Ameobi relieves pressure on Pardew
Local hero Shola Ameobi came off the bench to hand Newcastle a 1-0 win over QPR.
The 31-year-old striker produced an assured 81st-minute finish just as it looked as though the Magpies would have to settle for a draw in a game they knew was a must-win affair.
It was no more than they deserved on a day when they dominated throughout, but too often lacked the guile of injured duo Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Stephane Mbia was in the right place at the right time to clear Mike Williamson's goal-bound header from a Vurnon Anita corner, although the Dutchman's ball was the sole cross of note he or any of his team-mates delivered before the break.
Indeed, Robert Green's only real save came with 31 minutes played when he plucked Cheick Tiote's shot out of the air, although there was more than a hint of a cross about the Ivorian's attempt.
At the other end, Tim Krul was effectively a spectator and he was called upon for the first time to field Alejandro Faurlin's corner with 11 minutes of the half remaining before then collecting Djibril Cisse's 43rd-minute scuffed volley.
QPR produced more inside the opening three minutes of the second half than they had in the entire first with Cisse forcing Krul to turn his low drive around the post and Mbia heading the resulting corner high over.
It was Anita who very nearly made the difference with a 63rd-minute free-kick which Green could only palm away, mercifully for him into a sea of blue, rather than black and white, shirts.
The Rangers goalkeeper had to scramble away Anita's near-post corner two minutes later and Demba Ba saw a shot on the turn deflected for a corner before Ameobi completely mistimed a header as the Magpies made another concerted push.
Ba could not generate enough pace to trouble Green with his 73rd-minute header from Gabriel Obertan's cross, but when Ameobi's big moment arrived, he was not found wanting. Sylvain Marveaux slipped the ball into his path on the right side of the penalty area and he steadied himself before curling a left-foot shot across Green and into the bottom corner.