Reuters

Boxing Day body blow as leaders Newcastle lose

Boxing Day body blow as leaders Newcastle lose
By Reuters

27/12/2016 at 11:31Updated 27/12/2016 at 11:43

Championship leaders Newcastle United suffered a Boxing Day setback as Sheffield Wednesday earned a 1-0 victory at St James' Park on Monday.

A Glenn Loovens header eight minutes into the second half silenced the home crowd and proved enough to keep the visitors sixth in the table.

Newcastle's defeat, which followed three consecutive victories, has opened the door for Brighton and Hove Albion to move top if they beat Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday.

Glenn Loovens of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates scoring their first goal

Glenn Loovens of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates scoring their first goalReuters

It was a good day for the chasing pack with fifth-placed Leeds United winning 4-1 at Preston North End where home striker Jermaine Beckford was sent off in his first match back since serving a three-game suspension.

Goals by Kemar Roofe, Hadi Sacko and Souleymane Doukara put the visitors in control before the break and Pablo Hernandez added a late fourth to leave Leeds on 41 points, eight off the pace.

Leeds United's Hadi Sacko celebrates scoring their second goal

Leeds United's Hadi Sacko celebrates scoring their second goalReuters

Former Leeds forward Beckford, dismissed for fighting with a team mate in his last match, came on as a second-half substitute but he lasted only three minutes after a reckless kick in the face of a United defender.

"(Kyle) Bartley and (Luke) Ayling came through the back of Jermaine and he acted stupidly," said Preston manager Simon Grayson.

Third-placed Reading closed within six points of Newcastle thanks to a 3-1 home win over Norwich City who had Jonny Howson sent off for deliberate handball.

Huddersfield Town came from a goal down to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 and stay fourth, a point behind Reading and one ahead of Leeds.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner celebrates

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner celebratesReuters

Michael Mancienne's own goal after halftime sealed the points for Huddersfield and the Forest defender was later sent off to complete a miserable day.

Bottom club Rotherham United claimed their third league win of the season by beating fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic 3-2.

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