The penalty from Billy Sharp gave Sheffield United their first Premier League season win in their 18th game as they defeated 10-man Newcastle at Bramall Lane.
After referee Andy Madley reviewed the video footage and judged that Federico Fernandez, who was tussling with Sharp in the area, had moved the ball with his fist, the spot-kick was awarded.
The veteran striker sent Karl Darlow the wrong way for the club to score his 100th goal.
Fellow replacement Rhian Brewster almost made it two five minutes from time with a deflected shot, but it came back from the post before the errant backpass of Jayden Bogle sent Aaron Ramsdale scrambling to save what would have been the cruelest of equalizers six minutes into injury time.
The job of the Blades was made easier by Ryan Fraser earning two yellow cards three minutes before the break, but when the game was on even terms, the hosts had dominated the first half just as much.
The victory puts the side of Chris Wilder within nine points of fourth-bottom Brighton, while Newcastle is eight points away from the relegation zone in the fifteenth.
A 17-time winless streak to start the season will most of the time spell almost assured relegation, but such is the lack of the three teams in front of them that it is not necessary to fully rule out the first-tier status of the Blades for 2021/22.
They’re just nine points behind Brighton, who haven’t won in nine matches.
It’s going to take a lot, but tonight the Blades showed they still believe in the system of Chris Wilder and if they take the risk of bringing in a quality player to play final balls in the final third (and maybe finish them off in an ideal world too) they could pull off what seems unlikely.
That said, from their next three games against Tottenham and both Manchester sides, they will need to pick up any points.