Charlie Wyke’s 14th goal of the season secured a long-awaited home win for Sunderland as they downed Shrewsbury 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Wyke, who hit a hat-trick at AFC Wimbledon last weekend, brilliantly headed Aiden McGeady’s cross inside the far post in the 18th minute to secure the points.
It was the first time Sunderland have won on home turf in Sky Bet League One since November 3 and lifted them back into promotion contention.
Sunderland controlled much of the game against a Shrewsbury side that was playing in the league for the first time this year because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp, with manager Steve Cotterill in intensive care at hospital in Bristol at one point.
Harry Chapman, on loan from Blackburn, went close to levelling things up after a brilliant run towards the end of the first half that ended with his shot deflecting wide.
But Sunderland also had other chances during that period, including when Wyke missed the target after rounding goalkeeper Matija Sarkic.
After the restart Shrewsbury looked more dangerous without testing goalkeeper Lee Burge enough. The nearest they came to scoring was when Shaun Whalley fired over from distance.
Sunderland move up to seventh and Shrewsbury unbeaten five-match run in the league came to an end.