West Ham led at the break through a Carlton Cole strike but after Thomas Ince – son of former Hammers midfielder Paul – levelled shortly after the restart, the match became increasingly stretched and ragged.
Both teams wasted good opportunities to score but it was the Hammers who proved to be the decisive third when the unmarked Vaz Te, a January signing from Barnsley, drilled the ball into the net from 12 yards.
It was a goal that meant West Ham won on their first appearance at Wembley in 31 years, in doing so becoming the first team since Leicester in 1996 to bounce straight back to the Premier League through the play-offs.
Team: Green, Reid, Tomkins, Demel (Faubert – 57′ ), Nolan, Collison, Taylor, Noble, O’Neil (McCartney – 53′ ), Cole, Vaz Te. Unused Substitutes Henderson, Lansbury, Maynard Attendance: 78,523