Sunderland leapfrog Barnsley with Burton draw – but Portsmouth remain very much in automatic promotion race
Sunderland moved themselves into the League One automatic promotion places despite being held by Burton Albion.
The Black Cats drew 1-1 with the Brewers at the Stadium of Light, leapfrogging Barnsley into second.
And Jack Ross’ side moved three points clear of Pompey, although both sides have now equally played 40 games in the race for the Championship.
It was Nigel Clough’s visitors who took the lead through Tom Flanagan’s own goal in the 19th minute.
Marcus Harness put in a cross which ricocheted off the back-tracking Sunderland defender and flew into the net.
However, the hosts were level eight minutes later when Jack Baldwin headed home Grant Leadbitter’s delivery.
Burton made the better start to the second period and were unlucky not to regain their advantage.
In the 50th minute Harness was denied by home keeper Jon McLaughlin before Liam Boyce’s chipped effort moments later was hacked off the line by Flanagan.
Jack Ross’ men grew into the half, though, and Charlie Wyke rattled the crossbar on 65 minutes.
And with their tales up, it was Leadbitter’s turn to strike the woodwork for the Black Cats 10 minutes later.
Pompey travel to Sunderland on April 27 in what’s going to be a massive fixture in the promotion battle.
Meanwhile, Charlton moved to just within a point of the Blues after a 1-0 victory against Wycombe at Adams Park.
Ex-Fratton captain Jason Pearce netted the only goal of the game in the 35th minute when he volleyed home Josh Cullen’s cross.
Pompey now have a game in hand on fifth-placed Charlton.
In the other game of the night, Rochdale took a massive stride towards safety with a 1-0 win at relegation rivals Accrington.