Ameobi was the game-changer there. He made a big impact after coming on as a second-half substitute and marked his 350th appearance for the club with a fine goal.
All over at St James' Park. Newcastle 1 QPR 0. Harry Redknapp loses for the first time as Rangers boss, while Newcastle claim a vital victory ahead of a very difficult-looking Christmas period.
Taarabt hits the target but Tim Krul is behind it.
Late free-kick for QPR 25 yards out. Step up Taarabt...
Ameobi booked for diving under a challenge from Nelson.
Ameobi robs Mbia midway into the QPR and tries his luck from distance, but his shot is straight at Green.
Into injury time now and Newcastle are on the ball. No sign of a late equaliser for QPR.
Time running out for QPR, who have offered virtually nothing in this game. Other than a five-minute period at the start of the second half, they have showed hardly any urgency.
Newcastle's James Perch picks up a yellow card.
Yet another free-kick in a dangerous position for Newcastle, and this time Marveaux whistles a low left-footed from 20 yards narrowly wide.
Hill is booked for his troubles.
Newcastle look to break again, with Marveaux about to play Ba through on goal, but Clint Hill wipes out the Senegal striker and saves QPR's bacon.
Chance for Newcastle to double their lead on the counter-attack but Marveaux sees a left-footed, 20-yard shot pushed around the post by Green.
Wonderful finish from Ameobi, who was fed deep in the right channel by Perch, stepped inside past the diving Taarabt and curled a left-footed shot into the far corner.
GOAL: Shola Ameobi breaks the deadlock to give Newcastle a 1-0 lead.
Another change for QPR now as Shaun Derry comes on for Alejandro Faurlin.
Final change for Newcastle as Sylvain Marveaux replaces Tiote.
Obertan once again makes space on the left to swing in a cross, but it was too close to the goalkeeper and the opportunity is wasted.
Chance for Ba as Obertan creates space to cross from the left, but the ball was deflected up in the air and Ba couldn't get enough power on his close-range header to trouble Green. All Newcastle now.
Ba stands over yet another free-kick for Newcastle, and this time he finds the wall. He's not had the best day from dead-ball situations.
QPR have lost the momentum they had at the start of the second half and Newcastle are the better team again. The substitutions have made a big difference for the hosts.
Ameobi has made a big impact since coming on and is really starting to rough up the QPR centre-backs. However, he has just met a cross from the right and should have scored, but instead barely made any contact and nudged his effort wide from close range.
Stephen Pearce on Twitter says: "Taarabt magic late on, QPR 1-0, super Harry continues. Come on you Rs."
Another change for QPR as Junior Hoilett replaces Djibril Cisse.
Cheick Tiote picks up a yellow card, which means he is now suspended for Newcastle's next match on Boxing Day.
Another chance for Newcastle as Anita whips in a menacing cross from the left that Rob Green has to dive to his left to beat away.
Papiss Cisse doesn't look too happy about being substituted. He didn't accept Alan Pardew's offer of a handshake too readily and then was ranting and raving when he sat down on the bench.
Double change for Newcastle now, as Shola Ameobi replaces Papiss Cisse and Jonas Gutierrez makes way for Gabriel Obertan.
Great chance for Newcastle as Gutierrez deliver a beautiful cross to the back post from the left, but Papiss Cisse heads over when he really should have hit the target at least.
Newcastle cannot keep the ball at the moment. Their passing in midfield is woeful. This would be a great period for QPR to really step up their game and try to take advantage.
Change for QPR as Shaun Wrigth-Phillips comes on for the ineffective Esteban Granero.
Decent opening for QPR as Santon cannons the ball against the ankles of Fabricio Coloccini and sees it deflect to Djibril Cisse in the Newcastle half. However, despite laying the ball off to Taarabt, the visitors were unable to take advantage of the opportunity.
Newcastle have started the second half very sluggishly. They have lost all the momentum they had started to build at the end of the first half, and it's QPR now looking the more urgent side.
David Lee Swallow on Twitter says: "I think Newcastle United will win 1-0 because they will get a break and take advantage of it."
Chance for QPR as Adel Taarabt dribbles past three players before feeding Djibril Cisse in the right channel. The Frenchman took the ball to the edge of the box and let a right-footed shot fly that brushed the side-netting.
We're back under way at St James' Park, with everybody hoping for an improvement on what was hardly a thrilling opening period. Both teams need to step it up a gear, but in particular QPR, who have offered little going forward.
The teams are back out and the second half is about to start.
