Sunderland moved up to fifth and within five points of the League One automatic promotion places despite being held to a goalless draw by Doncaster Rovers.
A poor first half at the Stadium of Light could easily have seen Rovers, who closed the gap on the top six to three points themselves, take the lead had they possessed a greater cutting edge in the final third.
But Sunderland grew in confidence after the restart and regularly threatened as they went in search of a third straight home win.
Chris Maguire had the best chance before the hour when he turned a Jordan Willis cross over the bar from six yards.
Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin denied Doncaster midfielder Madger Gomes at the other soon after and Jon Taylor headed the rebound wide.
But neither side did enough to win in front of the television cameras on Wearside, even though Sunderland extended their unbeaten run to eight matches.
Luke O’Nien and Duncan Watmore recorded the home side’s only efforts on target late on but those were stopped by goalkeeper Seny Dieng.