Match ends, Bristol Rovers 0, Sunderland 2.
Aiden McGeady netted a fine free-kick as Sunderland boosted their chase for automatic promotion with a League One win at Bristol Rovers.
The visitors took a 25th-minute lead when McGeady's cross from the right reached Will Grigg at the far post and his volley across goal was turned in from close range by Luke O'Nien.
McGeady made the points safe on 55 minutes, finding the top corner with a perfectly-struck shot from a central position just outside the box after Liam Sercombe had been penalised for handball.
Neither side could create much in a first half that saw Alex Rodman, Gavin Reilly and Ollie Clarke fire wide for Rovers from outside the box.
Sunderland's defence, in which Tom Flanagan and Jimmy Dunne excelled, coped comfortably with some predictable attacks from their hosts and substitute Charlie Wyke missed a trio of late chances to extend the lead.
The result saw Rovers slip back into the relegation zone and on this form, they face a huge battle for survival.
Match report supplied by the Press Association.
- 15J Clarke
- 8O ClarkeSubstituted forUpsonat 67'minutes
- 7SercombeSubstituted forNicholsat 83'minutes
- 20ReillySubstituted forJakubiakat 56'minutes
- 13O'NienBooked at 23mins
- 30DunneBooked at 70mins
- 16JamesBooked at 49mins
- 14WatmoreSubstituted forMorganat 67'minutes
- 19McGeadySubstituted forPowerat 83'minutes
- 22GriggSubstituted forWykeat 75'minutes
- James Linington
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Bristol Rovers 0, Sunderland 2.
Tom Nichols (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).
Attempt missed. Charlie Wyke (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by James Clarke.
Foul by Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers).
Tom Flanagan (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Charlie Wyke (Sunderland) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.
Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Tom Nichols replaces Liam Sercombe.
Substitution, Sunderland. Max Power replaces Aiden McGeady.
Attempt missed. Charlie Wyke (Sunderland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Abu Ogogo (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lewis Morgan (Sunderland).
Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Sunderland. Charlie Wyke replaces William Grigg.
Attempt blocked. Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Liam Sercombe (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.
Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Jimmy Dunne (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.