Preston North End took a point home from Wearside after drawing 0-0 with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
There were chances for both sides in the stalemate, with Ben Whiteman and Jordan Storey both having efforts cleared off the line for PNE, while Ched Evans had a promising strike kept out by goalkeeper Anthony Patterson.
Four changes were made from the last game by manager Ryan Lowe and there was also a switch in formation. PNE lined up in a 3-4-2-1 shape, with skipper Alan Browne occupying the right wing back spot, while Robbie Brady joined Emil Riis just behind focal point Ched Evans.
PNE had to do some defending in the opening stages, with Liam Lindsay required to deal with a dangerous Jack Clarke cross, while Alex Pritchard soon sent an effort just wide.
Ben Whiteman then came so close to breaking the deadlock at the other end as the ball landed kindly to the midfielder in the box in the aftermath of a corner, but defender Aji Alese did impressively well to clear off the goal-line.
The game calmed down a little after that point, before Alese could have got himself an assist on the half-hour mark, as he fired a ball across the box which evaded a couple of Sunderland forwards.
There was a nearly moment for Patrick Roberts a few minutes later too, as he curled a 20-yard effort just over the crossbar, and the last attacking action of the half saw Freddie Woodman deny Elliot Embleton from a tight angle.
PNE had a presentable opportunity on 54 minutes, as a Lindsay header fell to Evans, who struck goalwards and saw his powerful effort tipped over the bar.
Sunderland then came close themselves, again through Roberts, who did well to beat both Greg Cunningham and Álvaro Fernández, but his shot was off target.
Back at the other end and Evans had another near miss, this time heading inches wide on the end of a Brady cross.
Jordan Storey was next to be frustrated, when he rose highest to meet a Ben Whiteman corner, and Lynden Gooch was on the line to clear his effort away.
Skipper Browne had the last chance of the game, cutting in on to his left foot and unleashing a low effort at goal, but Patterson saved to ensure both sides took a point from the game.
Sunderland line-up: Patterson; Gooch, O’Nien, Batth, Alese; Roberts, Evans (Ba, 60), Neil, Clarke (Dajaku, 81); Embleton (Amad, 60), Pritchard (Bennette, 70). Subs not used: Bass, Dajaku, Matete, Wright.
PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham; Browne, Whiteman, Ledson (Woodburn, 73), Fernández; Brady (McCann, 86), Riis; Evans (Parrott, 67). Subs not used: Cornell, Johnson, Diaby, Potts.
Attendance: 41,225 (2,532 PNE fans).
Referee: Mr A Woolmer.