After a frantic opening, Sunderland took the lead within the opening five minutes in the most bizarre of circumstances. After a break in play, Charlton keeper Dylan Phillips was unable to control a pass back from his central defender Naby Sarr - the ball rolling past the stopper’s outstretched leg and into the Charlton net!
Sunderland were then forced into an early change as Max Power was unable to recover from a couple of heavy challenges, Lewis Morgan his replacement.
Five minutes later and Grant Leadbitter forced Phillips into a fantastic save with a driven effort - the Charlton keeper going some way to making amends for his earlier error.
Just after the twenty-five minute mark, Lyle Taylor lashed a volley narrowly over - Charlton working their way back into the game with some good football.
The pressure continued to mount, and in the thirty-fifth minute, some nice football opened a gap for Lyle Taylor whose delivery from wide found Ben Purrington at the back post to equalise.
Sunderland were struggling to retain possession and work the channels; however, just before the break, Sunderland started to string some passing sequences together and looked better in possession.
The half-time whistle left much to be decided.
First-half: Charlton 1-1 Sunderland
The opening exchanges of the second half were a cagey affair with both sides looking to push forward, yet neither really offered any quality in the final third.
Ten minutes into the second half, Jack Ross introduced Will Grigg for Chris Maguire in an attempt at finding another goal.
With twenty minutes to play, Jonny Williams was introduced by Charlton, Aiden McGeady entering the fray moments later. McGeady’s introduction brought more movement, which in turn seemed to ignite those around him, but Sunderland could not find a clear opportunity as their play understandably appeared forced and hurried.
Then, in the final moments of regular time, Wembley heartbreak struck again.
Charlton worked the ball wide before lifting a dangerous ball into the Sunderland area. Tom Flanagan blocked the initial effort, but his deflection allowed Bauer to prod home unopposed.
Charlton had found promotion; Sunderland, yet more heartbreak.
Jon McLaughlin, 6/10: Decent under the high ball, and couldn’t have done anything with the Charlton goals.
Bryan Oviedo, 6/10: Got forward well and tried to make things happen.
Alim Ozturk, 5/10: Couple of shaky moments, wish he would stop wrestling with players.
Tom Flanagan, 5/10: Unlucky with the deflection at the end. Several daft passes in the game, though, and some dodgy defending at the end when bringing down Lyle Taylor.
Luke O’Nien, 5/10: Absolute trooper, but struggled at times after his head injury. Poor going forward, too.
Lee Cattermole, 5/10: Thought he did well out of possession, but maybe could have been bolder going forward.
Grant Leadbitter, 5/10: Sprayed passes around nicely, but struggled a little with the athleticism of the Charlton midfield.
Max Power, N/A: Subbed within five minutes.
George Honeyman, 4/10: Harried, but offered very little in the final third. We need a ten who can drive the play forward and make things happen - Honeyman doesn’t do that enough, I’m afraid.
Chris Maguire, 4/10: Somewhat off the boil today; harried well and tried his best, but couldn’t find that many moments of quality.
Charlie Wyke, 4/10: Struggled physically and wasn’t the outlet Sunderland needed him to be.
(SUB) Lewis Morgan, 4/10: I thought Morgan was particularly poor today, tried too much and struggled to impact the game. Far too many attempts at long range strikes when better options were available.
(SUB) Will Grigg, 5/10: Ran diligently, but struggled to find space - doesn’t help that he’s not a target man yet we treat him like one.
(SUB) Aiden McGeady, 4/10: Rusty. Tried to make things happen, but didn’t.
Man of the Match: Bryan Oviedo.