RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Lynden Gooch continued his excellent form as his goal helped a surging Sunderland to a win while Matthew Olosunde and Rotherham United kept rolling towards promotion with another victory.
Milton Keynes Dons 0-1 Sunderland
A wonder-goal from Lynden Gooch was all Sunderland needed to snatch all three points in their win over Milton Keynes Dons at Stadium MK.
Gooch, who has been in excellent form in recent games, played the entire 90 minutes for the Black Cats as they have moved their back into the promotion play-off race and within striking distance of the two automatic spots.
The visitors had the early advantage and should have taken the lead Luke O'Nien headed the ball into the path of Alim Ozturk from a free-kick, but the Turkish defender final touch failed him.
Following the scoreless first half, Sunderland came out in the next interval looking even more aggressive as they hunted for that elusive goal. Gooch had an opportunity to break the deadlock, but his effort was cleared off the goal line by Callum Brittain.
MK Dons goalkeeper Lee Nicholls was then called in to maintain the the scoreless game as he made an excellent save on a free-kick from Chris Maguire that was certainly head for the goal.
Despite the host's best efforts, they could not hold the shutout much longer as Gooch punished them will an fantastic goal in the 79th minute. Taking a pass from Max Power, the midfielder toyed with three defenders on the right side of the field then cut inside before firing a left-footed shot from the edge of the area that nestled into the top corner of the goal.
Another good win for the Black Cats, their third in row, as they seemed to have finally turned the corner to get themselves back into the conversation about promotion.
Sunderland now sits in sixth place in the standings with 41 points.
Rotherham United 3-0 Bristol Rovers
Rotherham's continued their good run of form with a comfortable win over Bristol Rovers to keep atop of the League One standings.
Matthew Olosunde started and went the distance for the Millers as they have now extended their winning streak to five games.
All three goals would come in the second half, with Kyle Vassell bagging the first in the 51st minute. The striker's glancing header off a cross from Chiedozie Ogbene got the host up and running.
Michael Smith doubled Rotherham's lead two minutes later as Ogbene provided another brilliant cross from the right to allow his team to head the ball home.
Ogbene was then rewarded for his hard work by scoring the team's final goal in the 88th minute. The winger pounced on the fumbled ball by Rovers' goalkeeper Jordi van Stappershoef after his initial save from Freddie Ladapo.
Rotherham sits in first place in the standings with 47 points.
In action from the Premier League, Indiana Vassilev made his league debut for Aston Villa as their game with Brighton ended in a 1-1 tie.
In the Championship, Tim Ream and Fulham cut further into the lead for the two automatic promotion spots with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. Luca de la Torre had a spot on the bench for the Cottagers.
Fulham will have to thank Geoff Cameron and Queens Park Rangers as they did the job with a 1-0 win over Leeds United.
Eric Lichaj and Hull City's pursuit of a promotion play-off place took a setback as Duane Holmes and Derby County came away with a 1-0 win.
Antonee Robinson and Wigan Athletic could not hold onto their lead as they fell to Swansea City in a 2-1 defeat.
Matt Miazga watched on from the bench as Reading was shutout by Millwall in a 2-0 loss.
In the other game down in League One, Charlie Kelman scored the opening goal for Southend United as they came away with a 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley.
Giles Phillips had to watch from the bench as Wycombe Wanderers ended their slump with a 2-1 win over Rochdale.