Happy New Year to all History File readers, I hope all 3 of you the very best for 2014! The Hawthornsgates1st January takes us to The Hawthorns to face a side we faced only a month ago at St. James. The first encounter between these sides was played in 1899 and The Baggies won 2-0, the game was played at their old ground Stoney Lane which is now a housing estate. In terms of post-war matches against West Brom, we managed a 2-1 win in the early stages of the 50/51 season with our goals coming from Jackie Milburn and Bobby Mitchell. We were stuffed 6-0 in our relegation season of 60/61 despite having the likes of Ivor Allchurch, Len White and Bob Stokoe in our starting line-up, we took our revenge when we returned to the top flight five years later however when Dave Hilley and Ron McGarry got the goals in front of 22,000 spectators at The Hawthorns. We achieved considerable success against The Baggies in the 1970’s with the highlights being a Malcolm Macdonald brace in 1971 in a 3-0 victory down at The Hawthorns, Viv Busby scoring the opener that day on his debut; that scoreline was repeated three years later in the FA Cup Fifth Round when Macdonald again got on the scoresheet, this time winning Match Of The Days goal of the season with a strike taken on the bounce from 25 yards, United that day wearing the original yellow away kit with the other goals coming from John Tudor and Stewart Barrowclough.  The two sides met in the top tier on Boxing Day 1984 when Iain Baird scored United’s goal in a 2-1 defeat, with future Baggies boss Gary Megson playing in our midfield, it was a happier visit four years later however despite both sides being in the Second Division, United running riot in a 5-1 win with an own goal, Gary Brazil, Kevin Brock, Liam O’Brien and Mark McGhee the players on the scoresheet. We didn’t meet West Brom again until their introduction into the Premier League in 2002, the next encounter of note however came in 2005 when Michael Owen bagged a double and Alan Shearer came off the bench to score in a Sky televised game which I’m led to believe was the only time “Graeme Souness’ Black and White Army” was aired by the Newcastle supporters. From one failed unpopular United manager to a man completely opposite as Chris Hughton was given the sack after a 3-1 defeat at The Hawthorns in December 2010, Peter Lovenkrands scoring what could only be a consolation on a day when the players let the manager down. Finally, West Brom were the victims of some scintillating counter attacking football from Alan Pardew’s Newcastle in the 11/12 season as a Hatem Ben Arfa strike was sandwiched in between a brace from Papiss Cisse.