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Cisse puts his back into it as Toon snatch unlikely victory

So Steve Clarke's quest for his first managerial win on the road continues.

It was in his one game as Newcastle United's caretaker that the Scot gained his first taste of away-day anguish in charge of a team. That was a 5-1 thrashing at Old Trafford in 1999. Yesterday's reverse was every bit as painful.

For much of the afternoon Clarke's West Brom side looked like the upwardly mobile Newcastle team of 12 months ago.

They recovered from the loss of a goal 10 minutes before half-time to Demba Ba, the outstanding Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku heading them level 10 minutes into the second half, only to finish empty-handed after a fluke decider in the third minute of injury time.


Sammy Ameobi's left-foot drive needed a wicked deflection off the back of Papiss Cisse to wrongfoot Ben Foster and earn Newcastle a win that even their manager conceded was fortunate.

"I'll make no bones about it: we didn't deserve to win," Alan Pardew said. "But we haven't had many breaks this season, so we'll take it."

Newcastle took the lead in the 35th minute. Tim Krul pumped forward a long kick and Shola Ameobi nodded on for Ba, who claimed his seventh league goal of the season with a right-foot volley.

Clarke's players maintained their composure. Ten minutes into the second half, Liam Ridgewell galloped to the left edge of the Newcastle box before dinking a short cross to Lukaku, whose downward header beat Krul.

That was that in a tight second-half contest until the 93rd minute -- when Cisse's back provided a sting in the tail for the Magpies.

"I thought we were terrific," said Clarke. "It's disappointing when you come to a place like this and you're the best team and you don't get anything." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent