Newcastle survived a late Middlesbrough revival to claim all three points at the Riverside and move into the top half of the Premiership.
Shola Ameobi celebrates his goal
The Magpies went ahead when George Boateng bundled the ball into his own net under pressure.
Shola Ameobi doubled the lead when he fired a first-time shot across Mark Schwarzer on the stroke of half time.
But from looking comfortable, Newcastle were forced to cling on after Boateng's powerful shot gave Boro hope.
Newcastle were the first to threaten as Nolberto Solano's cross picked out Ameobi.
The striker's attempt to head down to set up Lee Bowyer broke kindly for him as the ball rebounded off a Boro defender but Ameobi was unable to cash in as he lashed his shot wide from eight yards.
Frank Queudrue's head was already heavily bandaged to protect an injury sustained in the Uefa Cup tie against Basle, and he went down in pain after a clash of heads with Bowyer as they rose to a corner.
Solano was becoming an ever-increasing threat on Newcastle's right and the Peruvian sent Ameobi clear of the defence with a clever pass, only for Ameobi to blast high over the bar with only Schwarzer to beat.
With Yakubu operating as a lone striker, Boro lacked a cutting edge, but the Nigerian gave chase to Fabio Rochemback's chipped pass and as the ball bounced up he failed to get enough purchase on his header to trouble Newcastle keeper Shay Given.
Having threatened the most, it was no surprise that Newcastle took the lead, although the goal came from a set-piece.
Solano's corner was headed back across goal by Ameobi and as a clutch of players challenged at the far post, the ball went in off Boro midfielder Boateng.
Boro offered little threat going forward and even when Rochemback fired in a thumping free-kick, Given showed good hands to ensure there were no crumbs for the circling forwards to dine off.
With half time approaching, Newcastle took a firm grip on the game with a second goal.
Solano played Stephen Carr into the penalty box and, although the full-back lost control, the ball ran kindly for Ameobi who planted a first-time shot across Schwarzer.
Half-time substitute Mark Viduka's presence certainly gave Yakubu more support and gave Newcastle's defenders an additional factor to consider.
Frank Queudrue bears the scars of battle
Ugo Ehiogu's foul on Ameobi gave Newcastle a chance to stretch their lead and Solano's shot deflected off the wall and inches wide with Schwarzer stranded.
Emre curled another free-kick inches wide as Boro conceded a series of free-kicks under the mounting pressure.
Boro threw themselves a lifeline with 12 minutes left when Viduka neatly cushioned Rochemback's free-kick with his chest for Boateng to fire in a shot which deflected off Titus Bramble's knee past Given.
It needed a great save from Given to preserve Newcastle's lead as Rochemback curled a free-kick over the wall.
Boro boss Steve McClaren:
"We have to concentrate on the Uefa and FA Cups, they're our route into Europe and for success.
"We tried to energise the side, we showed spirit and character in the last 20 minutes but ran out of time.
"I can't criticise the players with the amount of effort they've put in and the last few days have been emotional."
Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder had five of his players booked:
"It was a tough game and there was lots of honest, controlled aggression from my players, which is what you want as a manager.
"When you have that you're going to give free-kicks away, but I have no complaints against the referee.
"He saw them as yellow cards, so let's be big boys and get on with it."
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Davies (Maccarone 62), Ehiogu, Riggott, Queudrue (Taylor 45), Morrison, Boateng, Doriva, Rochemback, Johnson (Viduka 45), Yakubu.
Subs Not Used: Jones, Parnaby.
Booked: Rochemback, Maccarone.
Goals: Boateng 79.
Newcastle: Given, Carr, Bramble, Moore, Elliott, Solano (Dyer 66), Bowyer, Emre (Faye 81), N'Zogbia, Shearer, Ameobi.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Clark, Ramage.
Booked: Emre, Ameobi, Moore, N'Zogbia.
Goals: Boateng 29 og, Ameobi 44.
Ref: A Wiley (Staffordshire).