WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 3
October 30, 2005
Goals: Owen 46, 78min, Shearer 80min
Gary Oliver reports from The Hawthorns
FULL TIME REPORT
MICHAEL Owen made a superb return to Newcastle United's starting line-up as he struck a smart brace to help the Magpies to a 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
After a goalless first half, in which Graeme Souness' team enjoyed the better of the chances, Owen struck just 25 seconds after the break, when he displayed great predatory instincts to hook Charles N'Zogbia's left-wing cross past home keeper Tomasz Kuszczak and send the travelling fans into raptures behind the Smethwick End goal.
Owen took his tally to four goals since his record move from Real Madrid when he produced another neat near-post finish 12 minutes from time, a chance created by the electric pace of Kieron Dyer, who made a welcome return as a substitute.
Alan Shearer, who also began the game on the bench, wrapped up an emphatic win in the 80th minute, when he swept home a low Peter Ramage cross to register goal number 197 of his United career.
The victory capped a great seven days for the Geordies, coming hot on the heels of success over Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby and Grimsby Town in the Carling Cup.
SECOND HALF ACTION UPDATES
After two minutes of stoppage time, referee Howard Webb brings the game to a close and the jubilant Newcastle players take the acclaim of their ecstatic travelling support behind the Smethwick End goal.
90min - Kieron Dyer spreads play out to Peter Ramage on the right, who in turn picks out Alan Shearer. His first-time shot has plenty power but lacks accuracy and ends up in the stands.
81min - Geoff Horsfield sees a shot strike Peter Ramage and go behind for a corner that Newcastle have no trouble in clearing.
80min - NEWCASTLE GOAL - Alan Shearer makes it goal number 197 of his Magpies career to increase his team's lead. Peter Ramage swings over a low centre from the right and the Geordie goal ace gets ahead of Darren Moore to steer a low shot past Tomasz Kuszczak at his near post.
79min - Both teams make substitutions. Newcastle send on Titus Bramble to replace Jean Alain Boumsong, while Albion withdraw Jonathan Greening and introduce Geoff Horsfield.
78min - NEWCASTLE GOAL - Kieron Dyer shows great pace to go past Darren Moore on the right and his pull-back from the byline is perfect for Michael Owen to lift the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak at his near post. The striker is quick to race towards his England colleague to show his appreciation for creating the scoring chance.
75min - With 15 minutes remaining, Albion boss Bryan Robson freshens up his attack by sending on Nathan Ellington at the expense of Kanu.
71min - Kieron Dyer makes his first appearance since late August, when he comes off the bench to replace Charles N'Zogbia.
68min - West Brom are awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal after Jean Alain Boumsong pulls back Kanu. Robert Earnshaw's low effort is deflected behind for a corner, from which Darren Moore heads over the crossbar. Newcastle go upfield and win a free-kick, from which Steven Taylor heads over from Emre's delivery.
66min - Plenty of chances are starting to come in the game, and Robert Earnshaw is again denied by Shay Given, who this time dives to his left to push away a curling effort. Newcastle boss Graeme Souness makes his first substitution of the game, withdrawing Shola Ameobi and sending on Alan Shearer.
65min - A highly controversial moment as Newcastle try to break for a second goal. Nolberto Solano sends Michael Owen running clear and Tomasz Kuszczak races out of his box to block the striker's shot. United are convinced the home keeper has handled, but referee Howard Webb is having none of it.
62min - West Brom continue to press hard for an equaliser. Darren Carter powers past Peter Ramage, and his low cross is laid off by Kanu into the path of strike partner Robert Earnshaw, who drills wide from the edge of the box.
59min - Shola Ameobi becomes the first player to be booked by referee Howard Webb.
58min - Newcastle win a right-wing corner that is taken by Emre. Steven Taylor rises at the back post and heads the ball goalwards, but it is nodded clear by Junichi Inamoto on the line.
55min - Steve Watson pulls the ball back into the path of Robert Earnshaw, who has an angled drive blocked by Steven Taylor. Emre then makes a timely intervention to prevent Darren Carter reaching the loose ball. At the other end, Michael Owen tries to play in Scott Parker, but he overruns the ball.
52min - A big let-off for United as Albion press for an equaliser. A free-kick on halfway by Darren Carter is retrieved on the right flank by Jonathan Greening and from his low centre, Robert Earnshaw fails to get a proper connection. The hosts keep the pressure on and Junichi Inamoto's fierce effort from 20 yards cannons off Steven Taylor into the path of Earnshow, only for the Baggies striker to be denied by a brilliant reaction save from Shay Given from barely six yards.
49min - Robert Earnshaw chases a long forward ball for the hosts. Despite the attentions of Peter Ramage and Steven Taylor, the Welshman still gets a shot away but it is straight at Shay Given who makes a comfortable save.
47min - Shola Ameobi works the ball on to his right foot on the edge of the Albion penalty area, but his shot is scuffed and easily blocked by Darren Moore.
46min - NEWCASTLE GOAL - Only 23 seconds are on the clock when Michael Owen fires the Magpies ahead. Charles N'Zogbia swings over a left-footed cross to the near post which United's record signing hooked past Tomasz Kuszczak. It is his third goal since joining United from Real Madrid.
