Last updated on .From the section League One

Ross Stewart
Sunderland’s top scorer Ross Stewart converted an early penalty for his 12th goal of the season

Sunderland moved up to second in League One with a comfortable victory at Doncaster Rovers.

Ross Stewart’s early penalty and one just before half-time from Elliot Embleton put them in control at the Eco Power Stadium.

An own-goal from Ben Blythe early in the second half completed the job as they cruised to three points.

Doncaster rarely threatened the Black Cats’ goal and remain in deep trouble in 23rd in the division.

The win takes Lee Johnson’s team just one point behind leaders Rotherham, who lost 1-0 at Accrington on Boxing Day.

This result was never in doubt from the moment Stewart scored his 12th of the season via the penalty spot after on-loan German Leon Dajaku had been tripped by Branden Horton.

Embleton had time and space in the area to make it two before youngster Blythe, making only his second league appearance, diverted Alex Pritchard’s flick into his own net.

Rovers are still six points from safety and this comprehensive loss was a blow to interim manager Gary McSheffrey’s hopes of landing the job on a full-time basis.

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson told BBC Newcastle:

“We had to be professional today. We had to find some control and obviously the early goal did us a right favour.

“Then we left them off the hook a bit but the second goal was really good timing for us because it was getting a bit frustrating.

“It’s a really big three points. We had to capitalise on closing the gap (to leaders Rotherham) and we did.”

Line-ups

Doncaster

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Jones
  • 2Knoyle
  • 5Olowu
  • 30Blythe
  • 28Horton
  • 29HasaniSubstituted forBogleat 45′minutes
  • 14Smith
  • 31RavenhillSubstituted forGardnerat 61′minutesBooked at 82mins
  • 17Hiwula-Mayifuila
  • 20DodooSubstituted forBarlowat 76′minutes
  • 10Rowe

Substitutes

  • 7Bogle
  • 12Dahlberg
  • 16Barlow
  • 18Williams
  • 21Cukur
  • 23Gardner
  • 41Faulkner

Sunderland

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 39Hoffmann
  • 26Wright
  • 3Flanagan
  • 6DoyleBooked at 88mins
  • 11Gooch
  • 24Neil
  • 4EvansSubstituted forCirkinat 57′minutes
  • 7Dajaku
  • 21PritchardSubstituted forHumeat 74′minutes
  • 8Embleton
  • 14StewartSubstituted forHarrisat 82′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Burge
  • 5Alves
  • 17Cirkin
  • 25Younger
  • 33Hume
  • 37Harris
  • 48Mbunga-Kimpioka

Referee:
Robert Madley

Attendance:
10,751

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Doncaster Rovers 0, Sunderland 3.

  2. Second Half ends, Doncaster Rovers 0, Sunderland 3.

  3. Dennis Cirkin (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Foul by Omar Bogle (Doncaster Rovers).

  5. Attempt missed. Branden Horton (Doncaster Rovers) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dan Gardner.

  6. Daniel Neil (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Foul by Matthew Smith (Doncaster Rovers).

  8. Attempt blocked. Tommy Rowe (Doncaster Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Smith.

  9. Corner, Doncaster Rovers. Conceded by Bailey Wright.

  10. Callum Doyle (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Substitution, Sunderland. William Harris replaces Ross Stewart.

  12. Attempt missed. Elliot Embleton (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Bailey Wright.

  13. Dan Gardner (Doncaster Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Attempt missed. Leon Dajaku (Sunderland) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

  15. Tom Flanagan (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Foul by Tommy Rowe (Doncaster Rovers).

  17. Attempt saved. Tommy Rowe (Doncaster Rovers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matthew Smith.

  18. Daniel Neil (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Foul by Dan Gardner (Doncaster Rovers).

  20. Dennis Cirkin (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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