ENGLISH Premier League leaders Newcastle United averted their first home loss of the campaign, and showed true championship quality in the process yesterday, as they fought back to beat Leeds 2-1 with Peter Beardsley scoring the winner. After trailing for 40 minutes, Newcastle roared back to preserve their 100 per cent home record and restore the gap ahead of second-placed Manchester United to six points. United, who have a game in hand, play at Nottingham Forest tomorrow. Brian Deane headed Leeds in front from Tony Dorigo's left-wing cross in the 31st minute of a lively encounter. Newcastle poured forward after that but were denied by John Lukic's acrobatics until Robert Lee rounded off a fine run with a powerful shot for the equaliser on 74 minutes. Two minutes later the Magpies took the lead when Beardsley converted the rebound after Les Ferdinand's header was blocked. Liverpool's recent poor run of results continued when they lost an exciting clash 2-1 at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium. 'Boro scored in the first minute when Neil Cox rounded off a move involving Juninho, Jan-Aage Fjortoft and Nick Barmby, the Teessiders' potent triple-threat. Liverpool dominated after the break and were rewarded for their endeavours when Neil Ruddock headed home John Barnes' 65th-minute cross. But within a minute Barmby electrified the home crowd by restoring the lead. The win jumped Middlesbrough to sixth place. Everton, on a high after last week's Merseyside derby success and a win over QPR in midweek, were made to work hard to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday. The visitors went 2-0 ahead at Goodison with two Mark Bright headers in the fifth and 27th minutes. Andrei Kanchelskis, who scored both their goals in last week's derby, pulled one back for the home team in the 44th minute and created the equaliser for Daniel Amokachi in the 54th. In the bottom-of-the-table battle at Highfield Road, nine-man Coventry pulled off an amazing Houdini act, recovering from 3-1 down with 15 minutes left to draw 3-3 with Wimbledon. They also avoided becoming Wimbledon's first victims in two months. The Sky Blues took the lead in the 16th minute when Paul Williams' corner kick was punched into his own net by Dons' goalie Paul Heald. Vinny Jones equalised with a 30th-minute spot kick. Jon Goodman put the Dons ahead just before half-time, following up when 'keeper Steve Ogrizovic parried Efan Ekoku's shot. Coventry were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Williams was sent off. Oyvind Leonhardsen made it 3-1, heading home after an Ogrizovic error. Coventry made a match of it when Dion Dublin pulled one back in the 74th minute. But they seemed to have lost all hope when Richard Shaw was also sent off. Then defender David Rennie became hero of the day with an 88th-minute equaliser. In another dogfight between strugglers, Southampton midfielder David Hughes was the match-winner, striking with 10 minutes left as Saints beat Bolton 1-0 at home. Bolton fell below Coventry to the bottom of the table. The game at Maine Road was preceded by a parade of old City stars and the present-day team, third bottom, responded with a precious 1-0 win against fourth-placed Aston Villa. Keith Curle missed a penalty in the 20th minute and it looked like their best chance had gone until Niall Quinn's back-heel set up Giorgi Kinkladze in the 88th minute. West Ham also left it late to beat Queen's Park Rangers by the only goal. Two minutes after Rangers' Karl Ready was sent off, Tony Cottee struck the killer blow for the Hammers, rounding QPR centre half Alan McDonald before shooting home. The other London derby ended goalless as Chelsea and Spurs failed to convert several chances at Stamford Bridge.