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Elland Road (ATT 22,386) 1st January 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: P Gibbs

Leeds Leeds United vs Bolton Wanderers Bolton

Leeds 1

L Becchio (pen 66)

ft

Bolton 0

Luciano Becchio hit the winner in Leeds United's 1-0 Championship victory over Bolton

Last Updated: 01/01/13 5:25pm

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Luciano Becchio: Scored his 18th goal of the season from the spot

Luciano Becchio: Scored his 18th goal of the season from the spot

Luciano Becchio returned to the Leeds side and immediately got back in the scoring groove as United prevailed 1-0 in a dire contest with Bolton.

The Argentinian striker was rested for Saturday's 2-0 loss at Hull in which Leeds failed to register a shot on target, but he showed his team-mates how it was done as he scored his 18th goal of the season from the spot after 65 minutes.

Bolton could stake a claim for an undeserved defeat - they had the best of a torrid first half during which they hit the post - but in the end Leeds just about edged it owing to their second-half improvements.

Becchio's goal after Tyrone Mears' clumsy foul not only earned Neil Warnock's men a fifth straight home win for the first time since 2009, it also booked him a spot in Leeds' all-time top-10 leading goalscorers on 76.

With Rodolph Austin's deflected 12th-minute free-kick skipping wide Leeds had already improved on their dismal display at Hull on Saturday where they did not register a shot, and even though the Jamaica midfielder was also off target with the next effort, they were at least showing some attacking intent.

In spite of their chances, Leeds were well off the pace in the middle of the park and should have been behind in the 20th minute.

Darren Pratley robbed Alan Tate of possession in the centre circle and he and Kevin Davies worked the ball to a clean-through Chris Eagles, but his shot clipped the post and went behind.

After more good work from Pratley, Eagles should have done better from the edge of the box, before the tricky winger brought about the best moment of an awful half when he forced Paddy Kenny to tip his 35-yard shot around the post.

In the second half Leeds built an attack with Austin going down the right and, after his cross was not cleared, David Norris' mishit pass rolled into McCormack who was ungainly bundled over by Mears, allowing Becchio to send Adam Bogdan the wrong way for the second time this season.

All of a sudden there was some energy inside Elland Road and El-Hadji Diouf sent McCormack clear but he rushed his shot and found the stand, before Becchio headed a Diouf corner over.

Bolton had to raise their own game and David N'gog shouted in vain for a penalty when he was tackled by Tate, but they had no way of getting a clear sight of Kenny's goal and were left to rue Eagles' first-half near miss.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Middlesbrough 44 84
2 Bournemouth 43 83
3 Watford 43 82
4 Norwich City 44 82
5 Derby County 43 75
6 Ipswich Town 43 74
7 Brentford 43 71
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 43 71
9 Blackburn Rovers 42 59
10 Nottingham Forest 43 58
11 Sheffield Wednesday 43 58
12 Charlton Athletic 43 57
13 Cardiff City 43 55
14 Birmingham City 42 54
15 Leeds United 43 52
16 Huddersfield Town 43 52
17 Bolton Wanderers 43 50
18 Reading 42 47
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 46
20 Fulham 43 46
21 Rotherham United 43 44
22 Millwall 42 39
23 Wigan Athletic 43 36
24 Blackpool 43 25