Sunderland weren't unlucky at Wembley, they should have killed off Charlton Athletic when they had the chance

For the third season in a row Sunderland fans are left massively dejected, this time because of a play-off final defeat that leaves Sunderland languishing in the lower leagues for yet another season.

By Gary Rowell
Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 9:35 am
Sunderland midfielder Luke O'Nien left dejected at Wembley.
Sunderland midfielder Luke O'Nien left dejected at Wembley.

At least in the two relegation years, we knew our fate before the end of the campaign so could prepare for it but Sunday’s defeat conceding with just six seconds remaining was the cruelest of blows.

Charlton’s victory on Sunday might have sealed Sunderland’s fate but promotion was in Sunderland’s own hands with just a month of the regular season to go but they let it slip away when they shouldn’t have even needed the play-off route to go up.

Sunderland midfielder Luke O'Nien left dejected at Wembley.

If you are the glass half empty type, you would think Sunderland’s defeat at Wembley was inevitable and the devastating manner in which it happened because the worst always seems to happen to a club that never gets lucky but also never helps itself and never ever misses a chance to make things more difficult.

However, where we really unlucky on Sunday?

The answer to that is no.

Sunderland weren’t denied promotion because of bad luck, they missed out because they couldn’t take advantage of a gift they were given in the first five minutes.

If you told me before the game started Charlton would in effect give Sunderland a goal start then I would have thought Championship football here we come.

Sunderland didn’t have to do anything for their goal, it was a shambolic error by Charlton but even with that huge stroke of luck, we couldn’t go on and win the game.

Conceding that goal in that manner would have seriously damaged Charlton’s mentality, Sunderland should have went for the kill but weren’t ruthless enough when they should have been peppering a goalkeeper whose confidence must have been low, with shots and crosses but we let Charlton regroup and get back in the game.

A second goal would have killed it, then we could have took the sting out of the game and played possession football but you can’t do that when only one up.

Sunderland football club means so much to me and always will, like Niall Quinn says it is a club that gets under your skin and there are many thousands of Sunderland fans who live and breathe their football club but we are all feeling the pain at the moment and I have absolutely no idea when it is going to feel any better.