League One play-off Final Preview

Ruben Hill
May 26, 2019

Only once in their last 10 games, including both play-off semi-final legs against Doncaster, were Charlton were held to nil at half-time and their 37 first-half goals is the third-most of the season. Newport head into the tie as slender underdogs and we think that'll suit them just fine, especially after the season they have had. In extra time Doncaster went up in the 100 minute, and it appeared Charlton's hopes were shot, but just one minute later the scoreboard was level again.

Though scant consolation at the time Gray had played a significant part in one of the most memorable and exciting playoff finals ever; a game which finished 3-3 after 90 minutes, 4-4 after extra time - before Charlton's promotion was finally decided 7-6 on penalties in one of the greatest encounters ever witnessed at the famous old ground. Sunderland won the first leg 1-0 thanks to a superb goal by super sub Chris Maguire and then stayed strong and fought to a 0-0 draw at Portsmouth in the second leg.

Sunderland and Charlton face off at Wembley on Sunday for a place in the Championship next season. It would be their 30 season in the second division of the English system.

Who will earn promotion to the English Championship?

But a weak effort was saved easily by Sasa Ilić, who quickly vanished beneath a pile of his delirious team-mates as they rushed from the halfway line to congratulate their hero who had nearly single handedly taken them into the Premier League for the first time.

After a somewhat cagey first 20 minutes it was Sunderland-born striker Clive Mendonca who opened the scoring for Charlton as he turned his marker and casually slotted the ball home to put Alan Curbishley's men in the driving seat; but their lead didn't last long courtesy of the ever-dangerous tandem of Quinn and Phillips. It's been one hell of a journey for the six teams that are going to be competing against one another this weekend, and beyond any results or predictions, it just feels like these clubs need to be praised for putting themselves through more than 50 competitive games this season.

"Obviously we hope for a different outcome this time - and ideally a different match in terms of a more controlled game".

In his defence, it was not Mendonca's hat-trick that beat the Black Cats, but it did force a penalty shootout, which Charlton won after another Sunderland native, former England global Michael Gray, missed the decisive spot-kick.

"You must know that your friend you're playing alongside is going to help you if you're having a bad time, or if you're caught out of position".

As well, the Black Cats managed to score three goals in the first period on five separate occasions, including against promoted Barnsley who boasted the best defence in the league.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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