ALBION fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of in-form Newcastle at The Hawthorns this afternoon.
An encounter which failed to really get going was settled by a strike in either half from the visitors, both of which coming courtesy of right-wing crosses by Daryl Janmaat.
Firstly, Ayoze Perez conjured up a magical piece of skill to flick the ball into the far corner at a crucial moment in the game on the stroke of half-time, before Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini headed home from close range just after the hour mark.
The two strikes proved enough to secure a fifth successive victory in all competitions for Newcastle, while the Baggies tasted only their second defeat in seven Barclays Premier League matches.
It brought the curtain down on a memorable week for the club which saw the unveiling of a bronze statue honouring club legend Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown and a first senior England call-up for eight-goal striker Saido Berahino.
On what is Remembrance Sunday, Albion paid tribute before the match with members of the British Armed Forces forming a guard of honour as the two teams emerged, while the Last Post was played during a minute’s silence and a plaque was unveiled dedicated to Harold Bache
Youssouf Mulumbu and Victor Anichebe earned recalls to Albion’s starting XI, with the suspended Craig Gardner missing out altogether and Stephane Sessegnon dropping to the bench.
It was the visitors who were first to go close, Sammy Ameobi clipping the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area after 10 minutes.
Albion soon threatened themselves, Berahino forcing Tim Krul to tip over the crossbar.
Captain Chris Brunt headed narrowly off target shortly after, however, there was very little action of note on the pitch during the remainder of a low-key first half which appeared to be goalless heading into the break.
That was until the stroke of half-time as Perez back-flicked the ball through his rear leg from Janmaat’s low right-wing cross to beat Ben Foster at his far post.
The second period continued in much the same way as the first, with little to get the 26,476 present excited.
But, out of nowhere, the Magpies doubled their advantage just after the hour mark, Janmaat again with the delivery which was met by the head of Coloccini at the far post.
Andre Wisdom blazed high and wide when well placed, encapsulating a disappointing afternoon for the below-par Baggies, who were indebted to Foster for denying Perez late on with a superb one-handed save.
Albion: Foster, Wisdom, Lescott, Dawson, Pocognoli (Gamboa 45’), Brunt, Dorrans (Samaras 76’), Mulumbu (Sessegnon 63’), Morrison, Anichebe, Berahino.
Subs: Myhill, McAuley, Baird, Yacob.
Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini (Williamson 78’), Dummett, Haidara; Sissoko, Abeid, Colback; Cabella (R Taylor 82’), Perez, Ameobi (Gouffran 78’).
Subs: Elliot, Anita, Armstrong, Cisse.
GOALS: Perez (45’), Coloccini (62’)
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)
Albion star man: Joleon Lescott