Toon triumph in Tyne-Tees derby
By Peter O`Rourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Goals from Shola Ameobi and Stephen Caldwell in each half was enough to give Bobby Robson's men all three points against an unlucky Boro side.
Ameobi struck after 20 minutes and Caldwell celebrated his first game in almost 20 months with the second three minutes from time after a mistake by Mark Schwarzer in the visitors goal.
The visitors misery was compounded in the final minute when French defender Franck Quedrue saw red for the second time in a week for his second bookable offence.
The game got off to a fast and frenetic start with both sides eager to earn bragging rights in the North East.
Newcastle had the first clear opening of the game after eight minutes with Laurent Robert forcing Schwarzer into a good save with his legs and Jermaine Jenas' follow-up attempt from 25 yards just flew over the crossbar.
The impressive Geremi had the visitors first chance a minute later, but his shot from the edge of the box fizzed wide of the post.
A minute later Middlesbrough almost broke the deadlock with Massimo Maccarone seeing his far post header cleared off the line.
Jonathan Greening sent over a pin-point cross from the left and Maccarone got away from his marker Olivier Bernard to head goalwards, but was unlucky to see Aaron Hughes on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Middlesbrough were beginning to dominate things in midfield and Geremi forced Given into a tremendous save in the 15th minute.
The Cameroon international was given too much time and space to line up a shot from the edge of the box and Given could only push out his powerful shot, but fortunately for Newcastle Nolberto Solano was on hand to clear the danger.
The visitors thought they should have had a penalty in the 19th minute when Maccarone was brought down by Hughes in the box, but Graham Barber turned down their appeals.
Middlesbrough's misery was compounded when Newcastle opened the scoring a minute later somewhat against the run of play and there was a little slice of luck about Ameobi's strike.
The big striker tried to flick Speed's cross to a team-mate, but only managed to knock the ball into his own path past Gareth Southgate inside the box and he reacted quickest to thump his left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand post.
The visitors tried to respond two minutes with Job calling Given into action again with another shot from the edge of the box.
Quedrue then played in Maccarone in the 26th minute down the right, but with the angle against the Italian he fired his shot well wide of the target.
Geremi tried his luck for the visitors again on the half hour, but his left-footed shot slid inches just wide of the right-hand post with Given at full stretch.
Alan Shearer had his first chance of the game a minute later when he latched onto a mistake by Ugo Ehiogu, but under pressure from Southgate and Ehiogu he hurried his shot straight at Schwarzer.
Robert came close to netting a spectacular goal in the 34th minute with Jenas picking the Frenchman out free wide on the left with a superb pass, but Robert's stinging volley flew into the side-netting.
Shearer thought he had grabbed his 100th Premiership goal for The Magpies after 38 minutes when he volleyed in from close-range, but his effort was ruled out by referee Barber for an apparent foul by Ameobi on Ehiogu.
Middlesbrough came out for the second half in determined fashion and they almost drew level after 55 minutes with Maccarone striking the woodwork.
The former Empoli striker latched onto a mix-up between Jenas and Andy Griffin and fired in a powerful low shot from 20 yards which rebounded off the post with Given beaten.
George Boateng forced Given into a smart save on the hour mark, which the Republic of Ireland international had to grab at the second attempt after the Dutchman picked up Ameobi's weak clearance on the edge of the box and fired in a powerful left-footed strike.
Carlos Marinelli replaced the ineffective Szilard Nemeth on 70 minutes, but his first contribution was to give away a free kick on the edge of the box for a foul on Jenas.
Portuguese ace Hugo Viana, who had just come on for Robert, took responsibility for the free kick and was unlucky to see his curling effort just land on top of netting.
Middlesbrough came close to grabbing an equaliser 12 minutes from time when Ehiogu saw his header cleared off the line by Gary Speed after Newcastle failed to clear Marinelli's corner properly.
Substitute Kieron Dyer almost got through on goal in the 82nd minute after some good work down the right by Griffin but Southgate cleared the ball for a corner.
From the resulting corner Shearer came close to netting that elusive 100th goal and sealing the game with a powerful header, but Schwarzer produced a superb reaction save to tip it away to safety off the post.
Newcastle almost grabbed a second on the break after 86 minutes with Dyer feeding Viana with a brilliant through ball and the Portuguese star his left-footed shot saved by Schwarzer and he produced another good save as Jenas looked to follow-up the rebound.
From the corner Newcastle did settle the game with a goal from Caldwell.
Viana sent over the corner, but Schwarzer dropped the ball into the path of the defender and he gleefully volleyed the ball home.
There was still time for the visitors to be reduced to ten men when Quedrue was sent-off for his second bookable offence for a foul on Griffin to complete a frustrating night got Boro.
Click on fixture for full match summary
Click here for updated league table