CHARLTON will be playing Championship football next season after beating Sunderland in the League One Play-Off final on an overcast Sunday afternoon at Wembley.
Lee Bowyer named Darren Pratley in his starting 11 while, Jack Ross named Aiden McGeady on the substitutes bench.
Charlton looked nervous from kick off and this nerves showed just five minutes in. Naby Sarr played the ball back to Dillion Phillips who missed controlled the ball and saw it agonisingly trickle into the net to give the Black-cats an early lead.
The boys from Wearside, making their second Wembley appearance of the season, then wanted a penalty. George Honeyman’s shot hit the arm of Patrick Bauer but referee Andy Madley said no, a let off for the Charlton skipper.
Sunderland continued to press forward, George Honeyman and Grant Leadbitter both produced saves from Phillips. Charlton came closet through Lyle Taylor, the strikers effort from Ben Purrington’s delightful pass was struck over the bar.
That was a warning as after 34 minutes Charlton were level. Lyle Taylor did superbly out wide and forced his cross in for Ben Purrington to equalise and send the West side of Wembley into a cauldron of noise.
Neither side came close to a second goal as the half drew to a close with Sunderland ending it the stronger of the two sides.
Half Time: Charlton 1-1 Sunderland
The second half started in the same vein as the first, Sunderland came out of the traps quickly but Bowyer’s side dealt with their attack a lot better this time around.
Neither side created an awful lot of openings in the second period. A few shots from distance but neither keeper had a save to make.
Both sides made changes. Bowyer introduced Johnny Williams who was straight into the action. His cross aimed for Lyle Taylor at the back post but the former AFC Wimbledon man had a tough ask to get it towards goal. Moments later Williams again involved, this time he’s fouled by O’Nien. From that free-kick Krystain Bielki rose highest to win the initial ball but the second ball was cleared by the Sunderland backline.
Sunderland brought on Aiden McGeady which gave them a much needed lift. Bryan Ovideo produced the first effort on target in the second half, a long range effort straight at Phillips.
Sunderland again came forward, this time through Cattermole. His long ball was received by Will Grigg who set up fellow sub Aiden McGeady but his shot curled over the bar.
Just when we thought we were heading fir extra time Charlton won it. Patrick Bauer turned in a rebounded effort to send the west side of Wembley mad an into the Championship.