Newcastle re-discovered that winning feeling as Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best scored to seal an accomplished 2-0 win at Birmingham City.
The win on Tuesday moves the Magpies up to ninth in the English Premier League table but leaves the Blues just three points above the relegation zone as Alex McLeish’s players turn their attention to successive cup ties over the next two weeks.
Having savored their injury time winner against Stoke on Saturday, Birmingham suffered an instant reversal of fortune by conceding just 95 seconds after kick off at a rain-sodden St Andrew’s.
With City only half-clearing Jose Enrique’s initial left-wing cross, the rebound fell at the feet of Jonas Gutierrez in a slightly deeper position.
The Argentinean delivered a similar left-footed through ball along the inside channel that Lovenkrands stabbed home ahead of Roger Johnson.
City gradually showed subtle signs of recovery as Johnson headed wide under pressure at the far post and Serbian striker Nikola Zigic – on a run of three goals in successive games – saw Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper superbly palm away his first-time shot on the turn.
One-time Toon Army favourite Obafemi Martins – who was eventually replaced by Cameron Jerome in the second half – cut a frustrated figure up front as Birmingham posed little threat, with midfielder Craig Gardner’s wasteful blast over the bar the best the hosts could summon before the break.
And Newcastle made them pay five minutes after the re-start, with winger Gutierrez again playing a major role in the build up.
He turned City midfielder Seb Larsson one way and then the other out before picking out Best, who comfortably beat Johnson in the air to crash home a far-post header.
Zigic headed a rare opportunity over and Johnson forced another good stop from Harper in the final twenty minutes, but the Magpies held out with ease to clinch their first Premier League win in six games.