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  • December 21, 2011
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 51060
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Newcastle 2-3 West Brom: Demba Ba brace not enough as late Scharner winner means hosts' season takes another bad turn

An entertaining fixture saw the Baggies take the lead on three separate occasions and their second consecutive win on their travels, as the Magpies sulk in disappointment again

Newcastle United is now winless in seven games after losing at home 3-2 to West Brom, with a late winner from Paul Scharner just five minutes from time in an enthralling affair.

The Baggies claimed their second away win on the bounce, leaving the Magpies without three points since Nov. 5 and their early season momentum well and truly extinguished.

An eventful first half saw the hosts fall behind twice, with West Brom getting its first goal through a calmly taken Peter Odemwingie finish. Demba Ba put Newcastle back on equal terms through a superb free kick, but the Baggies soon took the lead again with Gareth McAuley getting his first for the club.

The game witnessed an equally entertaining second period with a further two netted efforts, as Ba got his brace with a powerful shot that flew past Ben Foster, but Paul Scharner won the game for the Baggies with his goal just five minutes from the end.

There was just one change for the hosts as Yohan Cabaye was forced to watch from the sidelines through his one-match suspension, leaving Haris Vuckic to make his first start in the Premier League for Newcastle.

Youssuf Mulumbu and Scharner were deemed fit enough start after being doubts ahead of the game, with James Morrison the only dropout from the win over Blackburn Rovers at the weekend and was replaced by Jerome Thomas.

The opening 15 minutes of the game were dominated by the home side, but dogged defending from the visitors and a lack clinical action from Newcastle made for little goalmouth exploits. Although, Roy Hodgson was forced to deal with an early injury to Steven Reid, with the fullback going over on his ankle in the West Brom box and was replaced by Billy Jones.

Five minutes later the tables had turned on Alan Pardew’s outfit and to devastating effect, as West Brom found itself a goal up thanks to a precise finish from Odemwingie. A perfectly weighted pass through the Magpies defense from Chris Brunt saw the striker take the ball with ease and place it past Tim Krul.

Newcastle’s continued dominance finally paid dividends, after a Gabriel Obertan run came to a halt just outside the West Brom area thanks to a clumsy foul on the former Manchester United man. Ba, unchallenged to take the subsequent free kick, confidently struck the ball up and over the defensive wall towards the top corner of the net and past Ben Foster, who could have made a better effort to track the ball’s trajectory.

With just their second clear-cut attack of the night, West Brom took the lead for the second time. Brunt again the architect, drifting the ball to the back-post from a free-kick to find Scharner who did well to keep the ball alive and head it into the path of McAuley, who nodded in his first goal for West Brom past a helpless Krul.

Just a matter of moments later, Haris Vuckic came agonisingly close to getting an immediate reply for Newcastle. The Slovenian shooting from distance with his left powered the ball to the far corner, but his superb effort could only find the woodwork, as a well placed Ba could only head the rebound high over the goal to ensure the Baggies went into the break the happier side.

Shane Long was left stunned in the first 10 minutes of the second halfafter the young Irishman hit the bar with an almost open goal at his mercy, but the striker could only raise the ball into the bar of Krul’s net and deny his side some breathing space in the scoreline.

The Magpies soon began to dominate and run the game as they pleased just as they had done in the first half, but with the same futile effect. Hatem Ben Arfa was brought on by his manager and immediately looked to be able to offer some respite to Newcastle’s shortcomings, but West Brom stayed strong at the back through various corners and bombardments on its area.

West Brom was looking good on the counter, but was also showing a similar lack of clinical football as its opponents. Brunt managed to go closest since Long’s earlier miss, with a long-range effort that tricked both sets of players waiting in the Newcastle area and raced past Krul’s far post.

The 24-year-old Long was in there again to try and put the game past Newcastle, with the striker skinning Fabricio Coloccini and blasting the ball Krul’s way, with the Dutchman palming the effort away to safety.

Long’s miss though became a vital moment of the match as Newcastle once more put the game on even terms. Ba the hero for the Magpies, turned effortlessly around a static Jonas Olsson after controlling the ball on his chest and with his front to goal, sent the ball powering into the West Brom net.

With five minutes left, however, the game took another turn with West Brom going into the lead for a third time. Long once more bursting past Coloccini lifted the ball into the area with Odemwingie heading the cross into the direction of Scharner, who was able to poke the ball into the far corner and earning the Baggies a second consecutive away victory.

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