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Monday, 7 October, 2002, 06:24 GMT 07:24 UK
Newcastle see off West Brom
Alan Shearer scored both his team's goals
Shearer scored a goal in each half
Newcastle 2-1 West Brom

Two goals from Alan Shearer ensured that Newcastle came form behind to overcome West Brom at St James' Park.

But the Baggies can regard themselves as slightly unfortunate to take nothing from a game they led after Igor Balis' goal midway through the first half.

  Key moments
26 mins: Balis beats Given from 12 yards
45 mins: Shearer smashes Newcastle's equaliser
68 mins: Shearer shoots home from short range
Shearer's opening goal came from an indirect free-kick controversially awarded by referee Chris Foy, who adjudged that Baggies skipper Derek MacInnes had deliberately passed back to goalkeeper Joe Murphy.

Replays suggested MacInnes knew little about the incident and his misery was compounded when Shearer scored Newcastle's winner after 68 minutes.

It's a big victory for us
Newcastle manager Bobby Robson

This condemned West Brom to their fourth straight league and cup defeat.

Newcastle, despite registering their third consecutive Premiership win, were far from convincing and have yet to recapture the form that brought them a fourth-placed finish last season.

Sir Bobby Robson's team, with Craig Bellamy back alongside Shearer in attack, dominated possession in the early stages of the match.

But West Brom - content to defend in numbers and starve Newcastle of space - created problems with their forays forward.

Jason Roberts tangled with Aaron Hughes after being put through on goal and felt the Newcastle defender should have been punished, while Scott Dobie's cross-cum-shot forced a save from Shay Given.

And their endeavour was rewarded with a goal after 26 minutes.

Newcastle failed to clear their lines and the ball broke to Balis, who shot past Given from 12 yards.

Nolberto Solano had gone close with a free-kick minutes before West Brom scored and the Peruvian almost equalised within a minute of his team conceding, but his shot was saved by Premiership debutant Murphy.

Newcastle did equalise before the break - but needed an extremely helpful refereeing decision to do so.

Laurent Robert holds off Derek MacInnes
West Brom were committed in defence
MacInnes unwittingly deflected a deep cross goalwards, which Murphy collected. The referee harshly penalised MacInnes - back in the side after suspension and injury - for a deliberate back pass.

And from the subsequent free-kick Solano laid the ball off to Shearer, who smashed the equaliser from short range.

MacInnes was incensed by the decision and continued to protest as the teams walked off for half time.

Bellamy - unmarked eight yards from goal - should have given his team the lead shortly after the start of the second half but his header missed the target.

Things go against you when you're playing bigger clubs
West Brom manager Gary Megson

After 68 minutes, though, Shearer did give Newcastle the lead.

Solano superbly headed Robert's deep cross into Shearer's path and the Toon striker made no mistake from six yards.

Roberts had a chance to restore parity close to full time but blazed his shot over the crossbar.

Newcastle: Given, Griffin, O'Brien, Dabizas, Hughes, Solano (Jenas 82), Dyer, Speed, Robert (Bernard 89), Shearer, Bellamy (LuaLua 82).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Ameobi.

Booked: O'Brien.

Goals: Shearer 45, 69.

West Brom: Murphy, Moore, Gilchrist, Gregan, Balis, Clement, Johnson, McInnes, Marshall (Koumas 77), Roberts, Dobie (Hughes 69).
Subs Not Used: Wallwork, Sigurdsson, Jensen.

Booked: Roberts, Gregan.

Goals: Balis 27.

Attendance: 52,142.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

BBC Five Live's Peter Slater
"West Brom will be cursing their luck"
West Brom boss Gary Megson
"I was upset with some decisions"
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