Skipper Fabricio Coloccini struck in injury-time to spare Newcastle's blushes with a 2-2 draw against Wigan after Charles N'Zogbia had threatened to condemn his former club to defeat.
The Argentinian headed home from close range in the fourth minute of stoppage time to snatch a point after substitute Shola Ameobi had given his side hope with a 72nd-minute header.
Coloccini's intervention came in the nick of time after Frenchman N'Zogbia had claimed a first-half double which looked certain to see off the Magpies.
N'Zogbia tormented right-back James Perch throughout, and with a little more composure, he could have killed the game off long before the final whistle.
But substitute Shola Ameobi's 72nd-minute header got the Magpies back in it and Coloccini completed the job in the nick of time.
The Magpies capitulated all too easily in the face of a not particularly special performance by the visitors in the opening half.
There was an element of good fortune about N'Zogbia's first goal when Franco di Santo's cross looped up off Jose Enrique and dropped invitingly for the winger to head across goalkeeper Tim Krul.
However, his second less a minute later oozed class as he brought down Di Santo's cross on his chest before smashing a shot past Krul from a tight angle.
Ameobi, a 60th-minute replacement for Peter Lovenkrands, gave Newcastle hope with 18 minutes left when he powered home a header from Jonas Gutierrez's cross to spark a belated onslaught.
Wigan substitute Hugo Rodallega perhaps should have made sure five minutes from time after being played in by N'Zogbia and his side were made to pay at the death when Andy Carroll flicked on Gutierrez's cross and Coloccini headed home from close range.