Sunderland 1 N.Forest 0

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Julio Arca scored the only goal of the game as Sunderland boosted their promotion prospects with a fourth straight victory at the expense of Nottingham Forest.

Forest, who had been as high as fourth earlier in the season, are now just one place outside the relegation zone after taking just four points from their last 11 matches.

Paul Hart's side were beaten by a stunning strike from Argentinian defender Arca, who beat keeper Darren Ward with a drive from 25 yards.

Arca had earlier gone close with another long range effort as Mick McCarthy's side made a bright start to the game, while Marcus Stewart was just off target with a shot inside the area.

Brynjar Gunnarsson flashed a shot just past the post for Forest, and Andy Reid failed to trouble Mart Poom with a curling shot, before Sunderland took the lead when Stewart pulled the ball back for Arca to score.

Stewart was proving to be a handful for the Forest defence and he fired a shot straight at Ward before dipping a volley over the crossbar.

Sunderland failed to make the most of their chances and they were almost made to pay in the final minute when Reid found space on the edge of the area, only to miss the target from 18 yards.