Yohan Cabaye picked a fine time to score his first goal for Newcastle as the Frenchman's 80th-minute strike sunk gutsy Wigan at St James' Park. The summer signing from Lille curved home a knock back by substitute Sylvain Marveaux to finally end the resistance of the visitors, who have now lost six games in a row.
Meanwhile, Alan Pardew's men continue to ride high after stretching their unbeaten Barclays Premier League start to nine games despite struggling for much of the afternoon.
The Magpies may have been forgiven for expecting an easy day as Roberto Martinez's men ventured north on the back of five straight losses and a reputation for defensive mishaps.
But, with Hugo Rodallega starting his first game after a month out with a knee injury, Martinez's men were far from over-awed and dominated the early stages.
Rodallega had a first minute shot blocked by Fabricio Coloccini and Mohamed Diame also struck the legs of former Latic Ryan Taylor in a lively opening.
Wigan should have gone ahead in the fifth minute when Rodallega headed down for Victor Moses to volley a rising shot which was superbly tipped away by Tim Krul.
Wigan had another glorious chance in the 15th minute when David Jones send Rodallega galloping clear but the striker screwed a right-foot shot wide of target.
At the back, Antolin Alcaraz continued to make up for his nightmare against Bolton last week with a superb saving tackle to deny Leon Best a shooting chance in the Latics box.
Newcastle had their first clear chance in the 33rd minute when Best met a Jonas Gutierrez cross with a bouncing shot in front of goal which was superbly parried by Al Habsi.
And five minutes before half-time Pardew's men had another chance when Ben Watson barged Gutierrez on the edge of the box and Taylor curled the resulting free-kick just wide.
The home side made a brighter start to the second half and almost went ahead after 50 minutes when Demba Ba met Taylor's left-wing cross with a flashing header which Al Habsi gathered well.
The home side were beginning to dominate bit were still struggling to create clear-cut chances as Wigan's much-maligned defence held firm.
Cabaye and half-time substitute Hatem Ben Arfa both had chances blocked in the box in quick succession before Gary Caldwell booted clear.
Playing much deeper, the visitors were clearly intent first and foremost on safeguarding a point, with Rodallega given scant support on his rare forays forward.
The frustration was beginning to tell for the home side as Wigan got back in the match, and Albert Crusat was not far from finding the head of Rodallega in the box in the 78th minute.
A scything run down the left by Ben Arfa moments later ended in a low shot which was blocked well by Al Habsi as the Magpies made a belated bid to wrest back the momentum.
And they seized it in style in the 80th minute when Marveaux played the ball back to Cabaye who curled a right foot shot past Al Habsi from the edge of the box.
The visitors still had time to push for an equaliser, but Moses trickled a cross across the face of goal and Diame headed a good 88th-minute chance just wide.
2010/11 Newcastle 2 Wigan 2
Skipper Fabricio Coloccini struck deep into injury time to deny Charles N'Zogbia the headlines as Newcastle only just avoided a third successive Barclays Premier League defeat.
The Argentinian headed home in the fourth minute of stoppage time to snatch a precious point after Magpies old boy N'Zogbia had silenced the St James' Park boo boys.
The 24-year-old Frenchman put the visitors in front with a 22nd-minute header and then added a second with a superb left-foot rocket to answer the cat-calls from fans still bristling at the manner of his departure from the club.
N'Zogbia, who was once mistakenly referred to as "Charles Insomnia", tormented right-back James Perch throughout, and with a little more composure, could have killed the game off long before the final whistle.
But substitute Shola Ameobi's 72nd-minute header gave the Magpies hope as a crowd of 44,415 finally had something to shout about, and Coloccini completed the job in the nick of time.
The game started with boos for owner Mike Ashley over his decision to sell the naming rights to the stadium, and N'Zogbia as a result of his extended campaign of agitation for a move away from the club, which finally paid off in February last year.
But the boos on the half-time whistle were all for the club the Frenchman had left behind as the Magpies capitulated all too easily in the face of a not particularly special performance by the visitors.
Newcastle were simply awful for all but a few minutes of the opening period.
They lacked ideas in midfield, where Wigan boss Roberto Martinez had ordered his players to close down space, and toothless in attack on the rare occasions when striker Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands, preferred to Ameobi and Kevin Nolan, saw anything of the ball.
But more alarmingly, they were horribly porous at the back as right-back Perch's education in top-flight football took an ugly turn up an ever steeper hill.
His main job was to try to keep N'Zogbia quiet with a helping hand from Danny Guthrie, making his first appearance of the season after recovering from a knee injury.
But the former Magpie gave him a torrid time throughout and capped his afternoon with a quick-fire double which put the Latics in the driving seat with barely a quarter of the game gone.
There was an element of good fortune about N'Zogbia's first goal when Franco di Santo's cross looped up off Jose Enrique and dropped invitingly for the winger to head across goalkeeper Tim Krul and into the bottom corner.
However, his second less a minute later oozed class as he brought down Di Santo's cross on his chest before smashing a shot past Krul from a tight angle.
Newcastle were laboured in their attempts to get back into the game, although they came close twice within seconds as clock ticked past the 40-minute mark.
First Maynor Figueroa had to head over his own crossbar after Carroll had turned Guthrie's free-kick across goal towards Lovenkrands, and then Emmerson Boyce cleared the striker's header off the line from the resulting corner.
