Tchoyi hat-trick fires Albion's great fightback

Newcastle United 3 West Bromwich Albion 3
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The Independent Football

Forget survival Sunday. The day's best action was in one of the games where absolutely nothing was at stake, apart from the chance to finish in the top half of the table.

Two newly-promoted teams who nine months ago were among the favourites to go down were no more than a sideshow to the main events elsewhere, but they came up with a cracking finale. The man responsible for that was Somen Tchoyi, the West Bromwich Albion midfielder, who surged forward three times in the final 28 minutes to score goals that wiped out Newcastle's 3-0 lead.

Until then, Steven Taylor, the Newcastle defender who scored their late equaliser at Chelsea last week, was the game's most influential figure, particularly in the opening half. Taylor twice cleared off the line from Marc-Antoine Fortune and was equally efficient in the other area as he hooked Newcastle in front after 16 minutes.

Albion went further behind after a tale of two goalkeepers towards the end of the half. Newcastle's Tim Krul saved superbly from Chris Brunt in the 38th minute while, seconds later, Albion's Scott Carson was unable to deal with a shot from Peter Lovenkrands. Carson could only push the Dane's shot into the air and the ball crossed the line before the keeper was able to reclaim it.

Roy Hodgson, the Albion manager, undoubtedly spent the interval insisting that this game was not over, but within two minutes Jonas Olsson clumsily diverted Jose Enrique's cross past his own keeper. Albion did finally respond, though, when Tchoyi struck in the 62nd minute and drove in his second 10 minutes later.

And Albion proved Hodgson had every right to be optimistic when Olsson wiped out the memory of his own goal with a 90th-minute cross that was met by Tchoyi's diving header. It was a goal that meant the top-10 placing eluded both teams.

Substitutes: Newcastle LuaLua (Ferguson, 64), Smith (Lovenkrands, 70), Best (Guthrie, 73). Unused Soderberg (gk), Tavernier, Ranger, Kuqi. WBA Pablo (Meite, h-t), Thorne (Scharner, 60), Miller (Fortune, 73). Unused Myhill (gk), Jara, Thomas, Cox. Booked None. Man of the match Tchoyi. Match rating 8/10. Possession Newcastle 57% WBA 43%. Attempts on target Newcastle 10 WBA 7.

Referee M Halsey (Lancashire).

Attendance 51,678.