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Leeds bolster promotion hopes as Beckford sees red again

Britain Soccer Football - Preston North End v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship - Deepdale - 26/12/16 Leeds United
Britain Soccer Football - Preston North End v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship - Deepdale - 26/12/16 Leeds United's Hadi Sacko celebrates scoring their second goal Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Adam Holt Livepic
Modified 26 Dec 2016, 23:08 IST

LONDON (Reuters) - Leeds United bolstered their promotion ambitions with a 4-1 victory at Preston North End on Monday as their former player Jermaine Beckford was sent off in his first match back since serving a three-match 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 in fifth place in the Championship with 41 points.

Beckford, who was sent off for fighting with a team mate in his last match, came on as a substitute but did not last long as he was red-carded for a reckless kick into the face of a Leeds defender.

With leaders Newcastle United playing later against Sheffield Wednesday and second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion not in action, the focus was on the pack trying to reel in the league's two most consistent sides.

Third-placed Reading kept in touch with the automatic promotion places thanks to a 3-1 home victory over Norwich City who had Jonny Howson sent off for deliberate handball.

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

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

Bottom club Rotherham United managed only their third win all season, beating fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic 3-2.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

Published 26 Dec 2016, 23:08 IST
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