Newcastle eased the pressure on manager Graeme Souness with a crucial FA Cup fourth round win at Cheltenham.
Newcastle's Babayaro tackles Cheltenham captain Finnigam
Michael Chopra's close-range header broke the deadlock after 41 minutes.
And Scott Parker eased Newcastle's nerves with a lucky second two minutes later, when he inadvertently deflected Jerry Gill's clearance into the net.
Steve Guinan and Kayode Odejayi both missed glorious chances to throw Cheltenham a lifeline as Newcastle held on in unconvincing fashion.
Cheltenham fans packed into Whaddon Road sensing a shock against the struggling Premiership side.
And they were given early encouragement as Odejayi's pace troubled Titus Bramble and Jean-Alain Boumsong.
But Newcastle were creating the clearer chances, with only a desperate Gavin Caines block denying Chopra and Alan Shearer's overhead kick flying narrowly over the bar.
Newcastle broke the deadlock four minutes before the interval when Chopra headed home after Celestine Babayaro's effort looped off goalkeeper Shane Higgs.
Newcastle then doubled their advantage in highly-fortuitous fashion two minutes later as Parker unwittingly scored his first goal for the club.
Peter Ramage's cross was cleared by Gill, but struck the incoming Parker and flew past Caines.
Newcastle emerged after the break in complacent mood, and Cheltenham swiftly took control as they attempted an unlikely comeback.
Guinan easily tricked Bramble in the area, but shot wide from only 10 yards.
Shearer was then only inches away from breaking Jackie Milburn's record of 200 Newcastle goals after 69 minutes when substitute Charles N'Zogbia flashed a ball across the six-yard box with Newcastle's captain unable to apply the finishing touch.
Odejayi then missed Cheltenham's best opportunity of the game - and with it their last chance of a revival.
He easily escaped the hapless duo of Bramble and Boumsong and rounded Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given, only to wreck all his good work by shooting wide of an open goal.
Cheltenham boss John Ward:
"We've been dignified, played well and given people a different perception of Cheltenham - the players can be very proud.
"The second goal was a bit of a killer blow for us, there was an element of good fortune about it for them.
"But this can be a springboard for the rest of our season - it has to be."
Newcastle boss Graeme Souness:
"This is the only competition for us now - we're not going to win the Premiership.
"Cheltenham were a credit to their division and played fantastically well - it was never comfortable for us.
"You can sometimes come unstuck in games like this and we are just grateful to be in the next round."