Sunderland moved up to fourth and within five points of second placed Hull in Sky Bet League One by beating Swindon 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.
A first half with very few clear-cut chances was followed by a bit more action in the penalty area after the restart – and the winning goal.
Charlie Wyke headed his 24th goal of the season with 20 minutes remaining to leave battling Swindon pointless.
There looked like there might be no breakthrough as Swindon, who had lost just one of their previous three games, fought to give their hopes of avoiding relegation a further boost.
The Wiltshire club actually had the two shots on target in the first half with Scott Twine’s free-kicks held by goalkeeper Lee Burge.
The nearest Sunderland came was when top scorer Wyke turned Lynden Gooch’s low cross just wide after a good run down the right.
Gooch was denied by goalkeeper Connal Trueman on the hour before injury forced him off and Chris Maguire was introduced.
Maguire’s free-kick delivery in the 70th minute was met by the perfectly timed run and leap of Wyke, whose header dropped inside Trueman’s bottom right corner.
Twine also hit the bar for Swindon late on, but Sunderland held on.
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