West Brom secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle at The Hawthorns, where Darren Fletcher scored the match-winning goal.
- West Brom 1 Newcastle 0
- Anichebe starts for Albion
- Dummett header hits woodwork
- Anichebe also hits crossbar
- Fletcher scores late winner for hosts
The Baggies had been dragged towards the dropzone after a run of five games without a win – but dominated against the Magpies and deserved all three points.
James Morrison missed a host of chances for the home side before making way for Saido Berahino, while both teams hit the woodwork through Paul Dummett and Victor Anichebe in the second half.
But Albion eased their relegation fears and banked three vital points when Fletcher headed home a cross from Claudio Yacob on 78 minutes.
Albion dominated proceedings from the off, with Fabricio Coloccini hooking Morrison's goalbound shot off the line after just five minutes.
But their plans suffered a setback when Jonas Olsson went off with a hamstring problem, being replaced by Craig Gardner with Jonny Evans moving to centre-back.
Newcastle looked threatening on the break, though, with Gareth McAuley's last-ditch tackle halting a powerful run from Moussa Sissoko before Ayoze Perez curled a shot narrowly off target.
Morrison was in the thick of the action and spurned a host of chances for the home side, steering chances wide on 22 and 28 minutes before seeing a drive cleared by Darryl Janmaat.
Steve McClaren was forced to make a change when Cheick Tiote had to replace the injured Vurnon Anita (hamstring) near the half-hour mark.
And the remaining 15 minutes of the first half were dominated by the Baggies, who had a glut of corners and set-pieces but failed to properly test Karl Darlow.
Fletcher looped a shot over the crossbar on 41 minutes but the Magpies made it to the break on level terms.
Newcastle had the first chance to break the deadlock in the second half, with Dummett's header hitting the crossbar on 55 minutes before Coloccini's backheeled rebound was scrambled away for a corner.
Darlow, in the Newcastle goal due to the late withdrawal of Rob Elliot through illness, looked uncomfortable throughout – and he was at fault for the winning goal.
Albion threw the kitchen sink at the visitors in the closing stages – but Fletcher's header from Yacob's cross went through Darlow's hands 12 minutes from time to spark jubilant celebrations among the home fans.
West Brom's win moved them six points clear of McClaren's 18th-placed Magpies, who are firmly entrenched in a fight for top-flight survival.