Sunderland have slipped five points adrift of the automatic promotion places ahead of this evening's League One clash with Doncaster.
Jack Ross' side must beat Donny at the Stadium of Light to ensure their destiny remains in their own hands, following Barnsley's 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury at Oakwell.
The Tykes have played two more games than the Black Cats but have now recorded back-to-back wins in the third tier, and have a better goal difference than Sunderland.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Daniel Stendel's side against the Shrews, after Tyrese Campbell cancelled out Alex Mowatt's opener for Barnsley in the first half.
Yet the Tykes secured all three points courtesy of Jacob Brown's winner in the 55th minute, strengthening Barnsley's position in the final automatic promotion spot.
Sunderland also dropped a place to fourth in the League One table after promotion rivals Portsmouth claimed a huge three points at Burton.
Pompey took a first-half lead when midfielder Ben Close opened the scoring in the 31st minute, before Liam Boyce pulled one back for the hosts shortly after the break.
But it was Kenny Jackett's side who clinched the victory following Matt Clarke's stoppage-time winner - sealing a sixth straight league win for Pompey.
Portsmouth are now three points ahead of Sunderland in the table, having played one game more than the Black Cats.
Earlier in the day Charlton missed the chance to move ahead of the Black Cats after squandering a one-goal lead away at Oxford.
The Addicks went ahead in the fifth minute when top scorer Lyle Taylor converted from the penalty spot after Joe Aribo had been brought down in the box.
Lee Bowyer's side had won seven of their last nine games but couldn't hold onto their advantage as goals from Curtis Nelson and Luke Garbutt put Oxford ahead before half-time.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the second half as Oxford held on to take the points.
Charlton remain a point behind Sunderland, having played two games more than Jack Ross' side.