Nottingham Forest 4 Leeds 2: Sharp caps happy Christmas with brace in convincing victory
14:14 GMT, 26 December 2012
14:37 GMT, 26 December 2012
Billy Sharp capped a fine fortnight by striking twice as Nottingham Forest turned on the style either side of half-time to send in-form Leeds spiralling to defeat at the City Ground.
The striker's wife had given birth to their son on December 14 after a period of heartache that began with the death of their first child, who was just two days old, last summer.
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 npower 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.
Hotshot: Sharp's double proved the difference in Forest's victory
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ward, Collins, Halford, Cohen, Guedioura, Majewski, Reid, Sharp, Blackstock.
Subs: Darlow, Harding, Gillett, Moussi, McGugan, Cox, Lansbury.
Leeds: Kenny, /12/26/article-2253315-16A7EA1A000005DC-511_468x323.jpg” width=”468″ height=”323″ alt=”Mobbed: Sharp's Forest team-mates celebrate after he scored” class=”blkBorder” />
Mobbed: Sharp's Forest team-mates celebrate after he scored
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.
Spot on: Sharp's penalty brought Forest level
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 /12/26/article-2253315-16A7E9C8000005DC-370_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Agony: Leeds players saw Forest overtake them in the Championship table with victory” class=”blkBorder” />
Agony: Leeds players saw Forest overtake them in the Championship table with victory
Ecstacy: Forest are well-placed to challenge for promotion in the New Year