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Page last updated at 21:45 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Newcastle 2-1 West Brom

By Phil McNulty

Joey Barton celebrates putting Newcastle ahead
Joey Barton celebrates putting Newcastle ahead

Newcastle moved out of the bottom three in the Premier League as first-half goals from Joey Barton and Obefami Martins saw off West Bromwich Albion.

Barton - starting his first match since his release from prison - scored from the spot after 10 minutes following Ryan Donk's foul on Shola Ameobi.

And Martins headed home Habib Beye's cross three minutes before half-time.

Substitute Ishmael Miller pulled one back after the break, but West Brom

could not make their pressure count.

It gave Newcastle's interim manager Joe Kinnear his first victory in four matches since his appointment at St James' Park - but they had several anxious moments in the second half as West Brom dominated possession.

But it was a familiar tale for Tony Mowbray's side, who continue to play in an attractive, measured fashion but desperately lack a cutting edge.

Kinnear was elated with his first victory

Newcastle opened with real intent, with West Brom defender Paul Robinson needing to make a vital tackle to halt Ameobi inside the opening 30 seconds.

Martins then forced Scott Carson into a fine save - but Newcastle's pressure reaped its reward with a deserved opening goal.

Donk's rash challenge on Ameobi left referee Mike Dean with no alternative other than to point to the spot, and Barton calmly sent Carson the wrong way to spark some full-blooded celebrations.

West Brom enjoyed plenty of possession and their passing was always neat and tidy, but they only carved out one serious chance in the first period, which came courtesy of a 34th-minute opportunity for James Morrison.

Robert Koren's clever pass played in Morrison with a clear run on goal, but Newcastle keeper Shay Given saved crucially with his feet.

And Newcastle made the Baggies pay for that missed chance when they doubled their advantage shortly before the break.

Mowbray was unhappy with his defence

Beye was the creator with a cross to the far post, which Martins headed past Carson with the help of a deflection.

West Brom needed to find attacking impetus, and the powerful Miller came on for Chris Brunt after 54 minutes.

And he was unfortunate to be in the way of a goal-bound effort from Morrison almost instantly, although the shot was unlikely to be carrying enough power to beat Given.

But Miller had better luck after 65 minutes when West Brom got the goal their increasing confidence and composed football deserved.

Koren produced a superb ball to set Miller free in behind Fabricio Coloccini, and he rounded Given to slide home and give the visitors a lifeline.


And Miller almost drew West Brom level eight minutes later when he reacted first after Newcastle failed to clear a free-kick, but Given blocked his angled shot.

Newcastle grew increasingly anxious as the clock ran down, but they held out for their first league win since they beat Bolton at home on 23 August.

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear:
"I'm very happy. I think we are on the up. It is a great night for everybody here.

"I know its an old cliche but nobody wants to be in the bottom three. Nobody likes being in that position but if we can carry on now and get a second win then that would be great.

"If we can get a second victory back to back then it would be a completely different picture altogether, and it will give everybody a lot more confidence."

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray:
"In the first half we just didn't cope defensively. We tightened up after half-time and created a few chances, but if you defend like that you probably don't deserve anything.

"At the moment we are not clinical enough, but we are creating enough chances to win football matches. "

Newcastle: Given, Beye, Taylor, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Duff, Guthrie, Barton, Gutierrez (Geremi 70), Martins (Xisco 77), Ameobi (Carroll 90).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Bassong, N'Zogbia, Edgar.

Goals: Barton 10 pen, Martins 42.

West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Koren, Morrison, Brunt (Miller 54), Borja Valero, Greening, Bednar (Moore 67).
Subs Not Used: Kiely, Hoefkens, Cech, MacDonald, Pele.

Booked: Donk, Robinson, Bednar, Moore.

Goals: Miller 65.

Att: 45,801

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Newcastle's Obefami Martins 7.25 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Tuesday's football photos
28 Oct 08 |  Football
Live text - Premier League
28 Oct 08 |  Premier League

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