Peter Lovenkrands put his grief at the death of his father to one side for 90 minutes as Newcastle extended their lead at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship table to three points following a 2-2 draw with West Brom.
But the Magpies twice had to come from behind to prevent fellow promotion challengers West Brom from becoming the first visiting side to win at St James' Park this season.
Jonas Olsson gave the Baggies a 13th-minute lead which was cancelled out 12 minutes later by Danny Guthrie's sweet free-kick. Roman Bednar restored the visitors' lead within seconds of the restart, but Lovenkrands, who had flown back from Denmark for the game after being given compassionate leave to be with his family, levelled with a 54th-minute header.
But the Baggies, who host Newcastle in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, left Tyneside knowing they could have taken all three points from a thrilling encounter after substitute Ishmael Miller fired against a post from point-blank range with just eight minutes remaining.
The visitors took the lead with 13 minutes gone when, after the home defence had cleared a Chris Brunt corner, Graham Dorrans was allowed to recycle the ball and cross from the left for the unmarked Olsson to cushion a volley past Harper.
But Chris Hughton's men were back in it with 25 minutes gone when, after Youssouf Mulumbu had been penalised for a foul on Shola Ameobi 25 yards out, Guthrie curled home a superb free-kick which left Albion goalkeeper Scott Carson rooted to the spot.
However, Ameobi headed a Lovenkrands cross straight at Carson with three minutes of the half remaining with the game continuing at break-neck pace. There was still time for Harper to pull off two fine saves in injury time, one from Jerome Thomas' deflected close-range effort and the other from Gabriel Tamas' 30-yard piledriver.
But there was nothing the home goalkeeper could do to stop Bednar just 34 seconds after the restart when Dorrans was allowed to run deep into enemy territory before picking out the unmarked striker, whose initial header reared up off Harper and on to the crossbar before he nodded the rebound home.
The home side were once again in disarray, but they dragged themselves back on to level terms when Lovenkrands found space to glance a header from Jose Enrique's 54th-minute cross inside Carson's near post with the goalkeeper reacting too late to do anything about it.
But the woodwork came to Harper's rescue when Miller met Thomas' 82nd-minute cross but with the goal at his mercy, fired against the post.
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