West Bromwich Albion’s slim hopes of Premier League survival remain alive thanks to a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday.
The Baggies made it four games without defeat since Darren Moore took charge thanks to Matt Phillips’s first-half strike, lifting them to within five points of safety.
A slow start to the contest saw the sides manage a shot apiece in the opening quarter – James McClean dragging wide of the far post and Dwight Gayle forcing Ben Foster into a fairly routine save.
The breakthrough arrived just short of the half-hour mark, as matchwinner Phillips controlled Jake Livermore’s smart pass inside Paul Dummett and rifled it past Martin Dubravka with his second touch.
A slightly trickier opening was wasted by Mohamed Diame, who lifted the ball over the crossbar, though from the resulting corner Gayle headed goalwards and Foster produced a sublime save from point-blank range.
In an open start to the second period, Jay Rodriguez miscued his volley after being picked out by Phillips on the penalty spot in another warning for the hosts.
Newcastle were fortunate not to be a man light for the closing stages after substitute Islam Slimani booted the leg of Craig Dawson, which will likely bring a retrospective ban and an end to his United loan spell.
There was to be no late drama at St James’ Park, however, meaning that West Brom’s eight-year stay in the top flight is prolonged by at least another couple of hours.