Papiss Cisse eased Newcastle's relegation fears with an injury-time winner against Fulham on a day when it appeared as if luck had deserted the United striker.
Alan Pardew's side - and Cisse especially - had previously spurned a catalogue of chances at St James' Park against a Fulham side who suffered their first defeat in six games.
But with frustration and anxiety growing, the Senegal forward finally beat Mark Schwarzer in the third minute of added-on time for his 11th goal of the season.
After a run of three straight defeats - two in the Barclays Premier League and a 3-1 loss to Benfica on Thursday in the first leg of a Europa League quarter-final tie, this was a crucial win for the Toon.
They dominated in terms of opportunities after Dimitar Berbatov, with four goals in four games coming into this match, had audaciously curled a 20-yard shot just over the right-hand angle of Tim Krul's crossbar and post.
But the win was not without cost because after Steven Taylor had agonisingly planted a header just over the crossbar in running on to a right-wing cross from Moussa Sissoko, Pardew's injury woes increased further.
Already without a host of big names for the run in, the sight of right-back Davide Santon pulling up and clutching the top of his left thigh in the 15th minute will only have intensified Pardew's anxiety.
Beyond that, one sliced clearance from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to a low left-wing ball from Damien Duff was the only other serious moment of concern for Pardew and the Magpies through to shortly before the interval.
Instead, going into the break, they should arguably have been in front, only to see three opportunities go begging in the space of six minutes for Cisse either side of the half-hour mark.
Twice Cisse was set up by Sissoko, but on both occasions his right-foot shots were wide, albeit his first much closer than his second as Schwarzer was relieved to see it flash just beyond his left-hand post.
The visitors, though, weathered the storm and countered late on with two chances of their own in a two-minute burst of activity.
From Berbatov's through ball, Bryan Ruiz's angled drive was blocked by Yanga-Mbiwa for a corner eventually swung into the heart of the area by Giorgios Karagounis.
In a melee, Stanislav Manolev was the man who managed to get a boot on the ball inside the six-yard box, but a host of bodies denied him an opener in a half that eventually petered out.
For 20 minutes after the interval, however, it was all Newcastle and another sustained spell where the only thing lacking was a goal.
Initially, Schwarzer was beaten in the 53rd minute via a deflection on to his bar as Emmanuel Frimpong, on minutes earlier for the injured Eyong Enoh, was in the way of a dipping shot from Vurnon Anita, who had earlier replaced Santon.
Five minutes later and again Cisse was guilty of another miss, this time stabbing tamely at a low ball in from Yoan Gouffran that neither Philippe Senderos nor Hangeland could cut out.
After Schwarzer saved an angled drive from Taylor, United then hit the post twice in a matter of seconds, appearing to underline this was simply not going to be their day in front of goal.
From a Sylvain Marveaux corner, Gouffran's initial flick appeared to brush Sascha Riether on the line - potentially even his right arm - on the way to clipping the right-hand upright, with claims for a penalty ignored by referee Kevin Friend.
The rebound fell to Cisse, only for his hapless display to continue in front of goal as from four yards out he sidefooted against the same piece of woodwork.
Proving they were still in the game, Fulham almost stole it in the 68th minute as it took a brilliant fingertip save from Tim Krul to deny Berbatov with a header after he had latched on to a free-kick from John Arne Riise.
Towards the close, Cisse's agonising day continued as a goal-bound header to a right-wing cross from Anita was superbly turned away by Schwarzer in the 88th minute.
But with the clock ticking, Cisse latched on to a loose ball in the area to beat Schwarzer from close range.
