Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to score twice in six minutes as Reading completed a superb turnaround to beat struggling Newcastle.
The hosts were well on top and took a first-half lead when the impressive Yohan Cabaye curled in a free-kick.
But after Pavel Pogrebnyak went close, Le Fondre scored with his first touch, turning in Jimmy Kebe's low cross.
And he earned Reading's first away win of the season when he gathered Kebe's nod-down to steer past Tim Krul.
Reading finally win at Newcastle
The result was the Royals' first ever win at Newcastle in eight attempts dating back to 1900
The comeback was reminiscent of Reading's incredible effort against West Brom last Saturday when they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with Le Fondre also playing a key part.
Their first victory at Newcastle boosted the Premier League survival chances of Brian McDermott's side, leaving the Magpies without a win in six games.
Just two points now separate the teams and, as much as the three points will encourage the Royals, it will also depress a Newcastle side who were on top for large parts of this match.
Much of that was down to Cabaye, making his first start for Newcastle since 11 November, during which time Alan Pardew's side have won twice in 11 Premier League games.
Newcastle never got going - Pardew
But Reading capitalised as he tired, and was eventually withdrawn to boos from the home supporters, to win for the third time in four league games.
Cabaye's passing and well timed breaks forward had the Reading midfield turning from the start and it kept the visitors' defence busy too.
After testing Federici from long distance, the France midfielder delightfully picked out Papiss Cisse with a flighted diagonal pass but the Australian keeper clawed away the striker's header. Cisse had two further efforts but again Federici did exceptionally to keep them out.
Reading were willing to let Newcastle dominate possession and break on the counter and they almost took the lead when a sweeping move ended in Pogrebnyak sliding the ball wide from 12 yards from Garath McCleary's cross.
The Magpies have won only three of their 18 league games since former Reading boss Alan Pardew signed his eight-year contract in September. The first game of that run was a 2-2 draw with the Royals
Despite Newcastle's probing, Reading were proving tough to break down but that changed when Cabaye carved them open to take the lead. It was his pass that led to the free-kick, from which he stepped up to nonchalantly curl the ball over the wall and beyond Federici.
Reading have struggled away from home all season but were inches from equalising via a Jonas Gutierrez own goal shortly after the interval when Ian Harte's free-kick clipped the Argentine's knee and fizzed past the far post.
With snow showers continuing at St James' Park, the visitors did not look like scoring until Le Fondre, so often a threat from the bench in Reading's promotion push last season, was introduced.
The substitute was on the field for less than a minute before he bundled home Kebe's low right-wing cross as the ball bounced off his chest.
'Instinctive' Le Fondre delights McDermott
Le Fondre did not know much about it as he slid in after Mike Williamson missed the ball, but it was his ninth goal of the season and he reached double figures six minutes later.
This time Jobi McAnuff crossed from the left, Kebe nodded it back and although debutant Hope Akpan miscued, it fell to former Rotherham striker Le Fondre, who squeezed the ball past Krul at the near post.
Newcastle struggled to respond and their second half was summed up when Cisse beat the offside trap to fire horribly over from 10 yards.
Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"We've looked at our away record and we've been in games, we've learned that you have to try and manage games at this level. We went to 4-4-2 to try and win the game, and I felt at 1-1 we had a major chance of doing it.
"But when you have Adam Le Fondre coming off the bench like that, the second goal was top-drawer finish. A couple of years ago he was playing for Rotherham and what he is doing now for us, I'm just so proud of him."
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.
Direct free kick taken by Tim Krul.
90:00 +3:20 Booking
Booking Jimmy Kebe is given a yellow card.
Jimmy Kebe challenges Fabricio Coloccini unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Gabriel Obertan takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.
Jonas Gutierrez produces a cross, Adrian Mariappa makes a clearance.
Shot from deep inside the area by Papiss Cisse clears the bar.
Gael Bigirimana takes a shot. Save made by Adam Federici.
Mike Williamson challenges Pavel Pogrebnyak unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ian Harte takes the free kick.
Ian Harte takes the inswinging corner, save by Tim Krul.
Davide Santon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.
Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.
Substitution Gabriel Obertan replaces Vurnon Anita.
The referee blows for offside.
Ian Harte takes the free kick.
Booking The referee shows Mathieu Debuchy a yellow card.
Foul by Mathieu Debuchy on Jobi McAnuff, free kick awarded.