The second half begins with neither side having made any substitutions.
FIRST HALF ACTION UPDATES
The first-half ends goalless. Newcastle have created the better chances over the opening 45 minutes but have been unable to break the deadlock.
44min - With the half coming to a close, Charles N'Zogbia is pulled down by Riccardo Scimeca for a free-kick on the left touchline. Nolberto Solano's cross is palmed away by Tomasz Kuszczak. The ball is retrived by United and Scott Parker fires wide from 20 yards.
41min - Steve Watson swings over a right-wing cross that Celestine Babayaro nods behind under pressure from Robert Earnshaw. The first flag-kick from Darren Carter is defended at the expense of a second corner, and when Robert Earnshaw delivers an inswinger from the left, Curtis Davies rises highest of all but heads over.
37min - Michael Owen is denied an opening goal after a fine block from Tomasz Kuszczak. The striker is played in by Charles N'Zogbia, but he cannot lift his shot beyond the home keeper. United continue to press around the penalty area and Darren Moore has to concede a corner by blocking a Charles N'Zogbia shot after good work by Peter Ramage and Emre. From the flag-kick the ball is cleared only as far as Scott Parker, and when he returns it back into the box, Jean Alain Boumsong heads wide when well-positioned.
30min - Junichi Inamoto catches Scott Parker with a high boot to give Newcastle a free-kick just inside the West Brom half. Peter Ramage launches the ball towards the penalty area where Shola Ameobi is penalised for his challenge on home keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
29min - Jonathan Greening hoists a right-wing cross into the United penalty area which Shay Given punches clear but only as far as Neil Clement. However, the Albion man miskicks horribly and the chance is lost.
27min - Referee Howard Webb waves away protests from Michael Owen after he is outmuscled by Riccardo Scimeca on halfway. Albion move upfield and Jonathan Greening wins a corner that is defended by the Magpies.
25min - Michael Owen is let down by a lack of control after Nolberto Solano creats an opening for the striker. Possession is kept by Newcastle as Scott Parker tees up a shooting chance for midfield partner Emre, but the pace on his shot is taken away by the Albion rearguard and the ball runs through for Tomasz Kuszczak to collect.
23min - Riccardo Scimeca concedes a free-kick 30 yards from goal for pulling down Charles N'Zogbia. Nolberto Solano swings the ball into the penalty area but it eludes everyone and drifts harmlessly behind for a goal-kick.
14min - Jean Alain Boumsong makes two challenges on Junichi Inamoto and Robert Earnshaw in quick succession that leave home fans appealing loudly for a penalty. Referee Howard Webb is unimpressed and Michael Owen wins a corner off Curtis Davies in a swift counter attack. The flag kick isn't properly cleared by Albion and Michael Owen, Charles N'Zogbia and Emre all have efforts repelled by the hosts before Newcastle's little spell of pressure comes to an end when N'Zogbia is adjudged to have taken a foul throw.
12min - Nolberto Solano tries to pick out Michael Owen with a diagonal ball over the top of a retreating Baggies defence. However, home keeper Tomasz Kuszczak collects the ball on the far edge of his 18-yard box.
10min - Scott Parker is penalised for a foul on Kanu midway inside the Magpies half. Darren Carter lifts the ball into the United penalty area, but Celestine Babayaro heads clear. Within a minute, the Nigerian defender is called upon again, this time conceding a corner after tackling Jonathan Greening.
3min - Shola Ameobi turns Curtis Davies on the edge of the West Brom penalty area to get on the end of a Nolberto Solano pass. But his shot isn't properly struck and Darren Moore makes a sliding block at the expense of the game's first corner.
Newcastle United, wearing their green change kit, get the game underway defending the end in which the travelling Geordie support is housed.
MICHAEL Owen and Shola Ameobi led the line for Newcastle United against West Bromwich Albion as skipper Alan Shearer dropped down to the substitutes bench at The Hawthorns.
In the 35-year-old's absence from the starting line-up, the captain's armband was taken by Jean Alain Boumsong. Shearer was joined among the subs by Kieron Dyer.
Peter Ramage kept his place in the Magpies' defence, operating at right-back as Stephen Carr missed out through injury.
West Brom had former Toon favourite Steve Watsonin their ranks, while two of their midfielders also had north east connections - with Jonathan Greening and Darren Carter having had spells at Middlesbrough and Sunderland respectively.
West Bromwich Albion: Tomasz Kuszczak, Riccardo Scimeca, Darren Moore, Neil Clement, Jonathan Greening (Geoff Horsfield 79m), Steve Watson, Darren Carter, Curtis Davies, Robert Earnshaw, Nwankwo Kanu (Nathan Ellington 75m), Junichi Inamoto.
Subs not used: Russell Hoult, Thomas Gaardsoe, Richard Chaplow.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Peter Ramage, Celestine Babayaro, Steven Taylor, Jean Alain Boumsong (Titus Bramble 79m), Nolberto Solano, Scott Parker, Emre, Charles N'Zogbia (Kieron Dyer 71m), Shola Ameobi (Alan Shearer 68m), Michael Owen.
Subs not used: Steve Harper, Amady Faye.
Referee: Howard Webb.