Rovers (A) Report

Sunderland sealed a comfortable win over Bristol Rovers and moved closer to the top two with back to back wins.

Luke O’Nien got the scoring underway in the first half and Aiden McGeady added a second to seal all three points which moved the lads only two points behind Barnsley in second.

Sunderland only made the one change as the injured Chris Maguire dropped out for Duncan Watmore who missed the last two.

Jack Ross’ men faced a Bristol Rovers side who are fighting relegation and sat in 19th going into today's game.

The last time Sunderland travelled to Rovers was back in 1993 where the two teams shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw. Earlier in the campaign, Sunderland came out 2-1 winners with goals from Adam Matthews and Josh Maja.

The lads look to continue to put pressure on the top two and Barnsley with the Tykes travelling to Portsmouth in a big game on the south coast.

The game started relatively even with both sides feeling their way into the game, Sunderland were trying to get McGeady into the game as much as possible with a lot of play coming down the left-hand side.

Both teams were struggling to create in the first 15 minutes of the game, and it became a scrappy affair as the half progressed.

25 Minutes into the game and from a short corner Sunderland took the lead, McGeady’s chipped ball to the far post was met by Will Grigg whose shot/cross fell to Luke O’Nien to score his fifth goal of the season.

It was Sunderland’s first shot of the game, and it was yet again from another corner. Whatever Ross is doing in training it’s working.

Rovers came into the first half as it went on but failed to test Jon McLaughlin in the Sunderland goal. They often looked to operate down the flanks but were having little luck with their end product.

Aiden McGeady has been in fine goalscoring form this season and scored a brilliant free-kick which looped up over the wall and left Jack Bonham rooted to the spot. It was the Irishman’s 11th goal of the season which was already his best scoring campaign.

The lads had two shots on target in an hour of football. It hadn’t been a vintage performance from Jack Ross’ men but what they were was clinical.

Credit to Sunderland’s back line because they were shutting out the Rovers attack and all their attacks were getting sent back.

Leadbitter deserved a special mention he had a fine game in the middle of the park and was often dictating the play.

Substitute Lewis Morgan picked the ball up deep in his own half and charged down the right beating two players with some brilliant skill. He put a great ball into Charlie Wyke, but he just couldn’t keep his shot down.

Wyke again should have scored after more brilliant wing play from Morgan who had a great impact from the bench. The Scot got to the by-line and cut it back to Wyke at the near post who couldn’t find the target.

Morgan and Wyke combined again as the former got another great ball into Wyke and set him up ten yards out with the goal at his mercy, but he dragged it wide. The striker could easily have had a brace at least in the second half.

Full Time: Bristol Rovers 0-2 Sunderland

ALS Man of the Match: Aiden McGeady