WEST HAM 0 NEWCASTLE 2
West Ham Carroll, Mears (Mullins 67), Ferdinand, Gabbidon,Konchesky, Bowyer, Mascherano (Benayoun 67), Reo-Coker,Etherington, Tevez (Harewood 45), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Green, Cole.
Newcastle Given (Harper 86), Carr, Moore, Ramage, Babayaro, Milner, Parker, Emre (Butt 90), Duff, Martins,Ameobi (Sibierski 72).
Subs Not Used: N'Zogbia, Rossi.
Goals: Duff 50, Martins 75.
Second-half goals from big-money summer buys Damien Duff and Obafemi Martins allowed Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder to make a winning return to West Ham, the club he left three years ago.
A brain operation, relegation and an Upton Park exit were the setbacks Roeder had to endure in 2003 and this time he needed pitch-side protection from the wrath of angry Hammers fans amid chants of "You're the reason we went down".
It was a poisonous end to the afternoon but Roeder's current crop of players had thoroughly deserved their victory, with the Hammers' much-hyped Argentinian duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano making minimal contributions.
Roeder's side dominated after taking the lead through Duff early in the second half.
Martins' influence grew and grew in the second period although he should have done better than nod an early header straight at Roy Carroll.
The game's first real let-off came in the ninth minute at the other end however when Tevez curled a free-kick over the wall and back off the crossbar.
That ignited home fans and players alike as Roeder's side had to soak up a barrage of intense pressure that was eventually punctured by another Martins miss.
Again the Upton Park faithful had a loud opinion as the former Inter Milan man fired across goal and wide with no challenger present as they were convinced play should have been stopped first for handball by Shola Ameobi and then when Danny Gabbidon was hurt challenging.
At the other end, Tevez fired another free-kick, from a similar position, past a nervous black and white wall but this time Shay Given was able to make a comfortable save low down.
West Ham were on top at this point but Newcastle were trying their luck from distance whenever possible with Ameobi, following two weaker Emre efforts, winning a corner off Gabbidon's back.
Again Carroll had to make a save with little time to adjust as Craig Moore met Duff's flag-kick delivery but this was merely the prelude to the half's most extraordinary moment, which arrived in the 33rd minute.
Lee Bowyer, who had left Newcastle to rejoin the Hammers in the summer, was inches away from recording a goal to remember when he lobbed Given from all of 50 yards near the right touchline. The goalkeeper back-tracked frantically but was powerless to do anything but watch the ball drop just beyond his far post.
The fit-again Celestine Babayaro - one of three changes from the side that had won 1-0 at Levadia Tallinn in midweek, was booked in the 41st minute for a foul on Bobby Zamora, with Hammers defender Tyrone Mears following him into the book for clipping Duff just before the half-time whistle.
Tevez had contributed little apart from his two free-kicks and was replaced at the break by Marlon Harewood.
Midfielder Mascherano, who was at fault when Newcastle took the lead through Duff five minutes into the second half, stayed on.
He came off second best as Martins powered through the middle to set up the Irishman, who fired coolly across Carroll from a position on the left of the box. It was Duff's first Newcastle goal and the team's first in the Premiership away from St James' Park.
The setback seemed to deflate Alan Pardew's side as only the away fans could be heard for long spells. Stephen Carr burst forward to see an effort deflected over following a one-two with Martins.
The situation was now becoming desperate for the home side and changes were inevitable, with Yossi Benayoun and Hayden Mullins, two stalwarts of last season's successes, replacing new boys Mears and Mascherano with 23 minutes remaining.
Newcastle replaced Ameobi not long after with new recruit Antoine Sibierski, who had been dropped despite netting a UEFA Cup winner in Estonia on his debut on Thursday night.
That night had also seen West Ham beaten 1-0 at home by Palermo in the same competition and a miserable week for the Londoners was complete when Martins found the net for the first time in a Newcastle shirt, accepting the invitation to canter forward unchallenged and slot past Carroll in the 75th minute.
The points were Newcastle's from that moment but there was still a setback in store for them late on however when Given suffered a head injury in a collision with Harewood's boot as the striker slid in and had to be replaced for the final few minutes by Stephen Harper.
