Somen Tchoyi hit a second-half hat-trick as West Brom staged an incredible comeback to grab a 3-3 draw.The 28-year-old, starting a game for only the second time this year, played in the absence of top scorer Peter Odemwingie, who was released early for his summer break by manager Roy Hodgson.
And the Cameroon international assumed centre-stage – hitting three goals in 28 minutes to steal a point against Newcastle and deny the north-easterners a top-half finish.
The game started brightly for the home side, who took the lead after 15 minutes with a goal that was literally “Taylor-made”.
West Brom failed to deal with a teasing corner from Ryan Taylor, allowing his namesake Stephen to slam home from six yards.
The central defender, whose future at Newcastle was up in the air at the start of the season, ended the campaign with a bang at both ends. This was his third in as many games.
Newcastle should have doubled the advantage after 35 minutes when Shola Ameobi muscled past goalkeeper Scott Carson, but could not do the same against a combination of Abdoulaye Meite and Jonas Olsson on the line.
Four minutes later, however, Newcastle did grab their second through Ameobi’s strike partner Peter Lovenkrands.
Carson appeared to save the striker’s initial shot, but failed to stop the ball looping marginally over the line before managing to gather.
West Brom’s luck did not improve when, just three minutes after the re-start, Olsson scored an own-goal.
There seemed little danger when Jose Enrique hoisted an optimistic cross into the West Brom area, but Olsson got the clearance all wrong, slicing the ball backwards into his own net.
It was some similarly miserable defending at the other end which handed West Brom their lifeline.
While the rest of the Newcastle defence attempted to play Tchoyi offside, right-back Danny Simpson stayed too deep, allowing the forward a clear run at goal, which he finished with aplomb.
The comeback was well on 19 minutes from time when Tchoyi grabbed his second with a smart finish past Tim Krul, and he completed the turnaround – and his hat-trick – in stoppage time with a
The visitors might well have won the game had Steven Reid scored with a free header in the 93rd minute.