In Mbuemo and Wissa, Brentford looked like they had able deputies for the suspended Ivan Toney as Newcastle’s back four struggled to get a grip with their movement and overall play while in midfield, the ever-resourceful partnership of Jensen and Nørgaard were finding space with ease.
Hickey went close in the third minute when his effort forced Nick Pope into a decisive block.
It was Hickey again who threatened when he found himself free in the box as he closed in on a cross only to be thwarted by Anthony Gordon, who managed to hook the ball clear.
Brentford continued to threaten but lacked composure and chances went passing as Newcastle started to pull their game together.
Wilson got on the end of a cross from Longstaff only to see his head loop over the Brentford crossbar and in Barnes and Gordon, Newcastle started to stretch the Brentford back five.
It was goalless at half time and the gloomy conditions were matched by a surprisingly quite crowd as the teams trooped off.
Newcastle started the second half more on the front foot and the crowd certainly seemed buoyed by what they were seeing. Passes were now slicker; the wide men of Barnes and Gordon were getting more joy down their respective wings.
Newcastle thought they had gone ahead when Wilson prodded the ball home in a crowded six-yard box, only to see the referee rule against Wilson for a foul on the Brentford keeper.
On 62 minutes awarded Newcastle a penalty when Flekken in the Brentford goal was ruled to have brought down Anthony Gordon. It was a soft penalty but Newcastle weren’t arguing and Callum Wilson duly dispatched the ball from 12 yards to give his team a lead that on balance they probably deserved for their second half endeavours.
Referee Poulson then presented Wilson with an opportunity to double his sides lead only to then review his decision for a handball by Mbuemo after a visit to the VAR touchline monitor.
Newcastle saw out the remaining minutes as a relieved St James’ Park greeted the final whistle with more sighs of relief than cheers of joy.
It wasn’t pretty but on the plus side it saw a clean sheet for the first time this season and plenty to build on as the squad heads off on its champions league adventures.