Lee Johnson was left furious after Sunderland's play-off second leg as a first half penalty shout didn't go his side's way.

With Sunderland leading 2-0 at the time, Ross Stewart fell inside the box under the challenge of Lincoln City's goalkeeper Alex Palmer as the two met for a 50-50 challenge. 

Stewart made contact with the ball as shifted to Palmer's right. The Lincoln keeper dived and stuck out a right arm in a challenge that falls under the 'you've seen them given' category. 

However, Mike Salisbury waved away the claims for a spot kick as the Black Cats would eventually go on to win the game 2-1 but lose 3-2 on aggregate. 

Tom Hopper's header gave the Imps the lead on aggregate with a close range header as Lincoln held on to seal a date against Blackpool in the League One play-off final next Sunday. 

“I thought we should’ve had a penalty when Ross Stewart was taken down" said Johnson. 

"At that point, we get to go 3-0 up and it allows us to rest in possession a little bit.

“I think the second goal in the first leg did a lot of damage but so did the referee’s decision not to give us a penalty.

“Decisions have been absolutely horrendous this year. I can’t wait to get onto the Referees Association in the summer and present all the bad ones we’ve had.

“You try and stay quiet on it but when livelihoods and players futures are on the line, to not get that right is frustrating.

“I think they should have VAR in the play-offs.

“Obviously you’ve still got to score the pen but you fancy Granty (Leadbitter) to step up and score."

The result condemned Sunderland to a fourth campaign in League One football and it's the second time they've failed to gain promotion through the play-offs, losing the play-off final to Charlton in 2019.