I will never forget watching the semi final 2nd leg at home with my 10 month old fast asleep upstairs and my wife giving me the look of death every time something happened and I shouted at the TV. “Its only a game and they can’t hear you was uttered” however it wasn’t only a game , it was the chance to watch my beloved Sunderland at our national stadium fighting to win a domestic trophy. When Phil bardsley smashed in that drive from outside the box I literally kept from the sofa into the kitchen (round a corner and 2 doors). The penalty shootout was just an awful thing, from the quality of the pens to the heart failure feeling every time someone stepped up. When that final pen went in I remember ringing my best mate who was stuck at work with a slow crap aljazeera stream. “WE’VE DONE IT!!!! WEMBLEY HERE WE COMEEEEEEEEE” whoops I woke the bairn up again. Strolling into work the next day (north tyneside) with loads of mag fans was a fabulous experience.
Waking up at 4am on the morning of the match was the easiest get up ever! Walking over to the stadium of light to pick up the coach to take us down and seeing thousands of eager Sunderland fans with the same hopes was brilliant. The coach journey was LONG But seeing the wembley arch in the distance made it all the better. I met up with some family when we eventually got there and had a walk up wembley way to try and find somewhere to have a pint or 2, the mighty red and white army had already drank the place dry! So we decided on heading into the stadium to have a few before kick-off.
Heading out of the concourse to take our seats and to be greeted by such a magnificent stadium, the Sunderland flag flying high in the middle of the pitch and thousands of safc fans made it the most magical moment as a Sunderland fan. We found our seats and couldn’t have been happier with them! Job well done to me I must say.
The players came out and hearing ” there’s only one George Johnson” made me swell up with pride. The game kicked off, the roar from the sunderland end was spine tingling. The pure excstacy when Fabio Borini beat Kompany and smashed a outside of the right boot shot into pantilimon’s corner was something else! We were winning 1-0 in the final! HT came and we had held on. Man City drew level in the 2nd half, Steven Fletcher had the opportunity to win the game for us had he swung his right foot at the shot rather than being a bottle job and trying to take it with his left foot. Because of that we were punished and eventually got beat 3-1. The atmosphere was unbelievable, considering we had just been beat 3-1 (a score that flattered man city) the fans were still in party mode. After applauding the team off the pitch we made out or way back to the bus hoping that we could do it all over again sometime soon.(train next time for me).
That day will always stick with me as long as I shall live. The players, fans, manager and owner came together as 1 for that weekend and made it special for everyone involved.