Only seven Sunderland supporters went to this midweek away game - and one was a Leeds United fan!

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A Leeds United supporter found himself attending a midweek match which had more stewards than away fans.

Steven Thompson, who lives in Bridlington, made the trip to watch Sunderland's under 21 side play Grimsby Town in the Checkatrade Trophy with his grandson, who is a Sunderland fan.

It was later embarrassingly revealed that the north-east club had brought only seven 'fans' to the away match - one of whom was actually neutral Steven, who was celebrating his 65th birthday.

There were more stewards than ticket-holders in the away stand for the fixture.

Steven was pictured with grandson Matthew Jewitt, a social worker, in the Sunderland Echo wearing a Leeds United hat.

“I live in Sunderland and my grandad lives in Bridlington so I picked him up on the way,” said Matthew.

"People might think it’s strange but I just enjoy going to games. For 90 minutes, nobody cares about anything but the game. I’ll be able to look back and say ‘I was at Grimsby on a freezing cold Wednesday to see Sunderland in a cup no-one cares about’.

“The match itself was terrible, which was just like watching the first team, and players were out of position too. But it was a right laugh. There were more stewards than us away fans so I’ll probably remember it forever.

“We were even allowed into the players’ lounge by the home fans to have a pint.”

The match finished in a 1-1 draw before going to a penalty shootout which the visitors won 7-6. Both clubs could not qualify for the knockout stages of the competition and despite the win gaining Sunderland two points, one for the draw and another for winning on penalties, they still finished bottom of Group H.

“The best moment was when Jack Rodwell went to take his penalty and I shouted ‘not him!’, added Matthew, who has followed Sunderland as far afield as Ireland, Germany and even America.

“He gave me a wink and scored.”

The Sunderland Echo have traced three of the other Sunderland supporters who were in the stands.