Andros Townsend's free-kick lifted Newcastle out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Newcastle winger fired home from 25 yards after 58 minutes at St James' Park, but Palace squandered a golden opportunity to equalise when Yohan Cabaye saw his penalty saved by Karl Darlow.
The visitors pushed for a late leveller but failed to carve out another clear-cut chance as Rafa Benitez's side held on for a precious win in their bid for Premier League survival.
The victory, combined with dropped points for their relegation rivals, sees Newcastle climb to 17th, one point clear of Sunderland and two clear of Norwich, albeit having played a game more than both.
Both sides made a single change to their starting line-ups, with James McArthur replacing the injured Wilfried Zaha for Palace on Alan Pardew's first return to St James' Park, and the visitors enjoyed the better of a cagey first half.
Darlow was forced into a smart stop from Cabaye after 27 minutes before Yannick Bolasie's powerful volley drew another key save just before the break.
Newcastle lacked a cutting edge up front, with Jack Colback missing their clearest opportunity of the opening 45 minutes shortly before half-time.
The home fans grew increasingly frustrated with perceived time-wasting from the visitors from as early as the half-hour mark, but didn't have to wait long to watch their side go in front after the interval.
Townsend had been a growing influence on the game, and when he won a free-kick 25 yards from goal, the winger stepped up to curl past Wayne Hennessey.
It was his fourth league goal since joining from Tottenham in January, beating his total of three scored in 50 appearances for Spurs.
The goal stung Palace into life and they were given the ideal opportunity to level when referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty for Moussa Sissoko's handball.
Cabaye had scored his previous four spot-kicks in the league for Palace, but in front of the Gallowgate End a diving stop from Darlow kept Newcastle in front.
Pardew brought Emmanuel Adebayor and Dwight Gayle on in an effort to force an equaliser, but the hosts had the clearer chances in the final stages through the hard running of substitute Ayoze Perez.
Norwich City sit two points behind Newcastle with one game in hand after their defeat to Arsenal on Saturday Night Football.
Meanwhile Sunderland, who also have an extra game to play over Newcastle, host Chelsea next while Benitez takes his side to Villa Park to play already-relegated Aston Villa.
Soccer Saturday verdict - Paul Merson
It was very edgy. Newcastle didn't start very well and the better team in the first half was definitely Crystal Palace. But what a goal from Townsend. It looked like Newcastle were going to run away with it until the penalty out of nothing. A great save from Darlow and that was it really. They held their nerve after that. It's a massive, massive three points.
The thing I like about Townsend is he always gets on the ball. Some of his passing in the first half wasn't great, but he always gets on the ball and that's what you need at Newcastle.
Newcastle: Darlow (8), Dummett (7), Lascelles (7), Mbemba (7), Anita (7), Townsend (8), Tiote (7), Colback (7), Sissoko (6), Wijnaldum (7), Cisse (6)
Subs used: Mitrovic (6), Perez (6), Shelvey (6)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Ward (6), Dann (7), Delaney (6), Souare (6), Jedinak (6), Cabaye (6), Puncheon (5), McArthur (6), Bolasie (6), Wickham (6)
Subs used: Sako (6), Gayle (6), Adebayor (6)
Man of the match: Andros Townsend