Sunderland promotion rivals suffer huge blows as Black Cats triumph - Saturday's League One round-up
Sunderland kept pace in the race for promotion from League One with an assured 2-0 win over bottom side Rochdale on Saturday afternoon – but some of their nearest rivals suffered big blows in their efforts to get out of the third tier.
Dion Sanderson and Charlie Wyke were on target for the Black Cats, who remain fourth in the table, but above them in-form Peterborough United were humbled by a resurgent Burton Albion.
The Brewers have now won three on the bounce under returning manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and they were able to stave off a late push from Posh to record a 2-1 victory.
That result brings to an end an unbeaten run of seven matches for Darren Ferguson’s men, who slip to second in the table.
Their spot at the top is taken by Hull City, who beat Bristol Rovers 2-0, while Lincoln City returned to winning ways with a 3-0 over Crewe Alexandra to stay third.
By far the most eye-catching result of the day came from Sixfields, where Northampton Town thumped Portsmouth 4-1 to pile further misery on Pompey boss Kenny Jackett.
His side are now winless in three in the league, and while they remain sixth for now, they go into Tuesday's huge clash with Sunderland looking like something of a spent force.
Portsmouth’s cause isn’t helped by Doncaster Rovers either, who made it two wins on the bounce since Darren Moore left the club for Sheffield Wednesday by beating Plymouth Argyle at home.
Elsewhere, it was a difficult start to life at Ipswich Town for Paul Cook, who lost 3-1 against a spirited Gillingham side in his first game in charge at Portman Road.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Tractor Boys, however, and both they and Accrington Stanley – who won 2-1 against Swindon Town – are just two points behind Portsmouth with a game in hand.
At the other end of the table, Wigan Athletic put in a domineering display to beat MK Dons 3-0, and with the three teams above them all dropping points, the Latics have tightened things up a little at the bottom.
In the rest of today's matches, Charlton Athletic played out a 0-0 draw with Oxford United, Wimbledon drew with Blackpool, and Fleetwood Town beat Shrewsbury Town 2-0.