Goals from Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke and Chris Maguire overcame Swindon Town 2-0 at the County Ground.
A close-range finish from Wyke and a successful spot-kick from Maguire was enough to earn Sunderland the three points, in what was the first League contest between the two sides since 1999.
It was a frustrating defeat for Richie Wellens’ side who just minutes before the Black Cat’s second goal, saw a strong claim for a penalty turned down after Jack Payne was brought down in the penalty area.
Despite a very bright start to the second half, it was never going to be Town’s day and Sunderland secured the victory and a clean sheet.
A physical opening 20 minutes from the two sides saw very little chances created, with both teams only threatening from set-pieces.
With neither team creating any clear-cut opportunities and trying to find a rhythm, Grant Leadbitter gave Matej Kovar a scare on 18 minutes.
The midfielder tried his luck with an audacious lob from the best part of 50 yards, but the Manchester United loanee was quick to recover and palm the ball away.
Towards the end of the first-half, the game started to open up and Sunderland were first to capitalise.
Charlie Wyke diverted an out-swinging cross past Kovar into the back of the net to put the visitors ahead.
Sunderland came close to doubling the lead before the break, after Josh Scowen's glided cross into the area fell to Wyke, but he couldn't convert.
Manager Richie Wellens injected new energy into the team by bringing Jordan Stevens and Jonny Smith on for Diallang Jaiyesimi and Rob Hunt.
It looked to be working as Swindon came flying out of the traps and had a very strong penalty shout turned down.
Jack Payne turned beautifully in the penalty area, and his path was firmly blocked by the Sunderland defender.
Minutes later, Town’s momentum was extinguished as Chris Maguire doubled the away side’s lead from the penalty spot, after he was brought down by Jonathan Grounds.
Wellens’ side reacted to the second goal and were tantalisingly close to getting themselves back into the contest.
A curling, in swinging free kick from Payne found the head of Mathieu Baudry, but the Captain could not quite divert his effort into the far corner.
There were some more encouraging moments for Swindon, particularly with Jonny Smith constantly tormenting the left flank of the Sunderland defence.
Hallam Hope almost forced a nervous end to the contest, when he was put through on goal, but Black Cats goalkeeper, Lee Burge stood firm and blocked the ball away to safety, ensuring Sunderland would return with the three points and a clean sheet.