All-London play-off tie

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The Independent Online
Charlton's failure to beat Wolves, their hoodoo team, yesterday meant that they must face their neighbours, Crystal Palace, in the First Division play-offs. In the other semi-final Stoke will meet Leicester.

Those sides already assured of their destiny, Sunderland and Derby County, both automatically promoted to the Premiership, and Palace, all signed off with a defeat.

Charlton made it with a hard- earned point against Wolves - a side they have failed to beat in four meetings this season. Charlton largely dominated the game but a combination of good defending, poor finishing and bad luck made a fretful finish for Valiant fans.

Charlton's relentless pressure brought its rewards in the 38th minute when Carl Leaburn's header was deflected in by Andy Thompson following a corner. But Wolves were on level terms seven minutes after half-time when 18-year-old debutant Glenn Crowe beat Andy Petterson with a fierce shot from an acute angle.

"I'm just pleased that we're in there," said a relieved Alan Curbishley, the Charlton manager. "It's been a team effort that's got us this far and if we can maintain the support we got today against Palace next week it will be important."

Mike Sheron's eighth goal in the last 10 matches sealed Stoke's place in the play-offs as the beat Southend 1-0 in another desperately close- run thing. The former Manchester City forward, who could now be passing his old club on the way down as Stoke go up, scored from a Nigel Gleghorn's pass in the 12th minute.

Norwich ended their disappointing season with a surprise 1-0 win over a Palace side showing six changes at Selhurst Park. The only goal came after five minutes when Palace defender David Hopkin headed a cross from Shaun Carey into his own net. Palace's Gareth Davies was sent off for a professional foul and will now miss the play-off final at Wembley should Palace

beat Charlton.

John Aldridge ended the season with a six-match unbeaten ran as the new manager of Tranmere as they defeated the champions, Sunderland, 2-0, the player-manager scoring the second himself. While a goal - his 100th for the club - by another prolific marksman, Bob Taylor, clinched a 3-2 win for West Bromwich Albion against Derby.

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