Charlton Athletic are back in the Championship after a 2-1 win over Sunderland in the League One play-offs. Here RICHARD CAWLEY rates the performances of the Addicks players at Wembley.
DILLON PHILLIPS 7/10
His Wembley experience started on a horrible note – as he misjudged Naby Sarr’s backpass and was unable to prevent the ball crossing his goal-line. But followed up with an excellent save from Grant Leadbitter soon after that. His one mistake came early, after that the academy product was solid.
ANFERNEE DIJKSTEEL 7/10
The Dutchman, relatively inexperienced, showed no signs of nerves on the big stage. Certainly justified his selection and faith shown by Lee Bowyer, who opted for the youngster ahead of veteran Chris Solly. Needed to be immaculate with a tackle on Lewis Morgan inside his own box, and timed it to perfection.
PATRICK BAUER 8/10
Match-winner. The German centre-back has been class this season and produced on the biggest stage to take the Addicks up. Reacted really quickly to his initial header being blocked to follow up and put the South Londoners in front right at the death. Also in the right spot in the second half to nod away Will Grigg’s header which came back into the danger-zone. Some parting gift if he does leave on a free transfer this summer.
NABY SARR 7/10
The Frenchman goes down as scoring an own goal at the national stadium, but it was not at fault. His pass-back would normally be routine for Dillon Phillips, but the goalkeeper admitted post-match that he took his eye off the ball as he visualised his next pass. Booked for a foul on George Honeyman and Bowyer opted to replace him with Jason Pearce at the start of the second period.
BEN PURRINGTON 7/10
What a time to produce your first goal for Charlton. Okay, it was a straightforward tap-in for the left-back at the back post from Lyle Taylor’s low ball in – but in terms of magnitude it was a huge finish.
DARREN PRATLEY 7/10
Got the nod ahead of Albie Morgan for a high-pressure game and his experience showed at times as he won free-kicks. Kept a good defensive discipline. Just missed out with a diving header on Taylor’s cross – but Purrington was there to equalise. Seemed to be struggling for mobility as the second half went on and got replaced by Jonny Williams.
KRYSTIAN BIELIK 7/10
Started off on the right of a back three in the opening 45 minutes but a half-time change by Lee Bowyer saw the Arsenal loanee moved into midfield, where he has played for most of his time in SE7. Able to drive forward easier from that role and also capable of causing more damage with his passing.
JOSH CULLEN 8/10
Man of the match. Typically industrious and it was his cross which Bauer forced home at the second attempt. About the only slight letdown was that the West Ham man could not make more of some of the corner kicks and free-kicks which he delivered in.
JOE ARIBO 7/10
Got that ability to make the game look effortless at times with his physical attributes. Played as the furthest-advanced midfielder but never really got a chance to pull the trigger. He was involved on the right of the box in a passage of sharp passing which led to Purrington’s goal.
LYLE TAYLOR 7/10
Sunderland showed the striker maximum respect and he did not get the chance to add to his goal haul. But he did collect his 11th assist of a hugely successful campaign – putting his cross into exactly the right area. Volleyed over the bar in the first half but it was a difficult chance. Had success with a few breaks down the right flank and also won a number of first-half corners.
JOSH PARKER 7/10
Finished his short spell with Charlton without a goal, but grafted and did some of the nitty-gritty and less glamorous aspects of forward play. Did have one first-half flick – reminiscent of a chance he had against Rochdale – blocked by a Sunderland defender. Lacked the clinical touch of Igor Vetokele, but still made a contribution.
JASON PEARCE 7/10
Took the armband back off Bauer when he replaced Sarr at the start of the second half.
JONNY WILLIAMS 8/10
Came on in the 71st minute for Pratley and predictably his movement and willingness to run at the Sunderland backline got joy. Had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds when he picked out Taylor at the back post, but from a tight angle it was not a scoring chance. O’Nien and Leadbitter both booked for fouls on him. Took the free-kick quickly for Bauer’s goal. His second play-off final win.
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