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Barclays Premier League

The Hawthorns (ATT 27,751) 15th May 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Riley

West Brom West Bromwich Albion vs Portsmouth Portsmouth

Fortune favours The Baggies

By James Pearson.   Last Updated: 15/05/05 4:52pm

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Jonathan Fortune's late goal for Charlton ensured West Brom saved themselves from the drop following a crucial 2-0 win over Portsmouth.

The Baggies began the day bottom the table, but other results went their way meaning second half goals from Geoff Horsfield and Kieran Richardson secured their Premiership status.

With Norwich suffering a battering at Fulham and Southampton failing to beat Manchester United, West Brom were safe after Crystal Palace surrendered a late lead at Charlton.

It is the first time since the inception of The Premiership that the team bottom at Christmas have avoided relegated.

After a cagey start it was the home side who fashioned the first opportunity with Robert Earnshaw scuffing wide from Richardson's square ball.

Gary O'Neil should have done better after 11 minutes, but he could only blaze over the bar from Matthew Taylor's left wing cross.

Both sides were wasteful in front of goal with Earnshaw failing to get any purchase on his effort while Ricardo Fuller blazed wide under pressure from Martin Albrechtsen.

James Keene, on his full debut for Pompey, looked lively in attack and he forced Tomasz Kuszczak into a save before being brought down just outside the area by Neil Clement.

The visitors were content to hit The Baggies on the break and Fuller was twice unluckily deemed offside when clean through on goal.

Just after the hour mark Kevin Campbell turned Dejan Stefanovic in the box only for Jamie Ashdown to palm the shot out for a corner.

It proved a subdued finish to the opening 45 minutes with Aliou Cisse's wild shot the only noteworthy effort of the half.

After Gera wasted a free-kick in a dangerous area, Kamara tried to assert himself on the contest.

Kamara strong run was only halted by Albrechtsen and from the resulting set-piece O'Neil's measured effort was gathered away to his right by Kuszczak.

Just when it looked liked it might not be Albion's day substitute Horsfield changed the game with virtually his first touch after replacing Jonathan Greening.

The former Birmingham City man was on hand to volley home past Ashdown after Stefanovic redirected Gera's cross to Horsfield at the back post.

Unsurprisingly the home side opted to keep things tight at the back, although they padded out their advantage with 15 minutes to go through Richardson.

The on-loan Manchester United man collected Horsfield's back heel before rounding De Zeeuw in the box and lashing home into Ashdown's near post.

Despite leading, the result would not have been enough with Palace winning at The Valley, but Fortune's late sparked scenes of joy at The Hawthorns.

Click here for West Brom v Portsmouth player ratings.

West Bromwich AlbionTeam NamePortsmouth
2Goals0
3Shots on target ( Inc Goals )1
5Shots off Target (inc woodwork)6
1Blocked Shots1
6Corners Won1
13Total Fouls Conceded14
2Offsides3
0Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
50%Possession50%

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 33 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 33 26

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