Bristol Rovers 0-1 Sunderland AFC

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson during the Sky Bet League One match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. Picture date: Saturday February 13, 2021.

Sunderland got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

The Black Cats scored the only goal of the game through Aiden O’Brien in the 39th minute.

Lee Johnson made two changes to the side, with Josh Scowen and Aiden O’Brien replacing Grant Leadbitter and Conor McLaughlin.

Bristol Rovers’ recently appointed manager and Sunderland’s pantomime villain, Joey Barton, was unbeaten against Sunderland during his spell at Fleetwood, winning two and drawing four of those games.

Bristol Rovers looked to pressure Sunderland’s back line in the early stages, and it almost paid off in the 14th minute when Jonah Ayunga dispossessed Dion Sanderson, but his shot flashed wide of the post.

Sunderland managed to catch Rovers out with a quick free kick in the 28th minute, as Lynden Gooch was played through but his shot was parried and Wyke could not guide the rebound towards goal.

The Black Cats took the lead in the 39th minute from a corner taken by Aiden McGeady, and his ball was met by O’Brien, who managed to guide it past Anssi Jaakkola.

O’Brien almost doubled Sunderland’s lead in the 63rd minute with another McGeady cross, but his shot went over the bar.

McGeady had the next big chance of the game from a free kick, but his effort struck the outside of the post.

It was a nervy end to the game for Sunderland, with two chances falling Bristol Rovers’ way, with the best chance falling to former Sunderland player Jack Baldwin, but Lee Burge kept them out.

Sunderland are continuing to push for the top two places, with their next games coming against Oxford and Peterborough in a packed Easter schedule.