Sunderland handed promotion boost after Barnsley slip up against Coventry

Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel.Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel.
Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel.
Sunderland's automatic promotion hopes were handed a timely boost after second-place Barnsley were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Coventry.

The Tykes hadn't conceded a goal for six league games but were pegged back twice at Oakwell, squandering the chance to move eight points clear of Sunderland.

Instead, Barnsley moved six points ahead of the Black Cats in League One, having played three games more than Jack Ross' side.

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Following last weekend's stoppage-time winner at Walsall, Barnsley looked set to record back-to-back wins when Alex Mowatt opened the scoring after just nine minutes.

Coventry responded ten minutes before the interval, though, when Jordy Hiwula equalised for the visitors with a close-range finish.

Barnsley's Cauley Woodrow then scored his first league goal for four games but it wasn't enough to secure all three points, following a George Thomas leveller in the 62nd minute.

Sunderland will have the chance to close the gap on the top two when they travel to Accrington Stanley on Wednesday April 3.

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The draw was also a good result for top of the table Luton, who extended their lead at the League One summit with a 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers.

James Collins, who returned from international duty, and Luke Berry put the Hatters 2-0 up in the first half, before Jonson Clarke-Harris pulled one back for the hosts.

It means Mick Harford's side are now seven points clear at the top of the table, having played the same number of games as Barnsley.

With Sunderland and Portsmouth not in action due to Sunday's Checkatrade Trophy final, fifth-place Charlton consolidated their position in the play-off spots with a 1-0 win over Bradford.

Doncaster also bolstered their chances of finishing in the top six after a 3-1 win over Walsall at the Keepmoat Stadium.