Struggling Spurs were relieved to get through to the new round
Carling Cup holders Tottenham edged into the last 16 to give their season a timely boost while plunging managerless Newcastle's to a dismal new low.
In front of a 20,577 crowd at St James' Park, both teams showed their fragile confidence in a poor first-half.
Spurs did not offer much, but they did manage to take a 62nd-minute lead when unmarked Roman Pavlyuchenko headed in.
Four minutes later, Jamie O'Hara capitalised on a Newcastle error while Michael Owen scored in vain late on.
Spurs and Newcastle, lying bottom and second-bottom of the Premier League table respectively, both stressed the importance of the game in terms of the impact it could have in kick-starting their season.
Aside from a shuddering Fabricio Coloccini challenge on Spurs' £14m Russian striker Pavlyuchenko, it was a timid start all round and the home side looked especially nervous at the back.
With the game lacking spark or pattern, the first sniff of a chance came when Charles N'Zogbia found space but his shot was easily saved by Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes.
The increasingly fierce tackles were evidence of the fragile confidence of both sides as they could not produce any quality.
In the 32nd minute, Pavlyuchenko should have done better when he headed just wide from a corner while at the other end Owen, who had scored 10 goals in his last 14 appearances, had nothing to feed on.
The rough and tumble escalated just before half-time when Pavlyuchenko issued a forearm smash on Coloccini as they both went for a high ball which left the Argentine bleeding from his nose.
Newcastle nearly took the lead just after the break when a clever Obafemi Martins flick released the on-rushing Damien Duff onto the ball.
The Irish winger toe-poked the ball past Gomes towards the goal but just as it appeared to be crossing the line Jonathan Woodgate slid in to clear for a corner.
Gareth Bale was soon taken off and replaced by Giovani dos Santos by Spurs boss Juande Ramos.
And the Mexican soon had an impact when, after being fed by Didier Zokora on the left, he jinked into the box to cross for Pavlyuchenko who nearly bundled the ball home.
Nicky Butt did manage to slip a pass through Spurs' back-line for Owen to show his class as he rolled Woodgate and got a shot off which Gomes saved well.
But Spurs took the lead after 62 minutes when Aaron Lennon lofted in a perfect cross for the unmarked Pavlyuchenko to head home his first goal for the club.
The game was effectively over four minutes later when Coloccini ignored the golden rule of defending and passed the ball square across the front of his penalty area towards Taylor.
Taylor tried to let the ball run across his body and away from danger but O'Hara intercepted and, with plenty of time and space, the Spurs midfielder slotted the ball clinically past Given.
One minute before time, Geremi broke free down the right to whip in a dangerous cross and, after Gomes spilled the ball, Owen put the rebound powerfully into the roof of the net as dismayed Newcastle fans piled out of the ground.
Newcastle caretaker boss Chris Hughton:
"We had two very good chances early in the second half and didn't take them, and the two Spurs got, they were able to put away with good quality."
Tottenham manager Juande Ramos:
"Things were not going very well, but this victory has given us some peace of mind.
"It's certainly not a nice situation to be in.
"I believe we deserved to win tonight. In the first half, everything was equal and the two teams were playing at more or less the same level.
"But in the second half, we scored two goals and Michael Owen's goal came at the very end, so yes, we deserved to win."
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