Wycombe Wanderers will remain a League One team for next season after they lost 2-0 to Sunderland in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium.

A first-half strike from Elliot Embleton and a Ross Stewart goal on 79 minutes promoted the Black Cats back into the Championship after a four-year exile.

The North East side were the better of the two teams in the opening half, as Gareth Ainsworth’s men couldn’t get a foot in the game.

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This was evident after three minutes when Alex Pritchard’s free-kick skimmed the side of the Wycombe goal, at the elation of the Sunderland fans who thought the set-piece went it.

It was an onslaught of attacks from the Black Cats as moments later, Stewart, who scored twice in the previous meeting in January, went inches wide, whilst David Stockdale was on hand to swipe away a cross from Dennis Cirkin.

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Wanderers struggled to find any sort of rhythm and their lack of coordination would help Sunderland take the lead on 12 minutes.

Embleton latched onto a loose ball in the Wycombe half, ran with it for a few yards, and unleashed a piledriver straight at Stockdale who completely misjudged the shot.

It was his ninth of the season.

Sunderland continued to boss the ball as the Chairboys were once again put on the back foot with half-chances being their best attempts at goal.

First, Sam Vokes headed wide whilst Anthony Stewart headed over.

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Both were never going to test Anthony Patterson in the Sunderland goal.

Pritchard again went close as his 20-yard shot was saved by Stockdale on 22 minutes, before the goalkeeper clawed away a bending Stewart shot.

In the second half, the Adams Park outfit improved as Patterson was on hand to thwart any crosses, but they lacked any quality in the final third.

Sunderland were on top of every second and loose ball, and Wanderers couldn’t cope.

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Then, on 52 minutes, Sunderland thought they had scored again, but Stewart’s back-peddling header went a whisker wide.

Ainsworth introduced Lewis Wing and Brandon Hanlan for Daryl Horgan and Jordon Obita respectively, to try and inject some rigidness and pace into the side, and for large parts of the second half, it failed to do the trick.

And this was down to how good Sunderland defended.

The fans were loud, they were on their feet and they were certainly the club’s 12th man in North London.

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With 15 minutes to go, Adebayo Akinfenwa was thrown on to replace Dom Gape, as it was now the Wycombe fans to make all the noise.

Hanlan then had a brilliant chance to equalise for Wycombe on 79 minutes, but Patterson easily saved the tame shot, and from the resulting throw-out, Sunderland countered and there was Stewart to piledrive his 26th of the season.

Patrick Roberts nearly made it 3-0 with five minutes to go, meaning there was no fairy-tale ending for Akinfenwa on his final appearance for the club, and as a professional footballer.

Wycombe Wanderers can hold their heads high in what has been a brilliant 2021/22 season, and here's hoping they go one better in 2022/23.