His fervent celebrations were understandable as he jumped in among the delirious Newcastle fans, earning himself a booking to boot, but one worthy of his cause.TOON v FULHAM - THE HISTORY 2012/2013 Sun 07 Apr Newcastle Utd. 1 - 0 Fulham Premier League Mon 10 Dec Fulham 2 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premier League 2011/2012 Sat 21 Jan Fulham 5 - 2 Newcastle Utd. Premier League Sun 28 Aug Newcastle Utd. 2 - 1 Fulham Premier League 2010/2011 Wed 02 Feb Fulham 1 - 0 Newcastle Utd. Premier League Sat 13 Nov Newcastle Utd. 0 - 0 Fulham Premier League 2008/2009 Sat 16 May Newcastle Utd. 0 - 1 Fulham Premier League Sun 09 Nov Fulham 2 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premier League 2007/2008 Sat 22 Mar Newcastle Utd. 2 - 0 Fulham Premier League Sat 15 Dec Fulham 0 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premier League 2006/2007 Sat 03 Feb Fulham 2 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premiership Sat 09 Sep Newcastle Utd. 1 - 2 Fulham Premiership 2005/2006 Sat 14 Jan Fulham 1 - 0 Newcastle Utd. Premiership Sat 10 Sep Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Fulham Premiership 2004/2005 Wed 04 May Fulham 1 - 3 Newcastle Utd. Premiership Sun 07 Nov Newcastle Utd. 1 - 4 Fulham Premiership 2003/2004 Mon 19 Jan Newcastle Utd. 3 - 1 Fulham Premiership Tue 21 Oct Fulham 2 - 3 Newcastle Utd. Premiership 2002/2003 Sat 19 Apr Fulham 2 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premiership Sat 21 Dec Newcastle Utd. 2 - 0 Fulham Premiership 2001/2002 Mon 08 Apr Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Fulham Premiership Sat 17 Nov Fulham 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Premiership 1983/1984 Sat 03 Mar Fulham 2 - 2 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 05 Nov Newcastle Utd. 3 - 2 Fulham Second Division 1982/1983 Sat 26 Feb Fulham 2 - 2 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 16 Oct Newcastle Utd. 1 - 4 Fulham Second Division 1979/1980 Sat 12 Apr Fulham 1 - 0 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 01 Dec Newcastle Utd. 2 - 0 Fulham Second Division 1978/1979 Sat 21 Apr Newcastle Utd. 0 - 0 Fulham Second Division Sat 16 Dec Fulham 1 - 3 Newcastle Utd. Second Division 1967/1968 Sat 20 Apr Fulham 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 14 Oct Newcastle Utd. 2 - 1 Fulham First Division 1966/1967 Sat 04 Feb Fulham 5 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 24 Sep Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Fulham First Division 1965/1966 Sat 07 May Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Fulham First Division Sat 30 Oct Fulham 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd. First Division 1960/1961 Wed 31 Aug Fulham 4 - 3 Newcastle Utd. First Division Wed 24 Aug Newcastle Utd. 7 - 2 Fulham First Division 1959/1960 Sat 05 Mar Newcastle Utd. 3 - 1 Fulham First Division Sat 17 Oct Fulham 4 - 3 Newcastle Utd. First Division 1951/1952 Sat 09 Feb Fulham 1 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 29 Sep Newcastle Utd. 0 - 1 Fulham First Division 1950/1951 Sat 31 Mar Fulham 1 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division Sat 11 Nov Newcastle Utd. 1 - 2 Fulham First Division 1949/1950 Sat 04 Feb Newcastle Utd. 3 - 1 Fulham First Division Sat 24 Sep Fulham 2 - 1 Newcastle Utd. First Division 1947/1948 Wed 14 Apr Newcastle Utd. 1 - 0 Fulham Second Division Sat 27 Sep Fulham 3 - 0 Newcastle Utd. Second Division 1946/1947 Sat 22 Mar Newcastle Utd. 1 - 3 Fulham Second Division Sat 16 Nov Fulham 0 - 3 Newcastle Utd. Second Division 1938/1939 Sat 18 Mar Fulham 1 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 12 Nov Newcastle Utd. 2 - 1 Fulham Second Division 1937/1938 Sat 09 Apr Newcastle Utd. 1 - 2 Fulham Second Division Sat 27 Nov Fulham 1 - 2 Newcastle Utd. Second Division 1936/1937 Sat 27 Mar Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Fulham Second Division Sat 21 Nov Fulham 3 - 4 Newcastle Utd. Second Division 1935/1936 Sat 01 Feb Fulham 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd. Second Division Sat 28 Sep Newcastle Utd. 6 - 2 Fulham Second Division 1934/1935 Sat 19 Jan Newcastle Utd. 1 - 1 Fulham Second Division Sat 08 Sep Fulham 3 - 2 Newcastle Utd. Second Division
Source: Newcastle United Mad