A Sunderland side that included new signings Pascal Chimbonda, Teemu Tainio and El-Hadji Diouf claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest.
The only goal at the City Ground was scored by Kieran Richardson, who lit up the game courtesy of a raking strike from the edge of the box with 20 minutes remaining.
Colin Calderwood's side began the contest sharply as new boy Robert Earnshaw conjured a couple of half chances, before Forest keeper Paul Smith was forced to save from Danny Higginbotham's far post header.
Daryl Murphy saw a shot deflected wide when well placed as Sunderland pressed late in the first half, but it was for the most part a low key opening 45 minutes.
Smith was brought into action after the interval in pushing over Diouf's rising drive, before the lively Guy Moussi sent a shot just wide for Forest.
It was Sunderland though that played the better of the football, as Michael Chopra went close from Anthony Stokes' cross. It was Stokes that proved the architect of Sunderland's goal as his pass found Richardson, whose terrific strike gave Smith not a prayer.
Forest struggled to get back into the game as Earnshaw created a chance for Garath McCleary late on, but it was Roy Keane's Sunderland that held on for the win.