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Lincoln City v Sunderland - Papa John’s Trophy EFL Trophy

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Match Preview: Lincoln City v Sunderland - all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

We’re back on the road against our opponents from last seasons play-off semi-final, as we take on Lincoln City at the LNER Stadium this afternoon - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Saturday 19th March 2022

(18th) Lincoln City v Sunderland (6th)

Sky Bet League One

LNER Stadium

Kick-Off: 15:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets available via

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via to residents outside the UK and Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man only.

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at!

The build-up...

We’re now unbeaten in five games in a sequence where we have scored nine goals and conceded only two, but it sounds more convincing than it actually is. An impressive victory aside at Wigan Athletic three weeks ago, the remaining games have flattered to deceive in terms of our performance.

But, we are getting results, and looking at the current League One table, nothing else really matters. There are some in-form sides breathing down our necks such as Wycombe, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich, as well as Plymouth and Oxford looking upwards who are aiming to pull away from the chasing pack.

Despite the recent win over Wigan, our away form doesn’t make for pleasant reading with only one win on the road in the last seven and Alex Neil will be looking to convert our new found stability at the back into victories away from the Stadium of Light.

Alex Pritchard is still missing through injury and it will be interesting to see if the manager drops Jermain Defoe back to the bench to go with an extra body in the middle of the park or sticks with the partnership with Ross Stewart.

Sunderland v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Last seasons beaten play-off finalists are having a tough year and currently find themselves three places and eight points above the drop. Inconsistency has been the issue for Michael Appleton this term and the last five games goes some way to prove the point with alternating victories and defeats.

But they will be heading into today’s game with a bit of confidence despite going down 2-1 at Rotherham United last time out. In the second half at the New York Stadium, Lincoln were the better side having over 60% of the possession and almost clawing their way back to take a point at the end.

Michael Appleton may need to take a more pragmatic approach, however, if Lincoln are to pick up their form on home soil, having been the losing side in ten out of 19 games at the LNER Stadium this season. Their results away from home has kept their heads above water this season so far and it may lead to a slightly different approach to ensure the remaining points to confirm their League One status.

The other note of interest in the fixture against Rotherham was the omission of Chris Maguire, who was one yellow card away from a ban, and was held back for today’s fixture looking for a repeat of his exploits back in January.

Rotherham United v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One - AESSEAL New York Stadium Photo by Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images

League One Form...

Sunderland Away Form...

Lincoln City Home Form...

The betting...

The bookies have us as favourites to collect all three points this afternoon at 6/5 to take, with Lincoln priced at 11/5 and the draw is 23/10.

But, the shortest odds with the bookmakers for a correct score is a 1-1 draw at 9/2 followed by a 1-0 Sunderland win at 13/2 and Lincoln are only slightly longer at 15/2 to take the win with the only goal of the game.

Head to head... at Sincil Bank

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 4
  • Draws: 1
  • Lincoln City wins: 4
  • Sunderland goals: 11
  • Lincoln City goals: 11

Last time we met... at Sincil Bank

Wednesday 19th May 2021

Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi-final 1st Leg

Lincoln City 2-0 Sunderland

[Hopper 51’, Johnson 77’]

Sunderland: Burge, O’Nien, Wright, Flanagan (Diamond), Hume (McFadean), Jones (Stewart), Power (Leadbiter), Scowen, McGeady, Gooch, Wyke Substitutes not used: Matthews, Winchester, Maguire

Lincoln City: Bursik, Poole, Edun, Bridcutt, Jckson (Montsma), Eyoma, Scully (McGrandles), Johnson (Anderson), Hopper, Grant, Rogers Substitutes not used: Long, Bramall, Sanders, Morton

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 1st Leg Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Mick Harford

A twenty-one year career for the Sunderland-born Harford started at Lincoln City in the late 1970’s where he would go on to score 41 goals in 115 appearances before a £180,000 transfer to Newcastle United in 1980.

Harford eventually ended up at Luton Town in 1984 via Bristol City and Birmingham City, and spent six successful years at Kenilworth Road, eventually gaining two international caps for England. A £450,000 move to the East Midlands to join Derby County in 1990 but he returned to Luton Town only a year later.

Following a spell at Chelsea, Terry Butcher would take Harford to Sunderland for £250,000 in March 1993 where he would only manage two goals in eleven appearances. His last move would be to Wimbledon via Coventry City in 1994, before retiring in 1998.

Soccer - Barclays League Division One - Newcastle United v Sunderland - St James’s Park Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images

John Cornforth

Whitley Bay-born Cornforth began his career with Sunderland and although making his debut as a seventeen year-old on the last day of the 1984-85 season, he would not make another appearance until 1987.

Cornforth would make 38 appearances in six years at Roker Park that included loan spells at Doncaster Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and Lincoln City before leaving permanently for Swansea City in 1991.

Five years in Wales followed where he made 149 appearances that included winning the Football League Trophy in 1994 and also being capped twice for Wales in 1995. This led to a £350,000 move to Barry Fry’s Birmingham City in 1996 where he would struggle to hold down a first team place before moving to Wycombe Wanderers within months of his transfer to St Andrews.

Cornforth had further moves to Peterborough United (on loan), Cardiff City, Scunthorpe United and Exeter City ahead of hanging up his boots in 2001 when he was appointed manager of Exeter City.

Soccer - Autoglass Trophy Final - Huddersfield Town v Swansea City - Wembley Stadium
Swansea City captain John |Cornforth lifts the Autoglass trophy
Photo by Derek Cox - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images


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