Martin O'Neill

Cats breaking new ground


Lads playing Morecambe for first time.

Tonight's Capital One Cup Second Round clash will be the first ever meeting between Sunderland and Morecambe.

The Shrimps pulled off a shock in the last round, winning 2-1 away to Blackpool, with Lewis Alessandra and Andrew Fleming firing the visitors ahead bedore Alex Baptiste pulled one back for the home side.

Sunderland have enjoyed mixed results in the second round of the competition in recent seasons, winning five and losing five of their last 10 ties.

The furthest the Black Cats have progressed in the competition within the last 10 years is the Fourth Round, where they were defeated by Aston Villa (2009-10), Blackburn Rovers (2008-09) and Sheffield United (2002-03).

The Black Cats will be hoping to reach their first League Cup Final for 27 years, having been defeated 1-0 by Norwich City at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

Morecambe have reached the Second Round three times since achieving promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history in 2007.

Jim Bentley's side competed in the Third Round for the first time in their history in 2007-08, losing 5-0 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, but have never matched that feat since.

Sunderland failed to progress beyond the Second Round last year, going down 1-0 away to Brighton after extra time.

Bentley's men also fell at this stage in 2011-12, losing 2-0 to Millwall at The Den.

Morecambe have enjoyed a mixed start to the new Npower League Two season, winning two and losing two of their opening five fixtures, including a 3-1 defeat against Port Vale last time out.

Sunderland battled to secure a goalless draw against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season, but saw their home clash against Reading last Saturday postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.