WEST HAM 2 NEWCASTLE 4
West Ham Carroll, Repka (Aliadiere 76), Ferdinand, Collins, Konchesky, Benayoun (Bellion 62), Fletcher, Mullins, Etherington, Harewood, Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Dailly, Newton, Hislop.
Goals: Solano 20 og, Harewood 73 pen.
Newcastle Given, Ramage, Boumsong, Bramble, Elliott, Solano (Bowyer 79), Faye, Parker, Ameobi, Shearer, Owen.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Luque, Chopra, Gate.
Goals: Owen 5, 43, Shearer 66, Owen 90.
England striker Michael Owen scored a superb hat-trick to give Graeme Souness something to celebrate in his 50th Premiership game in charge of Newcastle.
Owen notched his first treble for the club since his £16million arrival on Tyneside from Real Madrid last summer while Newcastle legend Alan Shearer moved to within just one goal of equalling Jackie Milburn's all-time record of 200 when he struck the Magpies' third.
The kick-off at Upton Park had been delayed for half-an-hour due to a road accident close to the stadium but Owen was quicker off the mark than the home defence when he latched on to Shearer's headed pass to dink the ball over the advancing Roy Carroll.
The home side briefly threatened to make a game of it when they levelled the scores in the 19th minute thanks to an own goal from Nolberto Solano.
Titus Bramble, attempting to clear Marlon Harewood's right-wing cross into the six-yard box, succeeded only in finding Solano's shins and the ball rebounded into the net.
But Owen, ably abetted by warhorse Shearer, undid the Hammers again two minutes before the interval.
This time Solano was the provider though, making amends for his own goal blunder by supplying a perfect free-kick into the penalty area for Owen to deftly head beyond the flat-footed Carroll.
Newcastle did not have it all their own way in the opening 45 minutes though and Bobby Zamora was unlucky not to put West Ham in front in the 28th minute.
Solano's own goal sparked West Ham into life and a mazy run by Yossi Benayoun ended abruptly when he appeared to be brought down by Jean-Alain Boumsong inside the penalty area. However, referee Phil Dowd waved away their spot-kick appeals.
In the 28th minute, a fine run by Matthew Etherington almost brought some reward for the enthusiastic Zamora as the former Spurs pair linked up to create an goalscoring opportunity that brought the best out of Shay Given.
The Republic of Ireland international was forced to dive to his right to keep out Zamora's powerful effort on the turn.
But Newcastle were always a threat going forward and in the 40th minute a clever move almost brought them a second goal.
A long ball from Ramage was knocked into the path of Scott Parker by Shearer but the former Chelsea midfielder saw his 20-yard effort flash past the left-hand upright.
However, Parker's effort was merely a portent of what was to come two minutes before the interval when Owen struck again to re-establish their lead.
The second half began in a sloppy fashion with both sides preferring to give the ball away at every opportunity rather than use it to good effect.
In the 51st minute Shola Ameobi stopped Benayoun on the edge of the penalty area with a deliberate foul that brought the Newcastle player a yellow card.
West Ham were again unable to make the most of their advantage and Benayoun's effort was blocked by United's defensive wall.
In the 55th minute West Ham were almost level for a second time when Robbie Elliott made a hash of an attempted clearance to leave Harewood with a clear scoring chance.
But the West Ham striker's effort was brilliantly saved by Given as the home side increased the pressure on the Geordies.
Seconds later, the ball rebounded to West Ham midfielder Carl Fletcher whose 25-yard drive beat the outstretched Given only for the right-hand upright to come to the Newcastle 'keeper's rescue.
Newcastle had a further escape immediately afterwards when a cross from Zamora fell to the feet of defender James Collins but his goalbound effort was hooked off the line by Shearer.
In the 61st minute Benayoun was replaced by David Bellion as West Ham manager Alan Pardew searched for an alternative method of puncturing the Newcastle defence for a second time.
Shearer scored Newcastle's third in the 65th minute with his first-ever goal at Upton Park.
The goal, courtesy of a slide rule pass from Owen, looked to have ended West Ham's interest but they bargained without the unpredictability of Ameobi.
He inexplicably handled the ball in the 73rd minute to allow Harewood to slot home the resultant spot-kick and give the home side a lifeline.
But only a fine save by Carroll prevented Owen from completing his hat-trick in the 85th minute when he did well to stop the England man's header from dipping into the roof of the net.
