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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:30 5th December 2010

Albion 3 Newcastle 1

BRILLIANT individual strikes from Somen Tchoyi and Peter Odemwingie ended Albion's 26-year wait for a league victory over Newcastle - and fired the buoyant Baggies up to seventh. Roberto Di Matteo's men totally bossed the first half and Tchoyi finally broke the Toon's stubborn resistance when he scored for the second Barclays Premier League game running with a 32nd-minute curler. Although rarely troubled, Scott Carson kept Albion ahead when he denied Steven Taylor just after the break with a stunning reflex save - in front of watching England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence. But it was game over 19 minutes from time when Odemwingie made it 2-0 with a mazy run and finish. And the former Lokomotiv Moscow ace made it seven for the season with another cool finish on 89. Sub Peter Lovenkrands grabbed an injury-time consolation for the Toon. But Albion were full value for their second successive win and are now sitting pretty on 22 points from16 games. Tchoyi was handed his first league start in eight games as Di Matteo made one enforced change to the side that beat Everton 4-1 eight days ago. The Cameroon international replaced Youssouf Mulumbu, who served the second game of a two-match ban. Chris Hughton named an unchanged Toon side from their 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea last weekend. Albion started positively and kept United pegged back during the opening exchanges. The visitors from the North East set their stall out from the first whistle by keeping plenty of men behind the ball, with two banks of four limiting space in and around their penalty area. So it came as no surprise that Albion had to rely on a set-piece for their first half-chance. Brunt's corner was inadvertently flicked on by Sol Campbell at the near post and Paul Scharner, playing at centre-half for the second game running, fired an awkward back-post volley into the Smethwick End. More patient build-up play engineered a shooting chance for Chris Brunt on 15, but the Northern Ireland star was unable to produce similar accuracy to his free-kick stunner at Everton and fired well wide. Six minutes later, Campbell unwittingly played in Odemwingie when his clearance hit Tchoyi and cannoned back towards the United goal. The Nigerian was onto it in a flash but with three Toon defenders on his back, he dragged his effort from just inside the box wide of the far post. Newcastle didn't get anywhere near Carson's goal until the 25th minute when Danny Guthrie's corner was helped goalwards by Andy Carroll and Campbell, but Carson easily gathered Taylor's attempt on the turn. A minute later, Guthrie swung in another corner and Toon skipper Shola Ameobi headed just over from eight yards. But it was Albion who broke the deadlock on 32 as their more positive approach paid off. Another patient spell of keep-ball resulted in Brunt feeding Tchoyi just inside the box. The former Red Bull Salzberg midfielder tricked his way past Jose Enrique and Campbell before curling a terrific left-footed shot past Tim Krul from 15 yards. Tchoyi was at it again on 38 when, after great interplay between Odemwingie and Gonzalo Jara, he bamboozled Campbell with a drag-back before seeing his vicious near-post drive turned wide by Krul. From Brunt's ensuing corner, Odemwingie's flick-on wreaked havoc in the box but the off-balance Morrison was unable to turn the ball goalwards. Albion were totally outplaying Newcastle but Morrison's 20-yard effort from Jerome Thomas' lay-off was easily gathered by Krul. Newcastle had offered so little before the break that it was no surprise Hughton rang a change at half-time, with Lovenkrands replacing Ameobi. But it was Albion who were once again on the front foot and Taylor was relieved to see his attempted headed clearance from Thomas' centre loop onto the roof of the Newcastle net and not under the beaten Krul's bar. Carson was not called into action until the 51st minute when he had to produce a top-draw reflex save to push away Taylor's eight-yard header from Wayne Routledge's terrific centre. However, just a minute later, the Baggies went just as close. Krul left his goal gaping when he failed to collect Brunt's corner, but the unmarked and off-balace Scharner could not keep his volley on target. Newcastle had been more adventurous since the break but Carroll was well off target with an 18-yard drive. Jonas Gutierrez caused much more concern when he charged down the left and saw his shot deflect off Scharner's outstretched boot and squirm goalwards, but Marek Cech was on hand to hack the ball clear in the nick of time. Newcastle were now keeping Albion pegged back and Carson denied Lovenkrands the simplest of headed goals when, at full stretch, he pushed Gutierrez's centre out of harm's way. But Albion regrouped and Krul had to produce a smart save low to his left to keep out Morrison's 20-yard drive from Tchoyi's neat pass. The game was now ebbing and flowing and from Guthrie's free-kick, Campbell headed harmlessly wide of Carson's left-hand post. Morrison tried his luck again on 70 but this time dragged his shot wide of the near post from 18 yards. The Scotland international went much closer moments later when he shot inches wide of Krul's far post from a similar distance. But Albion finally grabbed the second goal their overall performance deserved on 71. Odemwingie pounced on the loose ball when Guthrie lost his footing in the centre circle and charged goalwards, holding off both Taylor and Campbell before slipping the ball past Krul for a fine individual goal. United rallied briefly but Lovenkrands fluffed his shot after running onto Carroll's flick, allowing Carson to gather. Back came Albion and Krul was called into action again on 80, denying Brunt from a tight angle. And Odemwingie put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute when he raced onto Cech's through-ball, coolly rounded Krul and slotted home. The Toon snatched a consolation in the second minute of stoppage time when Carroll controlled Danny Simpson's right-wing cross and forced a point-blank save from Carson, who was unfortunate to see the rebound drop to sub Lovenkrands to prod home. But that failed to take the shine off Albion's first win over Newcastle in 18 league meetings, a feat they achieved in some comfort. ALBION (4-2-3-1): Carson; Jara, Scharner, Tamas, Cech; Dorrans, Brunt; Tchoyi, Morrison (Reid 84), Thomas (Barnes 78); Odemwingie. Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Fortuné, Cox, Ibanez, Shorey. NEWCASTLE (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, Campbell, Taylor, Enrique; Routledge (Ranger 73), Tiote, Guthrie (Smith 73), Gutierrez; Carroll, Ameobi (Lovenkrands HT). Subs not used: Soderberg (gk), Perch, Best, Kadar. GOALS: ALBION - Tchoyi (32), Odemwingie (71 & 89). UNITED - Lovenkrands (90+2). BOOKINGS: NEWCASTLE - Gutierrez (foul 20), Guthrie (foul 62), Smith (foul 75), Campbell (foul 84). REFEREE: M Dean (Wirral). ATTENDANCE: 23,486. ALBION STARMAN: Jerome Thomas. PIC: GOAL GLEE...Tchoyi celebrates his fourth Baggies goal in seven games against    To buy a DVD copy of this game for just £4.99, plus postage, click here. Also available from Stadium Megastore or Merry Hill club shop.
    Data provided by Press Association

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