Nottingham Forest 2-1 Leeds United

Matt Derbyshire

Matt Derbyshire scored a superb winner as Nottingham Forest maintained their promotion push with victory over Leeds.

Promotion rivals Leeds looked to have secured a point when Ross McCormack fired home in the 83rd-minute to cancel out Greg Halford's first-half header.

But Derbyshire came up with a 25-yard stunner just a minute later.

Forest claimed consecutive wins for the first time since August and are now only five points behind second-placed Derby in the Championship table.

Billy Davies's Forest team are unbeaten in their last six matches and this victory follows their 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Boxing Day.

Forest defender Halford rose to power in a header at the far post from Andy Reid's free-kick to put the home side into the lead midway through the first half.

Two minutes later, it might have been 2-0 to the home side, with Reid seeing a spectacular dipping shot skim the roof of the net.

Leeds were clearly aware of the threat posed by Reid, who was clattered for the third time in the game, this time by Rodolph Austin, who was booked.

Djamel Abdoun drew a save from Leeds keeper Paddy Kenny before Reid smashed an effort against the outside of the post.

And it looked to have been a pivotal moment when Leeds almost immediately charged up the other end of the pitch to equalise.

Following a melee in the box, the ball broke for McCormack and he lashed a low shot inside the post.

But, almost straight from the kick-off, Forest were ahead again, courtesy of Derbyshire's spectacular strike.

The defeat for Leeds means they slip out of the play-off positions to seventh.

Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies:

"There was a clear objective at the start of the season. The objective was to be in the top six in January.

"Having been here before - having found ourselves, in the middle of January, five points clear of third place and then not doing the business we should have done in January - we then found ourselves in the play-offs at the end of the season.

"From experience, I have had a good chat with the chairman, to tell him that the January window is very important. Having achieved our first objective, our second objective is to do some good business in the window, to give us a little lift and a push that will help us to towards the end of the season.

"Then hopefully we can achieve objective number three, which is to be in the mix come the end of the season."

Leeds boss Brian McDermott:

"It is evident where we are, we need to add to the squad, to add to the players we have got. We have a bunch of players who are giving us everything.

"But we know we need to add to the squad. I have given four names to the owners, we will see if we can do a deal when it comes to the money.

"I expect Forest to be up there, with the spending power they have. They have spent a lot of money over the years. Good luck to them.

"There is no quick fix for us, it is going to take time. I think the fans appreciate that. We will keep that improvement going and see where we are."

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