It could have been even worse for the Magpies had N'Zogbia opted to cross early to the unmarked Di Santo in injury time, and the home manager headed for the dressing room with chants of "Hughton, sort it out" ringing in his ears with his side starring down the barrel of a third successive home defeat.
What Hughton needed was a swift response, but there was little sign of it in the opening minutes of the second half as his side continued to squander possession and make little of it when they had it.
The Magpies pinned the visitors back inside their own half, but were unable to find anything like the quality of final ball they needed to break Wigan down, although Carroll headed wide from Enrique's looping 56th-minute ball in.
Lovenkrands found himself in a promising position on the hour as Perch prepared to cross, but although the Dane controlled well, Newcastle old boy Steve Caldwell intervened before he could shoot.
Guthrie drilled a 65th-minute free-kick harmlessly over the bar with little sign of the fightback the Magpies so desperately required.
However, Ameobi, a 60th-minute replacement for Lovenkrands, gave his side hope with 18 minutes gone when he powered home a header from Jonas Gutierrez's cross to spark a belated onslaught.
Carroll headed just wide seconds later, but substitute Hugo Rodallega perhaps should have made sure five minutes from time after being played in by N'Zogbia.
His side were made to pay at the death when Carroll flicked on Gutierrez's cross and Coloccini headed home from close range to cap a spirited comeback.
2008/9Newcastle 2 Wigan 2
NEWCASTLE: Given, Beye, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique (N'Zogbia 68), Gutierrez (Owen 68), Barton (Guthrie 16), Butt, Duff, Ameobi, Martins. Subs Not Used: Harper, Cacapa, Geremi, Carroll.
WIGAN: Kirkland, Taylor (De Ridder 81), Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Scharner, Cattermole, Palacios, Kapo (Brown 90), Camara (Kilbane 90), Valencia. Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Cywka, Kupisz, Routledge.
Newcastle old boy Titus Bramble returned to Tyneside with a vengeance to deny his former club a much-needed victory over 10-man Wigan.
The defender, derided during his time at St James' Park, headed home an 89th-minute equaliser just when it looked as though substitute Michael Owen - who had earlier been guilty of a glaring miss - and Obafemi Martins had snatched a win from the jaws of defeat.
Trailing to Ryan Taylor's third-minute strike despite Emmerson Boyce's 54th-minute dismissal, the Magpies belatedly launched a fightback - which saw the two strikers score inside seven minutes at the end of the game.
But with seconds of normal time remaining, Bramble headed a Daniel de Ridder corner past Damien Duff on the line to snatch a point.
Newcastle were awful for much of the match, and it was not until Wigan had been reduced to 10 men that they started to make their presence felt as an attacking force.
Having slipped back into the bottom three after last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Fulham, the home side ran out knowing nothing other than a third successive home win would do.
But they were simply desperate in an opening 45 minutes which served once again to underline the paucity of quality in a squad which has been systematically weakened under the managers who have succeeded Sir Bobby Robson over the last four years or so.
Wigan arrived with both first-choice strikers - Emile Heskey and Amr Zaki - sidelined by hamstring injuries, and with Mario Melchiot having joined them on the casualty list.
But within three minutes of the kick-off, they were in front when Taylor's dipping 22-yard volley sped past an astonished Shay Given into the top corner.
But if the opening goal represented a setback, more worrying was the home side's failure to respond in anything like the fashion manager Joe Kinnear would have expected.
The deserved 2-0 victory over Aston Villa in their last outing at St James' Park was a distant memory, as roughly the same team were out-played and out-muscled in the middle of the pitch - and until the final few minutes of the half, they allowed once error-prone former Magpie Bramble the most untroubled of returns.
Given had to make regulation, by his standards, saves from Taylor and Wilson Palacios as Nicky Butt, Joey Barton - before he limped off injured - and Danny Guthrie thereafter were given the run-around.
It was perhaps telling that the most frequent ball-carriers for Newcastle as they attempted to fight back were full-backs Habib Beye and Jose Enrique - with the Spaniard in particular wasteful in possession.
However, they should have been back on level terms in injury time when - after exchanging passes with strike-partner Shola Ameobi - Enrique surged into the box only to see his shot block by goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.
There was little doubting the tone of Kinnear's half-time comments - although whatever he said appeared to have little effect as the game resumed.
That changed six minutes later when Boyce, who had earlier been booked for a foul on Jonas Gutierrez, felled Ameobi and was dismissed - despite his claims he had got the ball.
Butt, Fabricio Coloccini and Martins failed to hit the target with headers as the home side piled on the pressure - and Jonas was unable to collect Butt's through-ball after running in on goal.
But in the meantime, Antonio Valencia had forced a fine 57th-minute save from Given as Wigan made light of their numerical disadvantage.
Kinnear made his move with 22 minutes remaining when he sent on Owen and Charles N'Zogbia for Jonas and Enrique, and the England striker's big chance arrived within two minutes when Martins skipped around Taylor and squared - only for the £17million man to side-foot wide from six yards.
Owen then saw a header tipped over by Kirkland, although the game would have been over had Henri Camara's 76th-minute shot not come back off the post with Given beaten.
But the former Real Madrid front man made no mistake when, after Kirkland had parried Ameobi's long-range effort, he slid in to convert the rebound.
Martins thought he had won it when he hammered a left-foot shot past Kirkland with three minutes remaining, but Bramble chose the perfect moment to exorcise his Tyneside ghosts at the death.
Source: Newcastle United Mad