Joey Barton scored in his first start since his jail sentence as Newcastle beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 to climb out of the English Premier League relegation zone on Tuesday.
Barton netted a ninth-minute penalty and Obafemi Martins added a second just before half-time on his 24th birthday to give short-term manager Joe Kinnear his first victory in his fourth game in charge of the Magpies.
Their second league win bumped the Magpies from 19th to 15th in the standings.
Ishmael Miller replied for the Baggies in the 64th minute but Tony Mowbray’s team lost for the third time in a row.
Barton had not also started a game since before his 74-day jail sentence in May for a fight in a fast-food restaurant in Liverpool last December. Then he was suspended for six games for a training ground attack on former teammate Ousmane Dabo when he was at Manchester City.
Barton was still under a suspended four-month jail sentence for the Dabo incident.
Barton, who has played once for England, went on as a substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Sunderland and was showered by coins and bottles by the local fans. He was given a warm welcome by the Magpies fans for his first start against West Brom and rewarded them with a penalty-spot strike after defender Ryan Donk needlessly brought down Shola Ameobi.
Goalkeeper Shay Given deflected a shot from James Morrison over the bar after West Brom opened up the Newcastle defence in the 35th minute.
But the visitors fell further behind when Martins scored in the 41st with a simple header from Habib Beye’s cross.
West Brom rallied after half-time and substitute Miller collected a through-ball from Robert Koren, rounded goalkeeper Given and rolled the ball into an empty net.
The rest of the round of games will be played on Wednesday when new Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp takes his last-place team to north London neighbours Arsenal hoping for a second victory in a row after Sunday’s 2-0 triumph over Bolton.
Leaders Liverpool host Portsmouth — Redknapp’s former club, which is now in the hands of his assistant, Tony Adams — and Chelsea visit Hull with both teams level on points. Defending champions Manchester United aim to stay in touch with the leaders by beating West Ham at Old Trafford.
Wednesday’s other games are Aston Villa vs Blackburn, Bolton vs Everton, Fulham vs Wigan, Middlesbrough vs Manchester City and Stoke vs Sunderland. — Sapa-AP