Charlton will be playing Championship football once again next season following a last gasp winner against Sunderland.
Ahead of the match, all the talk will have centred on the two sides’ last playoff final meeting in 1998 which ended 4-4 before Charlton won the then-Division One decider on penalties.
Twenty-one years later, the League One final produced more drama with the Londoners once again breaking Mackem hearts.
With the teams deadlocked at 1-1 and extra time on the cards, captain Patrick Bauer scrambled home the winning goal in the dying seconds of the game to send the Charlton fans and players at Wembley into dreamland.
Lee Bowyer’s side had battled back from a goal down and secured promotion, condemning the Black Cats to another year in the third tier.
— Charlton Athletic FC (@CAFCofficial) May 26, 2019
Sunderland had actually taken the lead in bizarre fashion after just four minutes.
Charlton’s French defender Mouhamadou-Naby Sarr attempted a pass back that caught his keeper Dillon Phillips keeper unaware.
The stopper took his eye off the ball and could only watch in despair as it bypassed his right boot and trickled into the goal.
Galvanised by this good fortune, Sunderland continued to apply pressure on the shell-shocked Londoners and almost doubled their advantage 5 minutes later, but Phillips tipped Grant Leadbitter’s long-range drive round the post as the keeper looked to atone for his earlier error.
Charlton weathered the early storm and eased their way into the game. Midway through the half, Lyle Taylor found himself in space on the right hand side of the Sunderland penalty area but despite a fine connection on the ball, his excellent volley had too much power and whistled over the crossbar.
Lee Bowyer’s side didn’t have to wait too long for their equaliser, and it was Taylor who played a key role as his teasing pass across the penalty area was stabbed home by Ben Purrington following some fine link-up play involving Joe Aribo and Anfernee Dijksteel.
An end-to-end second half saw both sides miss chances to win the game in normal time and the extended period seemed inevitable.
However, with 93 minutes on the clock, Charlton fashioned one last opportunity and as Sunderland failed to clear a high Josh Cullen ball into the box, Bauer pounced.
After his first header was blocked, the defender reacted fastest to see his second close-range effort deflect off Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan into the back of the net.
It was a devastating blow for Jack Ross’ side, who had no time to respond.
The Addicks return to the second tier following a three year absence while Sunderland must pick themselves up and do it all again next season.