Forest's magnificent seven stuns Leeds

20 March 2012 10:46

Nottingham Forest swept to a magnificent 7-3 win over Leeds at Elland Road on Tuesday as Garath McCleary scored four times to ease his side's relegation fears.

Forest raced into a 3-1 but looked to have blown the chance for a crucial win as Leeds hit back to level at 3-3.

However, McCleary's second-half heroics and a brace from Dexter Blackstock earned an incredible victory for Steve Cotterill's team.

Robert Snodgrass had put Leeds in front after six minutes but Adlene Guedioura equalised two minutes later and McCleary scored his first on the stroke of half-time to give Forest the edge.

In a stunning spell of five goals in eight minutes, Blackstock put Forest further ahead, Luciano Becchio and Michael Brown pulled it level for Leeds, then McCleary completed his hat-trick to make it 5-3 on the hour-mark.

McCleary added his fourth on 71 minutes and Blackstock completed the rout to move Forest seven points clear of the relegation zone.

At the top of the table, leaders Southampton took advantage of slip-ups from promotion rivals Reading and West Ham to move five points clear with a 2-0 win at Hull.

A Jack Hobbs own goal gave Saints a 14th minute lead and Jos Hooiveld added his side's second on the 59th minute mark.

Reading suffered their first loss in 11 league games as Peterborough won 3-1 at London Road.

Noel Hunt put Reading ahead but goals from George Boyd, Tyrone Barnett and Paul Taylor won it for the hosts.

West Ham stay third -- two points behind Reading with a game in hand -- after a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough at Upton Park.

Abdoulaye Faye's 67th minute header put the Hammers ahead, but Bart Ogbeche's 84th minute equaliser earned Middlesbrough a point.

Bottom of the table Portsmouth claimed their first win in 10 matches with a 4-1 triumph over 10-man Birmingham at Fratton Park.

Nikola Zigic gave Birmingham a seventh minute lead but Chris Maguire and David Norris turned it round for Pompey.

After Blues had David Murphy sent off, the hosts made sure with further strikes from Kelvin Etuhu and Marko Futacs.

Millwall eased their relegation fears with goals from Andrew Keogh, Harry Kane and Darius Henderson giving them a 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Doncaster.

Elsewhere, Brighton beat Derby 2-0, Watford won 2-0 at Bristol City and Crystal Palace defeated Barnsley 1-0.

Source: AFP

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