St. James' Park
Barclays Premier League
By Anthony Marshall, at St. James' Park
Newcastle United 3 (S Taylor 16, Lovenkrands 39, Olsson og 47)
West Bromwich Albion 3 (Tchoyi 62, 72, 90)
A second half Somen Tchoyi hat-trick denied Newcastle a final day victory and a top ten Premier League finish, as West Brom came from three down to draw 3-3 at St. James' Park.
First half goals from Steven Taylor and Peter Lovenkrands put the Magpies firmly in control at the break, and when Jonas Olsson netted past his own keeper just minutes after the restart it looked game over.
But Tchoyi had other ideas and produced a composed finish for what looked like being no more than a consolation midway through the second half. The front man then produced a superb goal out of nothing at the far post to give the Baggies hope, before completing his treble with a diving header in the final minute.
It was youngster Shane Ferguson who fashioned the first opportunity with only three minutes on the clock. Danny Guthrie won possession in the middle of the park with a crunching challenge before spreading the ball left to the Northern Ireland international.
And Ferguson ran at the backing-off Baggies defence before firing in a low shot which keeper Scott Carson did well to claim low down to his left.
But West Brom went straight down the other end and when Jose Enrique sloppily gifted the ball to Somen Tchoyi almost inside his own area, only a superb goalline clearance from Steven Taylor prevented Marc-Antoine Fortune from tapping in the resulting squared delivery.
The breakthrough arrived in the 16th minute through man of the moment Steven Taylor, who grabbed his third goal in as many matches since being recalled to the starting line-up.
Ryan Taylor's corner from the left caused chaos in the visiting defence, and as West Brom failed to clear their lines the centre-back pounced from a couple of yards to make no mistake.
Ferguson was looking United's brightest player in the opening stages and scooped a volley narrowly over the top after some great individual build-up play from Shola Ameobi had created the chance for the teenager.
Another move down the left almost resulted in Newcastle doubling their advantage on 28 minutes. There appeared little on when the ball was wide to Enrique, but the Spaniard played an inch-perfect chipped pass over the West Brom rearguard for Peter Lovenkrands, whose volley was held by Carson.
Ameobi then saw a strike deflected away for a corner, before some suicidal defending from the visitors put him in again, only for the big striker to round Carson but see his effort from a tight angle hacked off the line by Abdoulaye Meite.
By this stage it was becoming one-way traffic, and Carson had to be at his very best to tip over a Guthrie long-range drive which seemed destined for the top corner, before Steven Taylor nodded wide minutes later.
Tim Krul made an outstanding save to deny Chris Brunt in a rare Baggies attack before Newcastle deservedly doubled their advantage in the 39th minute. Ameobi rose above Meite to head into the path of Lovenkrands, and the Danish forward stung the palms of Carson with a fierce drive. But the ball looped up off the keeper and, despite his best efforts to keep it out, found its way just over the line, with linesman Andy Halliday awarding the goal.
It was a case of deja vu four minutes before the break when Steven Taylor was on hand again to protect his side's clean sheet, clearing from underneath his own crossbar when Fortune's strike had beaten Krul.
Newcastle got the second half underway in the best possible fashion, adding goal number three just two minutes after the restart. Enrique's hopeful cross from the left looked simple to deal with, but centre-half Jonas Olsson somehow managed to prod the ball past Carson at his near post while trying to clear.
Olsson had the chance to redeem himself and get West Brom back in the game on the hour mark, but he failed to connect with Chris Brunt's in-swinging free-kick which went right across the face of goal without a touch from anyone.
It was easily the Baggies' best spell of the game and they got themselves on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute through Tchoyi. The forward raced clear of the Newcastle back line to beat the offside trap and produced a cool, side-footed finish past Krul from 15 yards.
The home side went back on the offensive and Ryan Taylor saw a close-range effort blocked by Olsson, before Lovenkrands' clever outside-of-the-boot finish only found the side netting.
But West Brom gave themselves real hope on 72 minutes through that man Tchoyi again. The Cameroon international did well to keep Reid's cross in play at the far post and then side-stepped the challenge of Fabricio Coloccini before smashing the ball home past Krul into the roof of the net.
They could sense an equaliser, and Olsson headed Brunt's corner over the top ast the Baggies went in search of it, but at the other end Ryan Taylor forced Carson into a decent stop direct from a free-kick.
As the clock ticked away Steven Taylor almost grabbed his second of the afternoon when he shot into the side netting as the visitors struggled to deal with a deep corner, and Enrique drove right across the face of goal.
But there was to be one final chance in the match and Tchoyi stole in unmarked right in the heart of the six-yard box to plant home a diving header from Olsson's left-wing cross.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Ryan Taylor, Joey Barton (c), Danny Guthrie (Leon Best 72), Shane Ferguson (Kazenga LuaLua 64); Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands (Alan Smith 70)
Subs not used: Ole Soderberg, James Tavernier, Nile Ranger, Shefki Kuqi
West Bromwich Albion (4-5-1): Scott Carson; Steven Reid, Abdoulaye Meite (Pablo Ibanez 46), Jonas Olsson, Nicky Shorey; Chris Brunt (c), James Morrison, Youssouf Mulumbu, Paul Scharner (George Thorne 60), Somen Tchoyi; Marc-Antoine Fortune (Ishmael Miller 72)
Subs not used: Boaz Myhill, Gonzalo Jara, Jerome Thomas, Simon Cox
Referee: Mark Halsey
Attendance: 51,678 (2,800 West Brom)