44 mins Murphy header
Newcastle 1 Baggies 0
Fitzwater penalty 1-1
Newcastle 1 Baggies
extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to four games, it was a case
of two points lost for a strong Newcastle reserve side on Monday afternoon.
Rafa Benitez and a clutch of first team players joined a small crowd at
Whitley Park as Massadio Haidara, Daryl Murphy and Achraf Lazaar all had their
first taste of second team football for the black and whites.
United went close in the sixth minute when some good build-up play from Jamie
Holmes and Dan Barlaser ended with Sean Longstaff hitting the post from 18
Murphy then nodded a Lazaar cross from the left wide as the home side
dominated the game but failed to test the visiting goalkeeper.
United went ahead on 41 minutes when Haidara took a return pass from Lazaar
down the left and reached the byline before crossing for Murphy to
head home from close range.
Goalscorer Murphy was replaced at the break by Luke Charman and the substitute
twice went close to extending his side's lead on the hour, first finding the
'keeper before firing over the bar.
Haidara's cross from the left in the 63rd minute shaved the top of the
crossbar en route to safety, while the goal touch deserted in-form Longstaff
on 79 minutes - his effort from inside the area defying physics as it
corkscrewed off the inside of one post and along the line and out past the
Albion enjoyed their best spell of the game as the rain became torrential,
almost equalising in the 83rd minute when a cross from the left reached the
unmarked Zack Elbouzedi, only for Woodman to smother his snap shot.
But the visitors got their leveller two minutes later when a wild lunge on an
opponent in area by Callum Williams was rightly punished with a penalty - Jack
Fitzwater sending Woodman the wrong way from the spot.
United pressed forward again in search of a winner, but the closest they came
was when Longstaff exchanged passes with Charman on the edge of the box but
could then only steer his effort into the side netting.