The Magpies hit back in the 57th minute through Mathieu Debuchy after Steven Fletcher opened the scoring inside five minutes but left the Stadium of Light empty handed as Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini netted with six minutes remaining in regular time.
Borini fired home Jozy Altidore's lay-off from a free-kick to give the Black Cats the win but Pardew believed his Toon side were hardly done by.
"When we got the equaliser, the more the game went on the more control we got," he said.
"We had two or three good chances, I thought, at 1-1 and if we got the second goal, the game was over because they would have been dead.
"Unfortunately for us, we didn't get that second goal. Unfortunately, the referee played a part in this defeat as well because that was definitely not a free-kick in my opinion.
"The linesman gave us a throw, the ref gave a foul and I think one or two of ours switched off.
"They certainly didn't think there was a foul, the boys, and then they just slipped through us and the one chance they had second half, he smashed it in, so it's a really tough one for us to take."
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