Assist on the goal came from Hope Akpan.
76:44 Goal scored
Goal! - Adam Le Fondre - Newcastle 1 - 2 Reading Adam Le Fondre scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Newcastle 1-2 Reading.
The official flags Shola Ameobi offside. Adam Federici takes the free kick.
Mikele Leigertwood challenges Gael Bigirimana unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tim Krul takes the free kick.
Substitution (Newcastle) makes a substitution, with Gael Bigirimana coming on for Yohan Cabaye.
Effort on goal by Yohan Cabaye from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
The assist for the goal came from Jimmy Kebe.
70:37 Goal scored
Goal! - Adam Le Fondre - Newcastle 1 - 1 Reading A goal is scored by Adam Le Fondre from close range low into the middle of the goal. Newcastle 1-1 Reading.
Substitution Adam Le Fondre comes on in place of Danny Guthrie.
Mathieu Debuchy concedes a free kick for a foul on Jobi McAnuff. Direct free kick taken by Ian Harte.
Fabricio Coloccini restarts play with the free kick.
Booking The referee shows Stephen Kelly a yellow card.
Foul by Stephen Kelly on Jonas Gutierrez, free kick awarded.
Booking Danny Guthrie goes into the referee's book.
Danny Guthrie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yohan Cabaye. Yohan Cabaye takes the free kick.
Substitution (Newcastle) makes a substitution, with James Perch coming on for Sylvain Marveaux.
Substitution (Reading) makes a substitution, with Hope Akpan coming on for Garath McCleary.
Shot by Pavel Pogrebnyak from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
Danny Guthrie fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
Booking Mike Williamson is given a yellow card.
Mike Williamson challenges Jimmy Kebe unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Shot from just outside the area by Yohan Cabaye misses to the left of the target.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Yohan Cabaye, Mike Williamson takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.
The ball is delivered by Davide Santon, Ian Harte manages to make a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Yohan Cabaye, clearance by Pavel Pogrebnyak. Effort from the edge of the area by Shola Ameobi goes wide of the right-hand upright. Free kick awarded for a foul by Yohan Cabaye on Danny Guthrie. Ian Harte takes the direct free kick.
The ball is sent over by Papiss Cisse, clearance by Adrian Mariappa.
Mike Williamson concedes a free kick for a foul on Pavel Pogrebnyak. Free kick taken by Ian Harte.
Garath McCleary has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Danny Guthrie takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Davide Santon.
Yohan Cabaye challenges Danny Guthrie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ian Harte.
The second half kicks off.
45:00 +1:07 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.
Centre by Shola Ameobi, Alex Pearce makes a clearance.
Mathieu Debuchy delivers the ball, blocked by Ian Harte.
The ball is sent over by Stephen Kelly, Davide Santon gets a block in.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Garath McCleary by Mathieu Debuchy. Free kick taken by Ian Harte.
Sylvain Marveaux provided the assist for the goal.
Jobi McAnuff challenges Sylvain Marveaux unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Yohan Cabaye.
Papiss Cisse takes a shot. Save made by Adam Federici. Yohan Cabaye takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Ian Harte.
Jobi McAnuff is caught offside. Free kick taken by Mike Williamson.
Papiss Cisse takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.
Unfair challenge on Shola Ameobi by Alex Pearce results in a free kick. Yohan Cabaye takes the free kick.
Shot by Pavel Pogrebnyak from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
Corner taken right-footed by Yohan Cabaye.
Shola Ameobi is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.
Mikele Leigertwood concedes a free kick for a foul on Shola Ameobi. Yohan Cabaye restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez by Stephen Kelly. Yohan Cabaye delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing.
Davide Santon sends in a cross, Alex Pearce manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Jonas Gutierrez, save by Adam Federici.
The ball is sent over by Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici. Short corner taken by Sylvain Marveaux. Shot by Vurnon Anita from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
Yohan Cabaye takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.
Yohan Cabaye takes a shot. Save made by Adam Federici.
Shola Ameobi takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici. Free kick awarded for a foul by Garath McCleary on Mathieu Debuchy. Mike Williamson takes the free kick.
Jonas Gutierrez delivers the ball, save by Adam Federici.
Ian Harte challenges Shola Ameobi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Yohan Cabaye.
Foul by Mathieu Debuchy on Pavel Pogrebnyak, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Ian Harte.
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