A Chris Maguire goal was enough to see Sunderland take home the points against a fired up Doncaster side. There were a few good performances in amongst a physical affair, which at times threatened to boil over into anarchy. Who wore the shirt with pride and turned out a performance good enough for the Black Cats faithful to talk about? (By the way the ref, he was a bit... well ten yellows. So I'll let you decide for yourself how to describe that.)
McLaughlin is in the matrix
Big bad Jon was at it again, he just seems to love going toe to toe with a player. More often than not he comes out on top, which was proved twice before half time.
Doncaster had managed to put a player through 1 on 1 with the Sunderland stopper but his tremendous reflex saves after sprinting off his line to meet the ball head on were a joy to behold. Throughout the game he was an unwavering presence behind the back four, making saves, claiming set pieces and starting attacks. Jack Ross and his scouting team have pulled an absolute blinder signing the Scottish international on a free.
Each passing game his importance to this side becomes more apparent and it's good to see a Sunderland keeper who inspires confidence again. Two clean sheets on the bounce in the league make it three in total and McLaughlin seems to be finally getting his reward for the consistency he has shown between the sticks. The man really does look top drawer.
Oh how we've missed Gooch
The quality that the American brings to this Sunderland side is undeniable. Tonight in a tough game against a good Rovers side his full box of tricks was out on show. He beat his man on a number of occasions and has the ability to either take the ball to the flag and send a curling cross into the mixer, or cut inside and link up with his fellow forwards.
Naturally he has a good left boot also, meaning he doesn't always have to supply his peers but his unselfish play sees him doing that more often than not. Probably the reason why he's among the top 3 for assists in the league right now. The opportunity for Maguire's goal came from Gooch cutting in from the right to create an opening for himself. He lashed a wicked shot at the Donny goal but it rebounded off the post. Adam Matthews helped it back into the box and the ball fell for Maguire, who proceeded to smash it into the roof of the net.
This would prove the only goal of the game but it was all Sunderland would need to take the 3 points back to Wearside.
Maguire's some boy
Apart from being a quality footballer who genuinely loves playing for the club we all adore, he's actually a character with a bit of patter about him.
Watching him pick up a Doncaster player who had gone down under suspect circumstances and carrying him off the pitch was hilarious. No one was stopping Chris Maguire continuing this game. His trickery and movement always pulls defenders out of position and he was on hand to finish the goal after Matthews put the Gooch rebound back into the box.
His mouth did nearly get him in trouble after being fouled, he was relentless in his efforts to wind the offending player up to the point the ref had to tell him to give it a rest. But then again they're the types of players the opposition hates to see line up opposite them. The type that gets under their skin with little niggly bits of physicality or the odd insult, but has the quality to walk the walk. Maguire is all this and I for one have been thoroughly impressed by the former Oxford hero who arrived on a free from Bury.