Dobie strikes twice as defiant Baggies bow out

West Bromwich Albion 2 Newcastle United 2
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The Independent Online

West Bromwich Albion bowed out of the Premiership in the manner they have shown all season with another battling performance. The spirit shown again yesterday offered hope of a return to the top-flight, and the sensible approach taken over the past 12 months ensures the heart of the squad will not have to be sold.

West Bromwich Albion bowed out of the Premiership in the manner they have shown all season with another battling performance. The spirit shown again yesterday offered hope of a return to the top-flight, and the sensible approach taken over the past 12 months ensures the heart of the squad will not have to be sold.

Newcastle, equally, are not in urgent need of funds. Reports suggest that the striker Craig Bellamy is on the verge of being sold by the club because of his poor disciplinary record, but the Magpies' manager, Sir Bobby Robson, strenuously denied any transfer talk. Bellamy, 23, was suspended for this game and his strike partner Alan Shearer absent through injury, but their young replacements were more than able deputies.

Shola Ameobi and Lomano LuaLua were both lively in Robson's young side. The latter headed over Jermaine Jenas's cross and forced a good save from Russell Hoult in the first-half. Ameobi, meanwhile, saw a goal disallowed for offside.

The best chance of the opening period came the home side's way when Bob Taylor, in his swansong performance, took the defence away with a drifting run and Andy Johnson filled the void. Derek McInnes supplied a deft pass but Johnson lifted the ball over from 18-yards.

Taylor's final appearance for the club was cut short by injury but his replacement, Scott Dobie, almost proved to be a match-winner as the forward scored twice to put Albion 2-1 ahead after Jenas' opener. But Hugo Viana's late free-kick ended hopes of a victorious departure from the Premiership at The Hawthorns.

Goals: Jenas (43) 1-0; Dobie (57) 1-1; Dobie (72) 2-1; Viana (80) 2-2.

West Bromwich Albion (5-3-2): Hoult 6; Clement 5, Wallwork 6, Sigurdsson 7, Lyttle 6, Chambers 6 (Udeze, 80); McInnes 7, Johnson 6, Koumas 6; Taylor 6 (Dobie 8, 31), Dichio 5. Substitutes not used: Jensen (gk), Balis, Roberts.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Given 7; Caldwell 6, Hughes 6, O'Brien 6, Griffin 7; Viana 7, Dyer 6 (Kerr, 90), Jenas 6, Solano 5 (Ambrose, 77); Ameobi 7, LuaLua 7 (Chopra 6, 82). Substitutes not used: Harper (gk), Bramble.

Referee: G Barber (Hertfordshire) 6.

Man of the match: Viana.

Attendance: 27,036.

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