One year on for Addicks rapture
One year on for Addicks rapture

Today is the anniversary of the second-leg of the play-off semi-final at The Valley. Seldom has a defeat been greeted with such rapture.

After taking a two goal lead at the Keepmoat in the first-leg, the Addicks conceded late on to give them work to do at The Valley.

But Krystian Bielik calmed supporters’ nerves when he headed home a Josh Cullen free-kick after two minutes, to restore his team’s two goal advantage.

Rovers put the game on a knife edge again when Tommy Rowe levelled things on the night nine minutes later.

Charlton seemed to be doing what they had to do until Doncaster skipper, Andy Butler,scored two minutes from time to level the aggregate score.

A raucous Valley fell briefly silent ten minutes into the first period of extra-time when Rovers scored a third to lead 3-2 on aggregate.

The visitors’ lead lasted little more than a minute before Darren Pratley touched home a driven Lyle Taylor cross.

So to penalties, taken at the Covered End. The Addicks went first. Chris Solly, Cullen, Taylor and Joe Aribo all converted.

Donnie replied through Wright, Sadlier and Crawford before‎ John Marquis’ effort was saved by Dillon Phillips. 

The stage was set for Naby Sarr to send Lee Bowyer’s side to Wembley. But alas, the keeper foiled him.

Rowe had the chance to take the shoot-out into sudden death, but rolled the ball wide of Phillips’ right hand post.

Cue absolute delirium in the stands. Fans spilled onto the pitch to celebrate a first Wembley appearance in 21 years.

Fans partied long into the night but had to get over their hangovers quickly, tickets for the Final went on sale on Saturday morning.

It was a long time since The Valley had seen a night like that. But there was better to come.

Seems like only yesterday, but so much has happened in the intervening 12 months, not just in football, but the world in general.

The world – and attending football matches – will never be quite the same again.