Championship round-up: Becchio strikes twice to welcome in the new dawn for Leeds

 

Luciano Becchio scored twice to give Leeds United's new owners the perfect start with a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough at Elland Road. Dubai-based private equity group GFH Capital this week completed their takeover of the club and Neil Warnock's side are now just two points off the Championship top six.

The in-form Becchio scored either side of half-time to cancel out Lukas Jutkiewicz's opener and give Leeds their fifth win in six League games. In the process, Becchio entered the top 10 of the club's all-time League goal-scorers with 75 in total.

Warnock said: "It was a super day for our new owners at the end of a really positive week. I have to be delighted, especially coming from behind to beat a very good side."

At St Andrew's, Birmingham fielded seven teenagers in their starting line-up against Burnley, Nikola Zigic scoring an 89th-minute equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw. Peter Loven- krands withdrew in the build-up to the game and Birmingham's manager, Lee Clark, explained: "We had to get young Josh Hawker out of the stands as there were no other players available. We deserved the draw, with the youngsters putting up a spirited performance."

Despite Barnsley's 2-1 win at Millwall they remain in the relegation zone after Sheffield Wednesday climbed out of the bottom three with a 2-0 victory against Charlton. The Londoners' manager, Chris Powell, was sent off at half-time after protesting the decision not to award his side a penalty. "I was asking for consistency and fairness but I didn't swear at the referee or point at him," Powell said. "He sent me to the stand because he said it was for the image of the game. He said I'd left my technical area but it was half-time, so what was I meant to do?"

Crystal Palace drew 1-1 with Huddersfield, while Peterborough survived a late scare to beat Bolton 5-4 at London Road.

Blackburn's game against Brighton was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Ewood Park as the Football League programme was severely hit by postponements. The heavy rainfall that swept the country forced the cancellation of six matches in League One and seven games in League Two.

Sheffield United took full advantage of the postponements and Tranmere's defeat against Swindon on Friday night to move two points clear at the top of League One with a 2-0 victory at Crawley.

In the women's game, the Arsenal Ladies manager, Laura Harvey, will leave the club in January to take over at the US side Seattle Reign.

Scotland

Inverness moved into second place behind Celtic in the Scottish Premier League with a 4-1 win over Dundee, while Niall McGinn scored twice as Aberdeen beat St Johnstone 2-0.

Rangers are nine points clear in the Scottish Third Division after a 6-2 win at nearest rivals Elgin. Manager Ally McCoist said: "We are on a good run now and we are playing well too. It is pleasing that we are maintaining a consistent level."

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