Charlton 2-3 Doncaster (agg 4-4, 4-3 on pens): Bowyer’s men into final

Charlton 2-3 Doncaster (agg 4-4, 4-3 on pens): Lee Bowyer’s men book play-off final spot with shootout victory after rollercoaster clash at The Valley

  • Charlton opened the scoring after two minutes through Krystian Bielik’s header
  • The visitors equalised just nine minutes later after Tommy Rowe’s powerful strike
  • Doncaster defender Andrew Butler towered high to head in a dramatic late goal
  • John Marquis put Doncaster ahead in tie with a header in first half of extra-time
  • Charlton were back level on aggregate moments later through Darren Pratley 
  • The home side held their nerve to win a dramatic semi-final tie 4-3 on penalties 

Tommy Rowe missed the crucial penalty for Doncaster as Charlton set up a repeat of one of the greatest ever play-off finals against Sunderland.

Doncaster captain Rowe had the chance to take the shootout to sudden death after teammate John Marquis and Charlton’s Naby Sarr saw their spot-kicks saved.

But he blazed wide to spark wild scenes of celebration at the Valley as Charlton progressed to the League One play-off final and secured a return to Wembley for the first time since they faced Sunderland there in 1998. 

Charlton sealed their place in the League One play-off final with a shootout win over Doncaster

Charlton sealed their place in the League One play-off final with a shootout win over Doncaster

Doncaster captain Tommy Rowe covered his face with his hands after missing decisive penalty

Doncaster captain Tommy Rowe covered his face with his hands after missing decisive penalty

Thousands of Chalrton fans stormed on to the pitch to celebrate booking spot at Wembley

Thousands of Chalrton fans stormed on to the pitch to celebrate booking spot at Wembley

Midfielder Jonny Williams pictured being held aloft by the home supporters on Friday night

Midfielder Jonny Williams pictured being held aloft by the home supporters on Friday night

Chalrton keeper Dillon Phillips made a good save to deny John Marquis earlier in the shootout

Chalrton keeper Dillon Phillips made a good save to deny John Marquis earlier in the shootout

Doncaster had a mountain to climb after they went behind inside two minutes to fall 3-1 behind on aggregate.

MATCH FACTS

Charlton (3-5-2): Phillips, Dijksteel, Bauer, Sarr, Purrington, Cullen, Bielik (Solly 110), Morgan (Pratley 46), Aribo, Parker (Williams 95), Taylor;

Subs not used: Pearce, Forster-Caskey, Maxwell, Lapslie

Scorers: Bielik (2), Pratley (101)

Booked: Bielik, Pratley

Doncaster (4-2-3-1): Marosi, Blair (May 86), Downing, Butler, Andrew, Kane (Crawford 80), Rowe, Whiteman, Coppinger (Sadlier 96), Marquis, Wilks (Wright 106);

Subs not used: Lawlor, Anderson, Beestin

Scorers: Rowe (11), Butler (88), Marquis (100)

Booked: Downing, Whiteman, Butler

Referee: Gavin Ward 

Attendance: 25,428 

But they fought back through goals in normal time from Rowe and Andrew Butler to force extra time.

Marquis then edged Grant McCann’s side further ahead only for Darren Pratley to respond immediately for Charlton and make it 4-4 on aggregate and send the game to a shootout.

Charlton are no strangers to a 4-4 play-off draw. Their final against Sunderland 21 years ago finished that way after extra-time before the south Londoners triumphed 7-6 on penalties to reach the Premier League.

And following the repeat of that goal crazy score line by the end of this roller-coaster, nerve-shredding 120 minutes there was more spot kick joy to come for the south Londoners after Rowe sent his decisive kick into the stands.

Charlton, who have suffered so much during the club’s demise under Roland Duchatelet, had not had a night as big as this one to enjoy for some time.

The Valley was rocking and sold out for the first time since 2012, with over 25,428 fans squeezed in.

And those here for the home team lifted the roof off the stadium after just one minute and 48 seconds when Bielik head in Josh Cullen’s free-kick.

Things might have quickly got even better as Albie Morgan and Anfernee Dijksteel gave Doncaster further scares. Doncaster, to their credit, stayed calm under the pressure from Charlton and the raucous atmosphere. 

Darren Pratley (floor, second left) slid in to score in extra-time to take the game to penalties

Darren Pratley (floor, second left) slid in to score in extra-time to take the game to penalties

John Marquis had headed in from close to put Doncaster 3-1 up and into the lead on aggregate

John Marquis had headed in from close to put Doncaster 3-1 up and into the lead on aggregate

Andrew Butler's last-gasp goal for Doncaster took the match into extra-time on Friday night

Andrew Butler’s last-gasp goal for Doncaster took the match into extra-time on Friday night

Doncaster were trailing from the off with Krystian Bielik heading in for after just two minutes

Doncaster were trailing from the off with Krystian Bielik heading in for after just two minutes

Bielik celebrated by jumping in the air after his opening goal extended Charlton's lead in the tie

Bielik celebrated by jumping in the air after his opening goal extended Charlton’s lead in the tie

Tommy Rowe (right) got the visitors back on level terms before the dramatic

Tommy Rowe (right) got the visitors back on level terms with a powerful strike from distance

And Rowe punctured it when he burst into space and smashed in a stunning strike from 25 yards. Charlton needed Dillon Phillips’ sharp save to deny John Marquis a second for the visitors soon after their 11th minute equaliser.

Rowe miscued a presentable headed chance early in the second half that would have drawn Doncaster level and the natives, who provided the energy in the first-half, were nervous as Charlton struggled to rediscover their early intensity and effectiveness.

Talismanic striker Lyle Taylor created a rare clear chance for either side but Josh Parker couldn’t quite direct his cross on goal.

And how costly that turned out to be. Firstly defender Andrew Butler struck with two minutes of normal time left to force an extra 30 minutes.

Ten minutes into the added period former Millwall striker Marquis then thought he had won it with a header from Mallik Wilks’s cross only for Charlton to go up the other end and see Pratley poke in after Marko Marosi failed to hold Taylor’s cross, paving the way another unforgettable play-off penalty shootout win for the Addicks.

Patrick Bauer rises the highest to head at goal but the goalkeeper makes an easy save

Patrick Bauer rises the highest to head at goal but the goalkeeper makes an easy save

Danny Andrew looks dejected as a flare is set off on the pitch following Chalrton's opening goal

Danny Andrew looks dejected as a flare is set off on the pitch following Chalrton’s opening goal

A Charlton defender comes across to make an imperative block on Mallik Wilks effort

A Charlton defender comes across to make an imperative block on Mallik Wilks effort

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