Black Cats win again

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SUNDERLAND'S recent renaissance continued on Bank Holiday Monday, with The Black Cats picking up a 2-0 win against Watford at The Stadium of Light.

Sunderland had struggled to make the breakthrough against the visitors, but the impressive Stewart (pictured) grabbed the all-important opener from the penalty spot, after Marcus Gayle sent Paul Thirlwell flying inside the box.

The Hornets battled to get an equaliser, but a lightning break from Sunderland saw Stewart break away and feed Stephen Wright who slammed home to seal the points.

Another of the relegated Premiership sides, West Bromwich Albion, also picked up a win, but a great deal of controversy surrounds their victory over ten-man Preston.

Lee Hughes was awarded a controversial penalty, which he converted himself, after minimal contact in the area from Preston keeper Jonathan Gould.

With Gould furious with what he saw as a dive, his apoplexy was extended by his dismissal for the incident, after he was adjudged to have committed a professional foul.

Preston nearly levelled late in the second half following a good run from Ricardo Fuller, but it was not enough for Craig Brown's side, who will be frustrated at what they will see as a major injustice.

Burnley finally got their season started, and in some style, with a 3-0 win away at Gillingham.

It has been 19 years since The Clarets won at Priestfield Stadium, but after a season of bad luck so far, Stan Ternent's side finally got the breaks they needed.

The return of Ian Moore from suspension has helped the Lancashire side, and he opened the scoring for Burnley when he left former team-mate Ian Cox for dead and slammed home superbly.

A second soon arrived when on-loan Luke Chadwick found Dean West who finished with aplomb on the volley.

The second half saw Gillingham throw everything forward in search of a goal, but a third on the break wrapped up a first win for Burnley, when Glen Little fed Robbie Blake who side-footed home.

Cardiff City enjoyed a handsome home triumph over Derby County though there was no shortage of controversy in an action-packed encounter.

After a fairly non-descript opening half-hour, the game burst to life when Alan Lee notched his first goal for The Bluebirds with a mis-hit cross from the right which somehow looped over the head of Rams goalkeeper Lee Grant and into the top corner.

Skipper Graham Kavanagh then put the hosts further ahead from the penalty spot on 38 minutes after Ian Taylor had upended John Robinson, and three minutes later The Rams were reduced to ten men when Portuguese star Candido Costa rashly kicked out at Richard Langley.

Derby briefly gave themselves hope when Matias Svensson grabbed his second goal in as many games with a neat slide-rule finish, though Cardiff restored their two-goal advantage seven minutes later when Alan Lee - who appeared yards offside - centred for Robert Earnshaw to lash into an unguarded net.

Derby's misery was complete when James Collins added a fourth, though his looping header looked to have been cleared before crossing the line by Rams skipper Ian Taylor.

Crewe Alexandra go level on points with Cardiff City following a thoroughly-deserved 1-0 victory over Walsall in the late kick-off at Gresty Road.

Steve Jones's second half strike was enough to give The Railwaymen all three points on Bank Holiday Monday evening, as Colin Lee's Saddlers had no reply in the end.

In the earlier match of the day, Rotherham United showed that they have lost none of the defensive qualities that they displayed last season, frustrating Reading at their Madejski Stadium throughout a 0-0 draw.

The Millers came with a game-plan, and Reading, despite having several good chances, could not break down a stalwart defence.

The Royals knew they were in for a difficult afternoon the moment that referee Mike Crick turned down what looked a blatant penalty after Chris Swailes felled Nicky Forster in the box.

Nicky Shorey then saw a shot drift just over, as the Reading forwards, including Shaun Goater, failed to click.

For Rotherham, Chris Sedgewick should have done better after engineering a chance for himself, but aimed his well struck drive high and wide when he should have tested Marcus Hahnemann in the Reading goal.

A flurry of substitutions failed to bring the goal that Reading sought and, if it was not for a wonderful save from Hahnemann after John Mullin's shot, Rotherham could have snatched the win.

Click on the links below for match stats:

Division One
Cardiff 4-1 Derby
Crewe 1-0 Walsall
Gillingham 0-3 Burnley
Reading 0-0 Rotherham
Sunderland 2-0 Watford
West Brom 1-0 Preston

Click here for an updated Division One table.