However, a counter-attack in the final seconds of injury time saw Owen score his third from a pass by Amdy Faye.
WEST HAM 2 NEWCASTLE 2
West Ham: James, Lomas, Breen, Dailly, Winterburn (Minto 56), Bowyer, Cisse (Hutchison 80), Carrick, Cole, Defoe, Sinclair (Pearce 81).
Subs Not Used: Van Der Gouw, Moncur.
Goals: Cole 14, Defoe 45.
Newcastle: Given, Griffin, Caldwell, Hughes, Bernard, Acuna (LuaLua 65), Dyer, Jenas, Robert, Bellamy, Ameobi (Cort 86).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Solano, Dabizas.
Goals: Bellamy 9, Jenas 81.
Just before kick-off at Upton Park the man on the public address system announced: "This is the start of the great escape" and then played the theme tune to the classic film.
That air of optimism was brought about by the arrival on Thursday of Lee Bowyer and for 80 minutes it looked as if the march towards safety had indeed begun as the Bowyer-inspired Hammers led 2-1.
But as West Ham sat deep and tried to hold on to their lead, Jermaine Jenas pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and hit a stunning rising shot which flew into the top corner, leaving the Hammers wondering what they have to do to win at home.
There is no doubt the arrival of 26-year-old Poplar-born Bowyer has lifted spirits at the club and a point at least nudged Glenn Roeder's team off the bottom of the table above West Brom. But it remains to be seen whether the announcer's prediction of a miracle escape comes true.
Craig Bellamy threatened to spoil Bowyer's "homecoming" to the club he supported as a boy, when the Welsh international gave Newcastle the lead on nine minutes.
But Joe Cole scored a determined equaliser just four minutes later and Jermain Defoe grabbed a brilliant goal a minute before the half-time break.
Even though he was not 100% fit, having missed the last month with an ankle injury, it was no surprise that a player of Bowyer's quality gave everyone in a claret and blue shirt and added a spring to their step.
But Newcastle had not read the script and the opening goal came as the Magpies put together a flowing move down the right which exposed West Ham's defensive frailties.
Shola Ameobi - deputising for suspended Alan Shearer and making his 50th league appearance for the Magpies - did the good work on the flank and his low cross was helped on by Dyer to Bellamy, and the Welsh international turned sweetly before placing his shot past a wrong-footed David James.
The goal dampened the spirits of the home fans and a hush descended inside Upton Park, but the roof was soon raised as Joe Cole fired West Ham level after 13 minutes.
A throw-in from the right was headed on inside his own box by Gary aldwell and Cole did well to hold off the challenge of Andy Griffin before picking his spot with a shot which beat Given inside his right hand post.
Cole has gone from strength to strength since being handed the captain's armband at Middlesbrough last month and he was again leading by example.
Upton Park again erupted in celebration as Defoe scored a goal a minute before the break which had "class" stamped all over it.
Lomas - making his 300th club career start - did well down the right to get in a low cross which Defoe held up with his back to goal. The England Under-21 striker turned one way, then another, and drilled an angled shot past Given and inside the far post for his fourth Premiership goal of the campaign.
As the game moved into injury time the Hammers were relieved to have James come to the rescue with a spectacular point-blank save. The ball fell perfectly for Clarence Acuna inside the six-yard box and his shot was true, but James - who has come in for criticism in recent weeks - stuck out a hand to somehow keep the ball out.
Having found themselves in the unusual position of leading at home, it was a real test for West Ham to hold out for the second half.
The second half became a more scrappy affair and it all went wrong for West Ham with 10 minutes remaining as play stopped and they made a double substitution as Edouard Cisse and Trevor Sinclair were replaced by Don Hutchison and Ian Pearce.
Hardly had the duo stepped on the field than Newcastle equalised with a spectacular goal. The ball fell invitingly for Jenas on the edge of the box and he hit a rising drive which flew into the top corner.
When the final whistle sounded the home fans were once again left with that empty feeling, knowing they had gone so close to a first home win in the league.
West Ham are at least off the bottom of the table and manager Glenn Roeder hopes to sign a striker next week to help their fight against relegation. But whether or not the announcer's prediction of a great escape does materialise remains to be seen.