Tottenham Hotspur 1 West Bromwich Albion 1

Not even the menacing presence of their bIte noir , Robbie Keane, could prevent West Bromwich bouncing out of the Premiership's bottom three again last night.

Keane came up with his usual goal against Albion, when he equalised Zoltan Gera's opener early in the second half. But Bryan Robson's men were well worth the point that leapfrogged them back above Southampton into the safe pastures of 17th in the table.

On a night marred only by Norwich City's late winner against Newcastle United, Albion had a good case for claiming that they deserved more.

With young Richard Chaplow putting in an astonishingly mature performance on his full Albion debut, Albion were fearless under pressure.

Robson said: "I've always believed that Richard Chaplow would turn out to be a very good player but, given that was his full debut in the Premiership, I thought the kid was outstanding.

"I knew all about his energy levels and his attacking flair on the ball which can cause any opposition side problems, but I've also told him that if he wants to become an overall top player, he has to work on his defensive side and, to be fair, he did that really well.

"I thought we deserved at least a point from a very good display."

Admittedly, Albion were pitted against a Tottenham side equally committed to attack, in a bid to keep their Uefa Cup hopes afloat. But Albion were so close to avenging their luckless FA Cup third- round replay defeat here in January when they gave one of their best 45-minute displays of the season.

They soon showed that they were in a positive frame of mind. Gera should have scored in the first minute when he fired the rebound wide from ten yards after Kanu had carved a huge hole in the Spurs defence, being blocked only by the combined efforts of Erik Edman and Michael Dawson

Neil Clement hit the base of the left upright from a free kick, given against Dawson; the defender was booked for his challenge on Kieran Richardson who went off with a dead leg.

Admittedly, Albion goalkeeper Russell Hoult had to rescue his team when he tipped over a header from his own man Thomas Gaardsoe, who had struggled to reach Michael Carrick's cross. Sean Davis then headed Andy Reid's cross just wide.

But, having once again played with refreshing openness, Albion deserved something for their hard work and free- spirited approach. Although disrupted by the loss of Richardson, allowing Junichi Inamoto his longawaited debut, it did not take them long to make light of this setback.

Chaplow's corner was cleared by Dawson only as far as the edge of the penalty area and Gera atoned for his earlier miss by guiding home a stunning left-foot shot for his sixth goal of the season.

Chaplow was so close to making it 2-0 when he met a low cross from the recalled Kanu at the far post, only for England goalkeeper Paul Robinson to thwart him with a superb close-range save. Instead, within six minutes of the restart, it was 1-1, thanks once again to Keane.

So often a thorn in Albion's side (and, come to that, any Midland team whose fans feel moved to boo the former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker), Keane once again had an away-terrace silencer up his sleeve. Ledley King's cross was headed clear by Clement but, in a similar manner to Albion's opening goal, it went only as far as Keane, who got in ahead of Ronnie Wallwork's last-gasp challenge to fire a right-foot volley into Hoult's right corner.

Having been rocked back so early in the second half, and mindful of their previous second-half experience here, Albion might have settled for what they'd got.

But, with some of their passing as slick as it has been all season, and Chaplow increasing in confidence by the minute, the visitors kept going for it.

Gera so nearly fed Inamoto, only for Robinson to make a crucial save. The Hungarian was then almost in himself, only to fire just wide after Chaplow's neat chip over the top.

Spurs had chances, too, Davies shooting just wide, while Reid fizzed one over the angle and had another effort deflected over off Gaardsoe's head.

But for Albion to have left here unrewarded for a second time this season would have been simply too hard and too unfair to bear.

Another well-earned point at such a crucial stage of the season is plenty for Robson's determined side to be going on with.

Scorers: Gera (24) 0-1; Keane (51) 1-1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-3-1-2): Robinson; Kelly, Dawson, King, Edman (Atouba ht); Carrick, Davis (Mido ht), Reid; Davies; Keane, Defoe (Ziegler 75). Subs: Cerny (gk), Marney WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-4-2): Hoult; Scimeca, Gaardsoe, Clement, Robinson; Gera, Wallwork, Chaplow, Richardson (Inamoto 24); Campbell (Moore 60), Kanu (Earnshaw 82). Subs: Kuszczak (gk), Albrechtsen, Earnshaw Referee: Chris Foy (St Helens) Bookings: Tottenham - Dawson, Reid (fouls) Attendance: 35,885 Albion man of the match: Richard Chaplow - looked a real star of the future as he made an outstanding full debut in Albion colours.