Play Off Final Report

Sunderland remain stuck in League One after losing at Wembley in the Playoff final against Charlton in yet another shambolic showing from Jack Ross' side. Despite being gifted an opening goal inside five minutes, with a Charlton own goal, the lads conceded before the break and then heartbreakingly at the death to ensure another season in the third tier of English football.

There were no surprises in either line-up but we were buoyed with the name of McGeady on the bench and after all the fuss of the national anthems etc we were further buoyed after a seemingly harmless back pass nestled into the bottom corner of the Charlton net. The goal was credited to a Sarr own goal but we weren’t complaining.

We had a set back when Max Power succumbed to injury early on but he was replaced by Lewis Morgan and with the lads winning the red and white army had their tails up and had another effort saved when Leadbitter saw his long range shot turned round the post. Lee Bowyer's side came back into the game through the midway period and Lyle Taylor went closest driving a volley over the bar with the outside of his right foot.

Ten minutes before the break Charlton equalised when Purrington bumbled the ball into the back of the net after some slack Sunderland defending on the left flank. We failed to clear the danger and a few slick passes saw the ball clipped across McLaughlin’s six-yard box with Purrington stabbing home.

Sunderland had been on the back foot since scoring but the goal really knocked the stuffing out of the lads. We had a chance after the break but Morgan couldn’t convert Maguire’s cross from close range before Jack Ross reverted to 4 4 2 with Will Grigg replacing Chris Maguire. Ross' changes didn’t work in what was in truth a poor game of football but with time running out the Scot seemed to panic and throw on the clearly unfit Aiden McGeady.

The Irishman who has been valiantly playing with an injury struggled to get a grip on the game although both sides struggled to create anything if note other than tension. With the clock ticking down Bowyers side nicked the victory with the last kick of the game after Sunderland yet again defended poorly. A ball in from the left wing wasn't cleared and at the second attempt Bauer smashed the ball past McLaughlin.

Gutting for Sunderland but we can’t complain as despite taking an early lead it was fortunate and overall we were poor.

Final Score: Charlton 2-Sunderland 1

ALS Man of the Match: The fans. Done the club proud again all weekend

Aidan Crowe