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Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

West Brom 2-3 Newcastle

By Saj Chowdhury

Peter Lovenkrands
New signing Lovenkrands celebrates his first goal for Newcastle

Newcastle eased their relegation fears with victory at strugglers West Brom.

The build-up was overshadowed by the news that manager Joe Kinnear had been taken to hospital before the match.

But the Magpies went ahead when Damien Duff slotted in from 10 yards before Marc-Antoine Fortune equalised with a superb turn and shot.

A low strike by Peter Lovenkrands and Steven Taylor's header made it 3-1 before Fortune's second late on ensured a thrilling finish.

Assistant boss Chris Hughton took charge of Newcastle in Kinnear's absence and both he and Albion manager Tony Mowbray must have been dismayed by the antics of their backlines during the opening 10 minutes.

Only two minutes had gone when Duff took advantage of a piece of comedy defending by Leon Barnett.

The centre-back, back in the side after a four-match injury lay-off, failed to control a harmless ball from Shola Ameobi, allowing the pacy Duff to pounce and slot past Scott Carson from 10 yards.

"We beat ourselves" - Mowbray

Albion may have the worst defence in the league, but Newcastle's will not win any prizes either this season, and the lead did not last long.

Loan signing Fortune, who was one of the bright sparks for the home side, collected a pass from playmaker Borja Valero before twisting away from Steven Taylor far too easily and spearing a fine strike into the bottom left corner.

Celebrations among the home fans were cut short, however, when Mowbray's team capitulated once again moments later.

Duff's cross from the left found Ryan Taylor, whose volley ricocheted off two West Brom defenders before the ball found its way to Lovenkrands and the 29-year-old Dane, on a contract until the end of the season, marked his first start with a calm finish from eight yards.


With Jonathan Greening out injured, West Brom were missing a touch of guile, although James Morrison and Valero did their best to create for Fortune, who was their lone striker in the first half.

Morrison was particularly impressive and was unlucky when the giant figure of Fabricio Coloccini managed to block his goalbound shot.

But with two porous defences on display, there was always a chance of another before half-time and it came from the head of Steven Taylor who powered in a left-wing corner from four yards.

Newcastle thoughts were with Kinnear

The two-goal cushion gave Newcastle a degree of comfort after the break as they looked to secure their first away win since beating Pompey on 14 December.

Fortune scored his second, however, with a turn and fierce shot from just inside the area on 73 minutes and the Magpies managed to hang on to the three points despite late pressure from the home side.

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray:
"I don't think Newcastle beat us, we beat ourselves defending like that.

"It kills the crowd early on when you give goals away like we've given away and gives you a mountain to climb. We didn't manage it in the end.

We all live and die by results and we have all got to get better if we are going to give ourselves a chance.

"Today was a fantastic opportunity for us but like I said I don't feel Newcastle did anything special to beat us, we did it ourselves today which is very disappointing."

Newcastle assistant manager Chris Hughton:
"We knew it would be a tough game and we also knew that when you're playing the teams around you then it's vital tou get something out of the game.

"Coming here and getting a draw is not a bad result, coming here and getting a win was very pleasing.

"We are aware of what a good side they are at home and they put us under a bit of pressure in the last period, but we defended well when we had to and had the chances to push further ahead."

West Brom: Carson, Hoefkens, Barnett, Meite, Robinson, Kim (Filipe Teixeira 46), Koren, Borja Valero (Moore 84), Brunt (Bednar 46), Morrison, Fortune.
Subs Not Used: Kiely, Cech, Pele, Mulumbu.

Booked: Barnett, Koren.

Goals: Fortune 4, 73.

Newcastle: Harper, Steven Taylor, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor, Nolan, Butt, Duff, Ameobi (Viduka 80), Lovenkrands (Xisco 90).
Subs Not Used: Forster, Cacapa, Smith, Geremi, Edgar.

Booked: Ryan Taylor, Nolan.

Goals: Duff 2, Lovenkrands 9, Steven Taylor 41.

Att: 25,817

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Newcastle's Peter Lovenkrands 8.21 (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
Magpies give Kinnear reassurance
07 Feb 09 |  Newcastle
Saturday's football photos
07 Feb 09 |  Football

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