Magpies deliver perfect tonic
Early goal (Gallo Images)
West Bromwich - Newcastle delivered the perfect tonic for ailing manager Joe Kinnear by claiming their first win in seven league matches with a 3-2 success at West Brom.
Chris Hughton took charge of the Magpies after Kinnear, who has a history of heart problems, was hospitalised on the morning of the match for observation after feeling unwell at the team hotel.
Damien Duff gave the Magpies the ideal start after capitalising on a blunder by defender Leon Barnett to fire his side into the lead after just 72 seconds.
Shola Ameobi provided the pass that enabled the Ireland winger to run clear of the back four but Barnett really should have intercepted.
The home side responded almost immediately after on-loan striker Marc-Antoine Fortune was released by a lovely through ball from Borja Valero.
A slip by Steven Taylor helped clear the Frenchman's path to goal and he found the corner of the net with a low drive.
Only another five minutes had elapsed before Danish winger Peter Lovenkrands had restored Newcastle's lead, Nicky Butt teeing him up for his first Newcastle goal.
Ryan Taylor, making his debut for Newcastle following his move from Wigan, was involved in the build-up to that goal and it was the defender's corner that led to Newcastle's third goal, four minutes before the break.
The delivery flew straight across the box and centreback Steven Taylor nodded in at the back post.
West Brom dominated territorially after the interval but it required a controversial strike for them to reduce the deficit to a single goal and put the visitors under real pressure.
Robert Koran's deft pass gave Fortune the chance to claim his second goal of the afternoon but Newcastle's players were left infuriated that their hosts had not stopped playing with Ronan Bednar down injured and requiring treatment.
Valero came close to making it 3-3 with a header from a Paul Robinson cross flew just wide but Newcastle held out for a morale-boosting win.