Baggies fall to disappointing defeat at St James' Park
- Mitrovic scores game's only goal (32)
- Pritchard makes debut off the bench
- Defeat ends four-match unbeaten run
- Attendance: 50,152 (1,250 Albion fans)
- Albion Star Man: Ben Foster
ALBION slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Newcastle United following a poor showing at St James' Park.
The Baggies never found their rhythm against a United side who were much improved following their own recent dip in form.
Ben Foster came to Albion's rescue twice in quick succession inside the opening 10 minutes. The first attempt came from Andros Townsend, who buried his shot through a crowded box only to be denied by the Albion No.1.
What followed next was even better - from the resulting corner and two failed clearances, Aleksandar Mitrovic found himself with a great chance. The Newcastle man squeezed his close-range shot at goal, only for Foster to push it away brilliantly.
Drama arrived just before the half hour mark. Cheick Tiote thought he had put Newcastle ahead with a long range strike - but Albion players spotted a handball from a United man as the ball deflected past Foster. The goal was disallowed for an offside.
But Newcastle didn't have long to wait. They took the lead in the 32nd minute when Jonjo Shelvey slipped a pass into Mitrovic, who slipped past Albion's defence and poked his shot past Foster.
Albion made two changes at half-time - Saido Berahino and debutant Alex Pritchard coming on for the visitors.
Pritchard looked bright and full of energy. It was the Tottenham loanee who was to have Albion's first shot from open play, sending his 20-yard shot over Rob Elliot's goal.
But try as they might, Newcastle returned to form, carving out a series of chances between the hour and 75th minute.
Pritchard was to go closer for Albion 10 minutes from the end when Yacob was fouled 30 yards from goal. The Albion sub sent his free-kick onto the roof of Elliot's net.
Substitute Salomon Rondon then found himself in a promising position late on but his attempted pass to Berahino was mis-placed and the Magpies cleared the danger, securing all three points in the process.
NEWCASTLE: Elliott, Janmaat, Coloccini, Taylor, Aarons, Sissoko, Shelvey (Saivet 90), Tiote, Mitrovic, Townsend (Perez 88) Wijnaldum.
Subs: Darlow, Doumbia, Gibson, Williams, Barlaser.
ALBION: Foster; Chester, McAuley, Olsson, Dawson, Yacob, Gardner (Pritchard 46), McClean, Fletcher (c), Sandro (Berahino 46), Anichebe (Rondon 74).
Subs: Myhill; Pocognoli, Lambert, Sessegnon.
BOOKED: McAuley (foul 47), Chester (foul 63), Olsson (foul 83)
Referee: Lee Mason (Manchester)