Newcastle United 3-3 West Bromwich Albion
Newcastle and West Brom did well to serve up a thrilling 3-3 draw in an encounter which was of little relevance to netural fans.
First half goals from Steven Taylor and Peter Lovenkrands gave the home side a comfortable lead at the end of the first half, and Jonas Olsson put into his own net just after the restart to seemingly end the game as a contest. At this point West Brom may have been forgiven for switching off focusing on their holidays, but instead it was the home side who already seemed to be on the proverbial beech and Somen Tchoyi did well to seal an impressive hat-trick. Taylor, who had cleared off his own line early on, seemingly set Newcastle on the path to a final day victory after quarter of an hour when he took full advantage of a goal mouth scramble to power home from five yards out. West Brom looked for a response, and continued to cause the home side the occasional problem at the back, but as the first half wore on Newcastle started to dominate and it seemed only a matter of time before they doubled their lead. As it was though, their second could have and should have been stopped. Shola Ameobi headed the ball down to Lovenkrands and his snap shot was palmed up, but not away, by Scott Carson. The hapless West Brom keeper grabbed on to the ball, but the linesman ruled it had crossed the line. Carson looked unhappy but it was hard to tell if the source of his ire was the decision or his needless error which had seemingly taken the game away from his side. Another defensive calamity seemed to put the game to bed. The impressive Shane Ferguson played the ball in and Olsson attempted a baffling clearance with his left foot and only succeeded in blasting into his own net with just one minute played in the second half. For a time it seemed like West Brom heads had dropped, but ultimately it was Newcastle who took their foot off the pedal allowing the visitors to claw their way back into things. On 62 minutes Danny Simpson failed to track Tchoyi's run, leaving him one-on-one with Tim Krul. At that point, his cool finish looked like nothing more than a consolation and Newcastle did indeed rally for a brief spell. However, Roy Hodgson's men sensed something was there for the taking and just nine minutes later Tchoyi had a second when he controlled a deep freekick four yards out on the byline and, with all the space in the world, cut inside and smashed home. With time running out it looked like Newcastle had done just enough to hold on to all three points, but when in injury time Ishmael Miller chased down a ball and back heeled it to Olsson, the defender was able to whip in the perfect cross for the unmarked Tchoyi whose diving header from six yards out was a fitting way to cap both his hat-trick and the scoring in a highly entertaining game. The home fans greeted the final whistle with boos, but once the pain of letting slip a three goal lead fades they, along with West Brom supporters, will be able to reflect on a season they can only consider a success.