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Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final

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RR’s 2021/22 End of Season Awards: What was Sunderland’s best game of the season?

In what was a truly memorable season for Sunderland, which game do you think was the best? Our panel have their say... let us know which games were some of your favourites!

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Matty Foster says... Shrewsbury Town (H)

The obvious answer of course would be Wembley, but I’m going a bit left field and opting for the Shrewsbury game at home.

Having run into a 2-0 lead within fifteen first-half minutes, I thought we’d run away with it from there.

But within fifteen second-half minutes our lead had disappeared, and we looked like we had ‘done a Sunderland’ and blown the three points.

But this was Alex Neil’s side; dogged, determined and never giving up hope.

When Broadhead popped up with a stoppage-time winner, the sense of relief was indescribable. It gave me a new sense of hope in a team that has given us a fair share of false dawns.

Jack Gingell says... The Playoff Final!

I still cry watching Ross Stewart calmly slot away our second goal, and ultimately the goal sealing our return to the Championship and exit from the derelict wastes of League One.

The atmosphere was electric - every person there was willing on every single player with every ounce of their being. It was a spectacle to behold and we were truly the 12th man.

There was an air of “this our time” and no one was going to spoil the party. After a confident start, you could sense that we needed to take a chance and make our dominance count. A face-melter of a strike from Elliot Embleton put that to bed, and in truth we never looked back.

Alex Neil got us from a point where it looked like the Playoffs seemed a tough ask, to a steely eleven who are hard to beat and will always score one. The work he has done has been incredible, and the players have reacted in turn giving us a moment to cherish for the ages.

I still hear the echoes of Can’t Help Falling in Love, Ready to Go, Three Little Birds, and Things Can Only Get Better.

We took our hymns and our church to London, and everyone is now a believer.

Mike Dunne says... Sheff Wed (Playoff Semi 1st Leg)!

I recall many stories of lads speaking about how unbelievable the atmosphere was against Sheffield United in the late nineties in our play-off semi-final - but if it was anything like that first leg at the Stadium of Light, then it must have been good.

The atmosphere at the first leg against Wednesday was one of the best occasions I’ve been a part of at the Stadium in years.

The fans brought their A-game and it showed a real togetherness between the club and the fanbase. We were all in it together, and we all cheered as much as we could to get over the line.

I’ll never forget the roar for the Stewart goal - it showed the potential this club has.

Malc Dugdale says... Oxford away!

I have to cite one I was at, and the away win at Oxford was a massive turning point in our season. It was the tail end of the season and we really needed the win, and we went to the three-sided Kassam stadium with incredible numbers, and came away with all three points.

This for me was the resurgence of Embleton, as in that game he came on with less than fifteen minutes to play including stoppages, and he secured us two valuable league points with a great goal at the death.

This was a key game in our rise to success in the playoffs for me, and to get this win against such a decent footy team like Oxford on their patch was immense for confidence and momentum.

The journey up to the Championship started in games like that, and we as fans were there from minute one to ninety - a pleasure to behold.

Will Jones says... The Playoff Final!

How could it not be? Probably the most relaxing part of the week for me was the game. For a team (a Sunderland team may I add) to turn up to Wembley, feed off the fans and play, in my opinion, maybe one of the most all-round complete performances I’ve seen from us in League One was simply fantastic.

We started with outstanding energy, winning every second ball, playing it across our defence with ease - the simplicity felt like we were there to take an easy three points, not to get promoted.

From Patto in goal to the defensive solidity and structure, to the balls being played down the line and stretching them, we looked like a class - maybe even a league - above.

It was easy, it was simple, and it was the perfect way to go up.


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