Fulham defender Elliot Omozusi's 19th birthday was ruined when he was adjudged to have fouled Alan Smith in the box and Joey Barton made no mistake from the spot to give Newcastle a rare away-day success.
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce was also convinced the penalty award had been correct.
Barton's penalty enabled Newcastle to celebrate a victory away from St James' Park for the first time since the opening day of the season, when they beat Allardyce's old side Bolton.
Indeed, it was the first time they had kept a clean sheet on the road for a year and the win lifted them into the top half of the table, a minimum requirement as far as the fans are concerned.
Allardyce said: "Points are all-important in the Premier League. We dealt with what Fulham had to offer and waited for our opportunity. We got one at the very end and got three very valuable points.
"We have played much, much better than this and lost, particularly in our last away game when we played Blackburn off the park. Today we probably didn't deserve to win but they certainly didn't deserve to, that's for sure."