By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At the Britannia Stadium
Stoke City 2 (Walters 81, Jerome 85)
Newcastle United 1 (Cisse 47)
Newcastle United slipped to their fourth consecutive Premier League defeat as they went down 2-1 away at Stoke City on Wednesday night.
But the hosts turned the contest on its head in the final ten minutes, with Jonathan Walters heading home before substitute Cameron Jerome struck a breakaway winner.
The result was harsh on United who, with captain Fabricio Coloccini back at the heart of their defence, looked much more resilient than in recent weeks. But they were unable to get the points their endeavours deserved.
Within the first five minutes both teams had threatened, with Robert Huth glancing a header wide at one end and James Perch firing off target at the other.
Vurnon Anita, deployed on the right-hand side of the midfield for this fixture, sent a tame effort into the arms of Begovic after good work from Ba and Cisse to free the Dutchman just inside the area.
United's start had been bright but all that hardwork was almost completely undone in the 15th minute.
Glenn Whelan curled a free-kick into the box from the right flank which Williamson, attempting to clear, only succeeded in shanking back across the face of goal, against the foot of the post and - luckily for the visitors - away to safety.
From the resulting corner, Magpies stopper Tim Krul got down well to smother Walters' diving header, before Whelan sent a 25-yard free-kick comfortably over the top.
The former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder had looked a threat from set-pieces but just before the hour mark proved he was equal adept in open play, striking a looping, long-range half-volley narrowly wide.
Stoke had been the better side in the closing stages of the first half, but Newcastle raced out of the blocks after the interval and broke the deadlock within two minutes of the restart.
After Cheick Tiote had won the ball in the middle of the park, it fell into the path of Ba, who took a touch and let fly with a low, bouncing 20-yard effort.
Begovic could not hold the shot and Cisse showed lightning reactions to nip in and tuck home his fourth goal of the season from a tight angle.
The home side responded and Walters nodded Etherington's left-wing cross wide at the far post, but United showed they were not content with a one-goal lead as Cisse raced onto Krul's long punt forward and forced Begovic into an excellent full-stretch stop.
Potters boss Tony Pulis made a double change on 68 minutes, replacing Charlie Adam and Etherington with former Watford winger Michael Kightly and front man Cameron Jerome.
But - initially - it failed to spark them into life in the final third, and instead it was the Magpies who created the next good chance when Begovic had to again be at his best to keep out an angled drive from leading scorer Ba.
In the 80th minute Jones was presented with a glorious chance to level things up as he rose highest at the far post to meet Kightly's hanging delivery, but the former Sunderland man could only head straight at Krul.
But sixty seconds later the hosts had equalised thanks to Walters. This time it was a cross from the left - Jerome supplying the ammunition - and Walters glanced a fine header into the far corner, leaving Krul motionless and helpless.
And with five minutes remaining they had completed the turnaround as Jerome turned from provider to goalscorer. A long ball forward was nodded down by Jones into the path of his strike partner, and Jerome supplied a clinical first-time finish to beat Krul from 15 yards.
Stoke City (4-5-1): Asmir Begovic; Ryan Shotton, Ryan Shawcross (c), Robert Huth, Geoff Cameron; Jonathan Walters, Glenn Whelan, Steven Nzonzi, Charlie Adam (Michael Kightly 68), Matthew Etherington (Cameron Jerome 68); Peter Crouch (Kenwyne Jones 40)
Subs not used : Thomas Sorensen, Matt Upson, Wilson Palacios
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita (Sammy Ameobi 87), Cheick Tiote, James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse (Nile Ranger 87), Demba Ba
Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)
Bookings: Stoke City - Adam (28), Cameron (58); Newcastle United - Santon (15), Perch (18)