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Ireland's Ciaran Clark scores as Newcastle stage second-half comeback

West Brom looked headed for victory until the Magpies snatched a 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns.

Clark rises highest to head home.
Clark rises highest to head home.

NEWCASTLE UNITED CAME from two goals down to deny West Brom a first win since August and end their own torrid run of four Premier League defeats, drawing 2-2 at The Hawthorns.

In a match initially short on chances, goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Field looked likely to be enough to earn the home side three points for the first time since the second weekend of the season.

However, Rafael Benitez’s men responded quickly to Field’s strike, with captain Ciaran Clark heading home just short of the hour mark, and an own goal from Baggies skipper Jonny Evans seven minutes from time completed an unlikely comeback.

The Magpies had fallen on hard times following a relatively promising start to the season, but the character shown to fight back on Tuesday will be heartening for Benitez.

West Brom caretaker boss Gary Megson, meanwhile, will wonder how his side were not able to follow up their draw against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday with victory over Newcastle.

The visitors’ dismal run prompted Benitez to shuffle his pack, with Karl Darlow – making his first league appearance of the season – one of five changes to the side thumped 3-0 at home by Watford on Saturday.

That this was a clash between two sides struggling for goals was plainly evident in the early stages, as both teams toiled without ever calling Darlow or opposite number Ben Foster into action.

Indeed, the first real chance of the match came when Ahmed Hegazi headed the ball out of his own keeper’s hands from a right-wing cross, relying on some desperate defending to scramble his inadvertent effort off the line.

Salomon Rondon floated a shot over Darlow from 25 yards four minutes later but saw it frustratingly drop onto the crossbar and behind for a goal-kick.

Robson-Kanu started to make a nuisance of himself in the Newcastle box late on in a poor half and drew a diving save from Darlow with a looping header, before making sure with his next attempt.

The sides looked almost destined to go in goalless at the interval, but a wonderful move – completely out of the blue – led to the Wales international scoring the opener.

West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United - Premier League - The Hawthorns Newcastle's Joselu and West Brom defender Jonny Evans. Source: David Davies

An Evans ball from deep was played out wide to Kieran Gibbs, who took one touch to control, crossed with his second, and watched as Robson-Kanu powered downward a header beyond Darlow.

Foster got down brilliantly to keep out a Mikel Merino drive early in the second half before teenager Field doubled the lead with his first senior goal for the club – a well-taken volley at the far post following an excellent delivery from Matt Phillips.

Newcastle had offered little in attack and a second West Brom goal looked to be the end of their chances, but Ireland international Clark rose unmarked at a corner three minutes after Field’s strike to head in a response.

And the visitors rallied to go home with a share of the spoils as Matt Ritchie’s right-wing free-kick deflected beyond Foster off Evans to make it 2-2 at the final whistle.

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