Everton managed to fight back to claim three points in a gritty but entertaining game at St James Park.
Papiss Cisse appeared to ease the pain of Demba Ba's departure after he put Newcastle in the lead within two minutes, latching into the end of a Tim Krul goal-kick to nod over the ill-positioned Tim Howard and into the net.
Alan Pardew had gone with the odd decision to keep Cisse on the right-wing, a position that he has not acclimatised well to, with Shola Ameobi up front, and despite his early goal, the Senegalese striker appeared to struggle throughout the game, wasting a Newcastle chance soon after as he seemed to stop his run for no reason while attempting to link up with Sylvain Marveaux with the Everton defence AWOL.
Despite their slow start, the Toffees then almost equalised as Leighton Baines gave an ominous delivery from a free-kick which Tim Krul managed to claw out with a diving save. Yet the next goal could easily have gone the other way afterwards, as Vurnon Anita's free-kick found James Perch at the back post, but his header clipped the woodwork before going out with Tim Howard well beaten.
Everton were now having more of the game, but it was an end-to-end encounter, and they again went close to equalising when the (offensively) excellent Baines released Steven Pienaar in the area with a brilliant pass, but Tim Krul was alert to charge out and save with his feet.
With half-time almost up, Newcastle appeared to be taking a narrow lead into the break, but they were soon denied as Leighton Baines scored a fantastic goal to make it 1-1. From a free-kick 30 yards out, the left-back smashed in a piledriver which just swerved away from Tim Howard's grasp at the last second.
The game was quieter in the second half, but there were still chances at both ends. Newcastle went within inches of retaking the lead after Shola Ameobi got on the end of Vurnon Anita's chipped pass, but could only prod the ball wide in a huge let-off for Everton. Newcastle would soon regret the miss - immediately afterwards, they found themselves behind, substitute Victor Anichebe prodding home after being on the pitch for less than 90 seconds after fine work from Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic.
Newcastle tried to press for an advantage, and should have been boosted by the award of six minutes of injury time, but Everton managed to see the game out well and deny the Magpies any further clear chances. The home side will feel desperately unlucky once again, and in a game where they had plenty of bright performances from the likes of Vurnon Anita and Sylvain Marveaux, really ought to have got something from the game. For Everton, it was a classic, disciplined away performance - doing well to fight on despite the early setback and seeing the game out well. Newcastle's injured players and January reinforcements can't come soon enough.