Alex Horton gives his verdict on Albion's defeat. Newcastle away. It's one of those trips that always stands out as one for the fans, especially for someone like myself, living in the South West of the country. 600 mile round trip, nearly ten hours twiddling my thumbs on Cross Country trains and a 5:30 kick off make it seemed very unappealing to a great number of work colleagues and friends. But not for someone like myself. Nice and early I set off, onwards from Bristol Temple Meads to Newcastle Central. After arriving in Newcastle city centre, we treated ourselves to a couple of beers. Then quickly up to the game. Unfortunately we got delayed for one reason or another (long story, don't ask), but finally rocked up into the dizzying heights of St James' Park's away end with the lights of Newcastle dominating our vision alongside the players on the pitch. The first half was a pretty uneventful one and really not much to write home about apart from a few chances that began early on with a Chris Brunt free kick in the opening couple of minutes. Sessegnon was next to have a chance for the Baggies, the former Sunderland player, having a shot blocked by Santon near the 6 yard box. The first half was played out in very much quite a slow tempo, but after the half hour mark, it was the home team who took the lead through Yoan Gouffran. Newcastle had upped the pace and following a corner, Myhill could only punch the ball away towards Gouffran who duly headed the ball into the goal on the 36th minute. 1-0 to the home team. Just before the ref was to blow for the end of the first half, the Albion won a free kick 25 yards out, with Chris Brunt firing over the bar. First half over, 1-0; a pretty fair reflection on what had been a pretty lacklustre opening half, Newcastle did deserve the one goal but you could sense the game could still go either way. Bring on the second half, after all this was the place that once witnessed an unforgettable Tchoyi-inspired comeback, that was to be dubbed Tchoyi Story 3 (please excuse the pun, couldn't resist throwing it in there). Back to matters of the here and now and Newcastle were quickest off the blocks in the second half, when Morrison accidentally misplaced the ball, giving it to Ameobi who passed the ball to the on form Loic Remy, causing Myhill to come off his line, gathering the ball at his feet. Just a few minutes later, however, the Albion were to equalise with Chris Brunt banging in off the bar to level the game following a nice cross from Morgan Amalfitano. Just as we had got back to our seats, applauding Brunt's goal, there came a real cracker of a goal from the Geordies, Moussa Sissoko firing in from 25 yards out. It was one of those shots, heading towards the top right hand corner of the goal, that could not be stopped. Newcastle looked the better team as the second half progressed with Williamson shooting into the crowd following a lovely pass from Yoann Cabaye. There were penalty appeals from the home section half way through the second half when they claimed Billy Jones had got a hand to the ball which was followed just minutes later by Debucy testing Myhill again with a 20 yard volley. Clarke soon made a double substitution, putting Berahino and Anichebe on for Brunt and Sessegnon respectively. The Albion kept fighting till the end, with a couple of chances falling for Big Vic and Berahino. However, it was not to be and it was ontowards a very long trip back home for the 1700 travelling Albion faithful. In conclusion, Newcastle were the better team and they have had a great season thus far, picking up some big results in recent weeks after a slightly poor start in the summer months. As for the Albion, surely the biggest positive of the night was seeing Zoltan Gera enter the pitch after what had seemed an eternity for the Magical Magyar. On the run up to Christmas, the games come thick and fast and with a few home games against Norwich and Hull and away trips to Cardiff and West Ham, we must see these as ample games to pick up points. Until the next time, boing boing! Have your say on Albion's defeat here at Baggies Banter.
Source: WBA MAD