Gabriel Obertan emerged from the shadows to fire Newcastle to their first Premier League victory of the season with his first goal for almost two years as they beat Leicester 1-0.
The Frenchman, who has been a peripheral figure for much of his spell on Tyneside, produced a rare piece of quality to settle a scrappy encounter and hand under-pressure Alan Pardew the win he craved in his 700th game as a manager.
Obertan's 71st-minute strike secured a first league win since May 3 and just Newcastle's sixth in 27 games in 2014.
It was far from a classic as Newcastle's initial endeavour dissolved into a a nervy display in front of an anxious crowd of 51,866 at St James' Park.
But Pardew needed a win however it came and he got it just when he needed it most, although it took a fine 83rd-minute save by Tim Krul to deny Matty James an equaliser.
On a day when the 53-year-old needed everything to go his way, events initially conspired against him with kick-off being delayed for an hour as engineers were called in to fix a big screen installed at the Leazes End of St James' Park after part of it became loose in the wind.
Having already lost defender Mike Williamson, midfielder Sammy Ameobi and striker Emmanuel Riviere to injury, Pardew was then forced to make another late change when midfielder Cheick Tiote withdrew and was replaced by Vurnon Anita.
His fortune was to change slightly inside the opening 45 minutes, but not enough to spare him a muted chorus of boos as the teams left the pitch at half-time with the stalemate unbroken.
Newcastle were the better side as a limited Leicester offered little threat going forward, although it was the Foxes who came closes to opening the scoring.
The Magpies started brightly and might - and probably should - have been ahead as early as the eighth minute when Obertan, enjoying one of his more impressive displays in a black and white shirt, picked up possession deep inside his own half before bursting forward to find Moussa Sissoko, who picked out, of all people, central defender Fabricio Coloccini at the end of a pacy counter-attack
However, the ball fell slightly behind the Argentinian, who steered his side-footed effort agonisingly wide of the post.
Full-back Paul Dummett rifled a long-range effort into keeper Kasper Schmeichel's midriff, only for James to fire straight at Krul at the other end as the visitors staged a 20th-minute break.
Yoan Gouffran dragged a left-foot effort harmlessly wide three minutes later, but the home side might have fallen behind in controversial fashion with 28 minutes gone.
Full-back Richie de Laet felled Jack Colback with an awful tackle, for which he was later booked, and referee Martin Atkinson played an advantage which ultimately did not accrue, allowing City to head upfield once again, where it took a last-ditch challenge by Daryl Janmaat to prevent striker Leonardo Ulloa from connecting with Marc Albrighton's cross.
The game slipped into mediocrity as the half progressed, but it was almost ignited six minutes before the break when another Albrighton cross was caught by the win and deceived Krul, who was relieved to see it come back off the angle of bar and post.
Schmeichel had his one anxious moment on the stroke of half-time when Papiss Cisse's strike looped up off defender Wes Morgan and left him wrong-footed, but the ball dropped over the crossbar.
The Leicester keeper looked to be in trouble five minutes after the restart when Sissoko's shot clipped defender Liam Moore and sailed over him, but also past the far post.
But he should have been beaten two minutes later when Cisse ran on to Paul Konchesky's dreadful back-pass and rounded him, but inexplicably blazed his shot into the side-netting.
Schmeichel palmed Colback's 55th-minute free-kick away with the home side making a big push, and manager Nigel Pearson responded by sending on strikers Jamie Vardy and David Nugent for Albrighton and Jeff Schlupp.
But it was Newcastle who finally broke the deadlock with 19 minutes remaining when Colback charged down a long-range shot on the edge of his own penalty area and the ball broke kindly for Cisse, who picked out Obertan on the left.
The Frenchman cut inside and after making space for himself, dispatched a right-foot rocket past Schmeichel and into the bottom corner.
City committed men to the search for an equaliser and were denied with seven minutes remaining when Krul repelled James' first effort and his defenders threw themselves into the path of the follow-up with Taylor blocking an effort from substitute Anthony Knockaert at the death.