Watch: Ireland midfielder Josh Cullen sets up winner at the death as Charlton Athletic beat Sunderland in the play-off final

Sun, May 26 2019

Cullen captained Ireland under-21s during the failed World Cup qualifying campaign last year. Credit: Laszlo Geczo (ETPhotos)

Josh Cullen was the architect of Charlton Athletic’s 94th-minute winner as the Addicks overcame Sunderland to take the League One play-off trophy at Wembley.

The on-loan West Ham United midfielder put in the cross that led Patrick Bauer to clinch the tie, at the second attempt, with almost the last kick of the game.

Cullen took a shot free-kick from substitute Jonny Williams and drove upfield, exchanging passes with Joe Aribo before crossing for Bauer, who stabbed home after his initial header was blocked.

Sunderland had taken the lead in farcical circumstances early on through an own goal by Naby Carr, whose overhit backpass beat Dillon Phillips in the Charlton goal.

Carr and Phillips, as well as Bauer and Aribo, are among five players in the Addicks squad to have beaten Crumlin United and lost to Limerick and UCD in a summer tour of Ireland in 2017.

They deservedly levelled 11 minutes before the break when a slick move around the box ended with Lyle Taylor teeing up Ben Purrington to smash home his first Charlton goal.

Aiden McGeady was a late substitute for the Black Cats after recovering from the broken foot that kept him out of both legs of the semi-final against Portsmouth.

He didn’t have the opportunity to play himself into the game, however, as the Black Cats were forced to sit deeper and deeper until Charlton breached the dam at the death.

The Addicks join champions Luton Town and Barnsley in the Championship next year.