Newcastle United hang on at West Brom to claim a vital point
West Brom and Newcastle drew 1-1 at The Hawthorns in the Premier League on Saturday.
Last Updated: 20/04/13 7:16pm
A goal in the second half by Billy Jones cancelled out Yoan Gouffran's earlier strike to secure West Brom a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.
It was clear that Newcastle wanted to make amends for last week's humiliating derby defeat to Sunderland.
But all they had to show for their dominance at the interval was Gouffran's eighth-minute effort, which came after a neat pass from Yohan Cabaye and a good cross from Papiss Cisse.
The opening exchanges had been scrappy but Newcastle had already threatened when Mathieu Debuchy's cross was cleared by Jones.
Cabaye also tested Foster moments later with a well-struck low volley from outside the box, while Mouusa Sissoko broke clear down the left but his pass back for Cisse was scrambled clear by Jonas Olsson.
Ben Foster then dealt comfortably with a spectacular long-range effort from Cisse but he might have feared the worst as the striker seized on a poor pass by Olsson after 35 minutes. Cisse instinctively clipped the ball over the onrushing keeper but his contact was too strong and a fine chance dipped just over the bar.
West Brom did manage to piece a good move together in the closing stages of the half but controversy followed as they were awarded a free-kick on right edge of the box.
James Perch was ruled to have felled Jones after the referee had consulted his assistant but replays suggested the tackle had been clean - and inside the box.
Within moments of the restart Marc-Antoine Fortune tested Rob Elliot for the first time with a long-range effort.
Elliot failed to grab the shot and was lucky to escape as substitute Shane Long seized possession but shot wide, while Romelu Lukaku gave the visitors another warning as he rose highest to head a Chris Brunt corner against the bar.
James Morrison shot wide as pressure continued to build and the hosts' good work eventually paid off just after the hour. James Morrison and Lukaku combined well before the striker turned in the area and picked out Jones, who coolly slid the ball beyond Elliot with a first-time shot.
The game almost turned on its head completely just two minutes later as an unmarked Morrison headed powerfully at goal from a Goran Popov cross but Elliot saved well to his left, while Gareth McAuley won a header from another Brunt corner but failed to hit the target.
Newcastle looked a jaded team and could only break the momentum with a speculative attempt from the halfway line by Gouffran which never concerned Foster.
Steve Clarke was pleased with West Brom's performance in the second half, but was thankful that they were still in with a shout of getting a point.
He told Sky Sports: "Newcastle were better and sharper than us in the first half. They looked like a side who wanted to secure their place in the Premier League next season.
"All credit to them at the start of the game. They created a number of chances and we were very lucky to hang in there."
Alan Pardew felt Newcastle should have won the game and could have been out of sight early on.
He told Sky Sports: "To be honest, the game should have been over at half-time.
"West Brom went direct in the second half but if we had scored that second when we were on top we might have been leaving with all three points."