Match ends, Sunderland 1, Northampton Town 1.
Sunderland will face Lincoln in the League One play-offs after finishing the regular season with a 1-1 draw against relegated Northampton.
The Black Cats, who finished fourth, came from behind to cancel out Sam Hoskins' 84th minute free-kick for the Cobblers by levelling three minutes later through midfielder Carl Winchester.
Now Sunderland know the Imps will travel to the Stadium of Light for the second leg of the semi-final on Saturday, May 22, for the right to head to Wembley after first meeting at Sincil Bank on Wednesday, May 19.
Sunderland struggled to find an extra gear against Northampton and chances were few and far between before half-time.
The nearest Sunderland came was when Cobblers goalkeeper Jon Mitchell tipped over Lynden Gooch's deep cross that threatened to drop under the bar.
Gooch went close again after the restart when Mitchell denied him from close range.
The best chance fell to Jordan Jones when he missed the target after lovely link-up play with substitute Aiden O'Brien.
But with six minutes remaining Northampton edged ahead when Hoskins' free-kick from 22 yards deflected off the wall and beyond Lee Burge.
The lead did not last long because Winchester was on hand from close range to level things up with his first for the club after Jones' curling effort hit both posts.
Report supplied by PA Media
- 2McLaughlinSubstituted forMaguireat 52'minutes
- 5WrightBooked at 83mins
- 13O'NienBooked at 59mins
- 6PowerSubstituted forWinchesterat 66'minutes
- 14ScowenSubstituted forLeadbitterat 66'minutes
- 21DiamondSubstituted forMcGeadyat 45'minutes
- 9WykeSubstituted forO'Brienat 66'minutes
- 8WatsonSubstituted forRobertsat 87'minutes
- 45MarshallSubstituted forCrossat 79'minutes
- 29RoseSubstituted forAshley-Sealat 86'minutes
- 14MillerBooked at 21minsSubstituted forChukwuemekaat 76'minutes
- Samuel Barrott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 1, Northampton Town 1.
Denver Hume (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Shaun McWilliams (Northampton Town).
Foul by Lynden Gooch (Sunderland).
Caleb Chukwuemeka (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Carl Winchester (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Benny Ashley-Seal (Northampton Town).
Goal! Sunderland 1, Northampton Town 1. Carl Winchester (Sunderland) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Northampton Town. Morgan Roberts replaces Ryan Watson.
Substitution, Northampton Town. Benny Ashley-Seal replaces Danny Rose.
Denver Hume (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Liam Cross (Northampton Town).
Goal! Sunderland 0, Northampton Town 1. Sam Hoskins (Northampton Town) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.
Bailey Wright (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Bailey Wright (Sunderland).
Caleb Chukwuemeka (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Chris Maguire (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Northampton Town. Liam Cross replaces Mark Marshall.
Attempt missed. Jordan Jones (Sunderland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Aiden O'Brien.