Newscastle battle back to draw at West Brom

Ben Foster
The equaliser ensured that Rafa Benitez has still yet to lose to West Brom in his managerial career

West Brom conceded a two-goal lead to miss out on the chance of a first league win since August as Newcastle ended a run of four straight defeats.

Jonny Evans’ own goal saw Rafael Benitez’s side draw level after Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Field had put the home side into the lead.

Newcastle improved after Ciaran Clark quickly pulled one back, with Salomon Rondon diverting a corner onto the unlucky Evans and then into the net for the equaliser.

The point means West Brom, under caretaker Gary Megson, move up to 16th while Newcastle go 12th.

The Baggies had also conceded a lead in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Saturday, Megson’s first match of his second spell in charge at The Hawthorns following his stint as manager between 2000 and 2004.

They looked to be firmly in charge when 19-year-old midfielder Field converted Matt Phillips’ cross for his first goal for the club, but Newcastle hit back almost immediately when Clark headed in from a corner.

The captain’s goal transformed Benitez’s side, who fought back to end the Spaniard’s longest losing steak as a Premier League manager.

‘One Gary Megson’

If this was to be the last game of Megson’s spell as caretaker manager before the expected arrival of Alan Pardew, he has overseen a change in mood even if he couldn’t deliver a much-needed win.

Ex-Crystal Palace boss Pardew has said the vacant role is an “attractive job”, and he would inherit an improved situation on and off the pitch thanks to Megson’s brief tenure.

The chant of “one Gary Megson” could be heard several times from the home fans, grateful to see some spirit on home soil following the 4-0 capitulation to Chelsea 10 days ago.

The 58-year-old’s two games in charge so far have only earned two points, but he has installed some of the hard-to-beat qualities normally associated with Tony Pulis sides that had evaporated before his sacking on 20 November.

West Brom had purpose going forward, with the recalled Robson-Kanu their most menacing threat, although Rondon had struck the bar from long range before the Wales international’s header.

But they seemed to run out of steam after allowing Clark to rise to Matt Ritchie’s corner, and spent most of the remaining half-hour firmly on the back foot.






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