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  • Newcastle 3-3 Westbrom: Lovenkrands great-strike, Tchoyi hat-trick

    Somen Tchoyi hit a second-half hat-trick as West Bromwich Albion came from three goals down to draw 3-3 against Newcastle United at St James' Park in the Premier League.
    Steven Taylor put the home side into the lead after 16 minutes and their first half domination was further rewarded when a Peter Lovenkrands' effort was adjudged to have crossed the line following an instinctive stop from Scott Carson in the Baggies' goal.

    Things got worse for the visitors immediately after the break when Jonas Olsson sliced a Jose Enrique cross past Carson straight after the restart.

    West Brom's improved second half performance was rewarded when Tchoyi broke the offside trap to cut the arrears with 62 minutes on the clock before the same man made sure it was a barnstorming finish with a sweetly struck effort only nine minutes later.

    The Baggies pressed and pressed and Tchoyi stooped to send the travelling faithful into raptures with a headed finish to ensure a share of the spoils.

    With survival both sides' minimum requirement at the start of the season, the decision to dispense with promotion-winning managers mid-season looks fully justifiable now with both teams having finished in mid-table.

    Having struggled at Liverpool, the job that Roy Hodgson has done - taking his side from the brink of relegation to within touching distance of a first top 10 finish in the Premier League - has garnered most of the headlines but Alan Pardew's labour at Newcastle should not be underestimated.

    Danny Guthrie returned to the Newcastle midfield as the Magpies looked to leapfrog their visitors in the battle for a top-half finish.

    The Baggies were without Gabriel Tamas and Peter Odemwingie through injury, with Simon Cox and Jerome Thomas named on the bench as Abdoulaye Meite, Tchoyi, James Morrison and Marc-Antoine Fortune came in.

    West Brom had the first chance of the game, Tchoyi intercepted an errant Enrique pass before slipping the ball to Fortune, but the forward failed to connect with the required power and Tim Krul collected with ease.

    With an eighth placed finish in sight, Hodgson would have wanted more of the same but that early momentum soon turned as Newcastle began to pass the ball with a composure sorely lacking in the visiting side's play.

    And having built some pressure, it was of little surprise when the hosts took the lead. The visitors failed to clear Ryan Taylor's in-swinging corner and his namesake Steven, three yards out and with his back to goal, turned the ball into the net to give the home side a deserved lead.

    Newcastle were the team in the ascendancy and would have been further ahead had Carson not been in superb form - the England man doing well to turn a Guthrie effort from distance over the bar before the Magpies added to their lead.

    Shola Ameobi beat Meite in the air and the ball dropped to Lovenkrands, who volleyed an effort towards goal, which Carson did well to palm into the air but couldn't prevent the whole ball going over the line as he scrambled back.

    The result looked beyond doubt when Olsson sliced his effort past Carson from just outside the six-yard box but Tchoyi, a player who splits opinion at the Hawthorns, came to the fore.

    First he beat the offside trap, latched on to a James Morrison through ball to calmly slot past Krul before collecting the ball at the far post and side-stepping the challenge of Fabricio Coloccini before beating Krul with an effort into the roof of the net.

    Newcastle remained a threat and West Brom's revival would have come to a shuddering halt had it not been for a wonderful tackle from Pablo Ibanez on Ameobi with a little over ten minutes to go.

    But credit to West Brom, they are a team made of stern stuff under Hodgson and their persistence was duly rewarded when Tchoyi headed in an Olsson cross to record an unlikely draw and sign their season off in style.
    Marcus Foley / Eurosport


    Team Line-up:

    Newcastle United: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Taylor, Enrique, Taylor, Barton, Guthrie, Ferguson, Lovenkrands, Ameobi. Subs: Ranger, Soderberg, LuaLua, Tavernier, Kuqi, Smith, Best.
    West Brom: Carson, Reid, Meite, Olsson, Shorey, Brunt, Mulumbu, Scharner, Tchoyi, Morrison, Fortune Subs: Miller, Thorne, Jara, Thomas, Myhill, Pablo, Cox.


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