MATCH REPORTS

West Brom 1 Newcastle 1

Yoan Gouffran

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At the Hawthorns

 

 

West Bromwich Albion 1 (Jones 64)

Newcastle United 1 (Gouffran 8)

 

 

 

Newcastle United picked up an important Barclays Premier League point as they recorded a 1-1 draw away at West Bromwich Albion.

 

Yoan Gouffran headed the Magpies in front early on with his second goal for the Club but Billy Jones levelled things up for Albion after the break.

 

While the result goes some way to helping United secure their top flight status, Alan Pardew's side will feel disappointed with a share of spoils, having dominated the first period.

 

They could have easily added to their tally but a combination of superb goalkeeping from Ben Foster and wayward finishing thwarted Yohan Cabaye, Steven Taylor and Papiss Cisse.

 

At a ground where Newcastle produced one of their best away performances - and results - of the 2011/12 campaign, they got off to a brilliant start with less than eight minutes on the clock.

 

Neat build-up play saw Cisse receive the ball inside the area from a Cabaye pass. Taking a touch away from goal, the front man turned and delivered a cross into the dangerzone where Gouffran had stolen in to flick a header past Foster.

 

And they came within inches of doubling the advantage just two minutes later - captain Cabaye finishing off a flowing, passing move by firing a whisker over from 25 yards.

 

The visitors had the bit between their teeth and Baggies keeper Foster kept his side in touching distance with two important saves in the space of 30 seconds midway through the half.

 

First, the former Watford man blocked bravely at the feet of Steven Taylor, who tried to dink a finish over the stopper having played a one-two with Gouffran, before flying to his left to parry away another long ranger from Cabaye.

 

West Brom's first attempt of the afternoon came just past the half hour mark, centre-back Jonas Olsson harmlessly heading a Chris Brunt corner over the top at the far post.

 

But the Magpies were soon back on the front foot, with Cisse testing Foster before chipping an effort onto the roof of the net after a misplaced Olsson back pass.

 

Albion head coach Steve Clarke introduced Shane Long at half-time and the Irish striker almost had an immediate impact.

 

Within two minutes of the restart, visiting keeper Rob Elliot was unable to hold a fierce Marc-Antoine Fortune drive but managed to get enough of a hand on Long's follow-up to divert the ball wide.

 

Lukaku then crashed a close-range header against the bar from a Brunt corner, with Gareth McAuley prodding the loose ball into the side-netting after an almighty scramble.

 

The host had clearly been sent out fired up and they levelled on 64 minutes through full-back Jones.

 

Having raced down the right flank, Jones continued his run into the area and when a Steven Taylor tackle ran into his path, he took a touch before finishing past Elliot.

 

United's stopper may not have had any chance with that but almost immediately he made an outstanding fingertip save to push away Morrison's firm header, which was on its way into the top corner.

 

Forwards Shola Ameobi and Hatem Ben Arfa were both introduced from the substitutes' bench as Newcastle went in search of a winner, but the pair were unable to inspire a victory, as the Magpies settled for a share of the spoils.

 

 

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Ben Foster; Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Goran Popov; Graham Dorrans, Claudio Yacob (Shane Long 46), James Morrison, Chris Brunt; Marc-Antoine Fortune (Markus Rosenberg 90), Romelu Lukaku (Jerome Thomas 90)

 

Subs not used: Boaz Myhill, Steven Reid, Liam Ridgewell, Kemar Roofe

 

 

Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara (Hatem Ben Arfa 77); James Perch, Yohan Cabaye (c) (Dan Gosling 90); Jonas Gutierrez, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 69); Papiss Cisse

 

Subs not used: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, Vurnon Anita, Adam Campbell

 

 

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

 

Bookings: West Brom - none; Newcastle - Cabaye (86), Sissoko (90)

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