But Brett Pitman, who had earlier missed a penalty, equalised on the stroke of half-time with a stunning left-foot volley through a group of players from 18 yards, before he sealed the points 12 minutes from time with a glancing 10-yard header.
And Howe was thrilled with his team's work ethic, saying: "This could be a defining moment in our season. It's the first time we have won after conceding the first goal and to come to a place like this where it was always going to be hard is magnificent.
"I put our success down to hard work not just on the pitch today but on the training ground all week and we have transferred what we have done into our game.
"We created chance after chance in the first half but couldn't put anything away and you always begin to fear the worst but the boys responded as they have done so many times this season and our performance was capped by two great goals from Brett."