Gabriel Obertan delivered Newcastle United's first Barclays Premier League win of the season as they beat Leicester City 1-0.
The Frenchman hit home in the 71st minute to give Newcastle victory at the eighth time of asking and cap an unconventional day at St James' Park. Kick-off was delayed by an hour because of issues with a newly installed big screen at St James' Park, with engineers scaling the stadium walls to fix the issue and ensure the game went ahead.
Once the game did start Newcastle enjoyed the better of the proceedings, although a lack of composure in front of goal looked as if it could cost them, as was typified by Papiss Cisse missing an open goal from a narrow angle. But Obertan ensured Cisse's miss was not punished by netting his first goal since October 2012 to ease the pressure on manager Alan Pardew.
A first maximum haul of 2014/15 moves Newcastle to within a point of the teams immediately above the drop zone.
The pre-match drama continued as Cheick Tiote was injured in the warm-up and replaced by Vurnon Anita, supplementing Pardew's only other change, with Steven Taylor replacing Mike Williamson in defence.
Newcastle settled better after the delayed kick-off and Fabricio Coloccini curled a seventh-minute effort narrowly wide. Matty James returned to the midfield along with Esteban Cambiasso in two of Leicester's three changes and he wasted an opportunity to punish some slack Newcastle defending as he shot straight at Tim Krul.
Leicester began to get a foothold in the game in the latter stages of the first half, with only the woodwork denying them the opener in the 38th minute when Marc Albrighton's cross-cum-shot struck Krul's left post.
Pardew's side emerged with renewed confidence after the half-time interval, Moussa Sissoko seeing an effort deflected wide before Cisse could only find the side-netting from a tight angle after rounding Kasper Schmeichel.
Jack Colback saw a fierce free-kick turned over the bar by Schmeichel but Obertan's moment of magic finally put the hosts into a deserved lead. The winger man cut in from the left and avoided three Leicester challenges before unleashing a superb low shot out of Schmeichel's reach to his right.
In an end-to-end finish each side came close but Newcastle ultimately hung on to allow Pardew to celebrate success.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "It was a very important win for the football club. It's never easy to win a Premier League game. They ran us really close. I'm really proud of my players - I thought they gave everything.
"I can't tell you how many blows we've had this week. It was beginning to feel like it was not our day and the TV broke that we bought. It was great Obertan scored because he is a player who needs confidence and when he gets confidence he's a different prospect.
"There's no corner to be turned. We need to win more games. It's been a long time coming. Hopefully we can build on this. We're still in a position we shouldn't be.
"[Mike Ashley]'s happy. I know both Mike and myself take a lot of criticism but we love it. He loves the club and was desperate to win. He wanted to express that to the players and I thank him for that. It's a misconception he doesn't care - of course he does."
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: "Both sets of players dealt with the kick-off delay very well, it turned out to be just an hour and these things happen. It didn't affect how the players approached the game. They were upbeat and focused.
"You could look at the game and say their best opportunities came from our set plays or on the counter attack, so you could say we were unlucky in some ways but we had enough chances ourselves and our qualities let us down really.
"It's not a case of making excuses, we had enough opportunities today against a side who have been under pressure themselves but we didn't find a way through.
"I suppose one of the things we take from any game is to say that we are capable of competing, we have good players, but our game management could be better.
|09 Nov 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|01 Nov 2014||v Liverpool (H)|
|06 Dec 2014||v Chelsea (H)|
|02 Dec 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|22 Nov 2014||v QPR (H)|
|26 Oct 2014||v Spurs (A)|