Sunderland are heading to Wembley

Grant Leadbitter of Sunderland celebrates after scoring the winning penalty during the EFL Trophy match between Sunderland against Lincoln City at the Stadium Of Light. Credit: PA

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has praised his side's penalty performance, after they beat league leaders Lincoln City to a trip to Wembley.

The Black Cat's won on penalties, to reach a second EFL Trophy final in the three seasons they've spent in the third tier.

Speaking post match at the Stadium of Light, Lee Johnson said: ''You know who you're playing, you know it's Wembley, there can be anxiety with that, I don't think that particularly both teams showed that.

''I just thought it was a really tough game like you'd expect from a side that's top of the league and we've got to keep winning football matches.

''Today we won the football match based on good penalty taking and probably that consistency and quality in the last 15 minutes of both halves''

The Black Cats scored all five of their spot-kicks, while Lincoln's Remy Howarth was their only man to miss.

It was Grant Leadbitter of Sunderland who scored the decisive winning penalty, following a 1-all draw.

Grant Leadbitter of Sunderland scores the decisive winning penalty. Credit: PA

Perhaps the win couldn't be more timely, as the Black Cat's confidence grows just when their third consecutive Championship campaign begins to get serious.

It's a win that also comes off the back of a 4-1 victory against Doncaster Rovers at the weekend, which saw them bounce back into the League One play-off places.

Lee Johnson said their trip to Wembley is motivation for the league as well: ''I'm just really happy for everybody that it gives us a chance to get some silverware. You know it's going to be a really tough game, we know that.

''I think we can use it as motivation for the league as well, you've got to play at Wembley, you've got to play well in the league as well, it's not a charity and I think we've got to keep winning games, however that may be.''

Sunderland will play League Two side Tranmere on Sunday, 14 March.