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The City Ground (ATT 26,670) 26th December 2012 - Kick off 12:15

N Forest Nottingham Forest vs Leeds United Leeds

N Forest 4

B Sharp (pen 44, 54)
R Austin (og 57)
D Blackstock (61)

ft

Leeds 2

P Green (12)
D Somma (90)

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Billy Sharp's double either side of half-time sets Forest on their way to 4-1 win

Last Updated: 26/12/12 5:01pm

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Billy Sharp: At the double for Forest

Billy Sharp: At the double for Forest

Billy Sharp's double helped Nottingham Forest recover from a goal down to beat Leeds 4-2 in their Championship clash at the City Ground on Boxing Day.

Forest, who had slipped to 11th place after taking only four points from their previous five matches, were the latest side to make a mockery of the form book in the Championship after Sharp converted a late first-half penalty to cancel out Paul Green's early opener for Leeds.

Sharp fired his second of the game soon after the restart and a three-goal blitz in nine minutes - Rodolph Austin scored a clumsy own goal and Dexter Blackstock headed home the fourth - stunned the visitors, who had celebrated the completion of last week's takeover by Dubai investment bank GFH Capital with victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday - Leeds' fifth win in their last six league games.

Defender Greg Halford, midfield pair Radoslaw Majewski and Adlene Guedioura, plus striker Blackstock returned for Forest, while Leeds, for whom Davide Somma struck a late second, recalled Adam Drury and midfielders Michael Brown and Austin.

The game was only 12 minutes old when Leeds nosed themselves ahead. Jerome Thomas swung the ball over from the left and after El-Hadji Diouf's shot was parried by Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp, the ball broke for Green to tap home into an unguarded net from no more than two yards.

It was midfielder Green's third goal in four league games and Leeds, who won the corresponding fixture 4-0 just over a year ago, were next to threaten again when Jamaica international Austin, back after a nine-game lay-off due to an ankle injury, drilled a 25-yard shot over the crossbar.

Leeds striker Luciano Becchio's header from Drury's cross was comfortably gathered by Camp, while at the other end visiting goalkeeper Paddy Kenny pulled off a fine save in the 28th minute to keep out Forest defender Elliott Ward's goalbound header.

Forest deservedly equalised in the 44th minute. Referee Lee Probert did not hesitate in pointing to the spot following Lees' challenge on Sharp and the Forest striker picked himself up to send Kenny the wrong way with the subsequent penalty for his eighth goal of the season.

Forest, suitably perked, looked the more dangerous side after the break and stole into a two-goal lead within 12 minutes of the restart.

Blackstock headed a long clearance brilliantly into the path of Sharp, who coolly rounded goalkeeper Kenny and rammed home his second goal in the 54th minute and three minutes later an out-of-touch Austin swung a clumsy leg at Forest defender Ward's cut back and lashed the ball into the roof of his own net.

Worse was to come for Leeds. Forest midfielder Andy Reid ghosted passed right-back Sam Byram and clipped in a fine cross for Blackstock to shrug off Tate's challenge and head powerfully beyond Kenny into the bottom corner.

Leeds substitute Somma made his second appearance in 19 months midway through the second half following a serious knee injury and slid home Ross McCormack's cross from close range to reduce the deficit in the last minute, but not before Kenny had pulled off another fine save to tip away Forest defender Alan Hutton's 30-yard blockbuster.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23