AIDEN McGEADY’S second-half brace fired Sunderland into the automatic promotion places courtesy of a 2-0 win at Plymouth Argyle.

There was little to choose between the sides in the first half, with Josh Maja firing wide of the target and Matt Macey saving from Lynden Gooch.

Sunderland suffered a brief scare on the stroke of half-time when Jon McLaughlin failed to gather a ball into the box, only for Antoni Sarcevic to fire wide.

The Black Cats claimed the lead at the start of the second half, with McGeady drifting across the face of the area before drilling a low shot into the corner.

Dylan McGeouch cleared Freddie Ladapo’s header off the line as Plymouth attempted to rally, but Sunderland made the points safe when McGeady scored his second goal of the game from the penalty spot.

Tafari Moore brought down substitute Luke O’Nien, and McGeady stepped up to stroke home from the spot.

Sunderland: McLaughlin; Matthews, Flanagan, Baldwin, James; Honeyman, McGeouch; McGeady, Maguire (O’Nien 74), Gooch; Maja (Sinclair 72).