League side refused to go down without a fight.

Just short of 10,000 Sunderland supporters were back at the Stadium of Light, and they certainly made their presence felt; the ‘extra man’ creating a cacophony of noise to kick start an unbelievable come back.

Sunderland took the lead within the first quarter of an hour, Ross Stewart lashing home an Aidan McGeady cross from close range, and Charlie Wyke added a second 15 minutes later, drawing the home side level on aggregate.

However, with the hour mark approaching, Lincoln’s Tom Hopper headed home a corner to put the Imps ahead once more.

Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge kept the Mackems’ hopes alive, pulling off a brilliant save to deny Jorge Grant from the penalty spot, but it was not to be.

Despite pulling off an impressive 2 – 1 win at home, yet another play-off heartbreak consigns Sunderland to a fourth consecutive year in the English third tier.

Lincoln City, who just five years ago were plying their trade at non-league level, now go on to Wembley to face off against Kenny Dougall’s Blackpool on May 30th.