No goals at the break then, and Sky Bet go 5/2 that this one finishes up goalless. If you don't fancy those odds, you can back Demba Ba to break the deadlock at 7/2, or QPR to win 1-0 at 6/1.
Will Watts on Twitter says: "Can see QPR getting a lucky break and taking it. 1-0 to QPR I say."
What did you make of that first half? Does Ba need help up front? Should Harry make changes? Let me know by e-mailing email@example.com or tweeting @MattSkyCycling
The referee brings the first half to a close, with the two sides locked at 0-0. The hosts have been the better side.
Davide Santon flashes a right-footed shot from 25 yards wide after a lay-off from Cheick Tiote. Half-time is going to come at just wrong time for Newcastle, whose pressure has been building.
Great opportunity for Newcastle as Ba nods down a cross from the left to Anita, who in turn lays the ball off for James Perch 22 yards out, but the utility man takes an unnecessary touch before lifting his shot over the bar. Another good chance wasted.
Anton Ferdinand is booked after throwing the ball into the crowd in order to buy time and get back into position. Stephane Mbia has also been warned by the referee after a couple of shows of dissent.
Another Newcastle free-kick, another waste from Ba. This one was further out and from an angle on the left, but was even more off target than his previous effort. It sums up what has been a frustrating half for the home fans.
Newcastle win a free-kick in a central position 25 yards out, but Ba scoops his effort high over the bar. Disappointing from the Magpies top scorer.
Newcastle get in behind QPR for the first time as Papiss Cisse plays a divine one-two with Ba about 22 yards out. However, Fabio spotted the danger and put Cisse under just enough pressure for him not to be able to get a clean contact, and his shot trickles wide.
Djibril Cisse finds space to cross in a dangerous position on the QPR right but drills his effort straight at a defender. Frustrating from the Frenchman, who has also been caught offside far too often already in this match.
Ryan Nelson is playing out of his skin for QPR. In the last couple of minutes alone he has cleared two tasty-looking crosses from the Newcastle left with last-gasp interventions.
Newcastle are dominating both the possession and territory but are still struggling to do anything with it. Demba Ba has hardly had a touch, nevermind anything to feed off.
Vurnon Anita beats Fabio in a dangerous position on the right for Newcastle but goes down under the Brazilian's challenge. The Dutch midfielder stays down, before hobbling off. He should be back on fairly soon, though.
The game is starting to get bogged down a bit now, with both teams struggling for penetration and endless fouls disrupting the flow. Newcastle have a good amount of urgency, but are looking short on confidence.
First sustained spell of pressure for QPR now. Djibril Cisse crosses from the right but there's no one in the box to meet it, and then Adel Taarabt whips in an even better ball from the opposite side that also goes unconverted.
Now Jonas Gutierrez crafts space on the left to cross to Ba, but like Cisse, his centre is overhit and the chance is passed up. Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp is on the phone to someone. The wife? An agent? Yep, probably an agent.
Papiss Cisse finally gets space on the right to whip a cross in towards Demba Ba, but his ball is just behind his compatriot and the danger is cleared for the visitors.
Both teams are struggling to find final balls here. Plenty of decent build-up play, but neither can cut through the opposition defence.
Luke Northolt writes in: As a life long qpr fan I'm gutted I couldn't travel up north due to work but I think since 'arry' has come in and lifted our spirits I can see a great game today. Newcastle will pile the pressure on today taking the lead at half time with ba but a Cisse and makey double in the second half will give us the three points we need come on u r'sssss
An early corner for the Magpies now, but Demba Ba can't find the target after he's able to get in a shot from a loose ball.
Djibril Cisse tries to make his mark on the game from early on but his run in behind the defence is halted by the off-side flag.
And we're up and running here at St James' Park!
We're just a few minutes away from the kick-off here and the two sets of players get the customary handshakes out the way.
James Wallbridge emails us, saying: Its a must win for newcastle, but QPR will be full of confidence, wouldn't be surprised if this was a draw, we've got to watch the QPR's counter attack, if wright phillips or hoilett come on, they will cause us massive problems. Really annoyed that gutierrez is starting again, he's been poor, lost his form and has lost his legs, obertan and marveaux are way better. If we play like we did against man city and wigan then i can see it being a 2-1 win for newcastle. If we play long ball, 0-0. Come on the toon!
Peter Taylor writes in: 3-1 to the Toon and Papiss Cisse to find his scoring boots by bagging a brace!
So, some interesting news from the QPR camp, with Jose Bosingwa not travelling with the team, having apparently been fined for refusing to take his seat on the bench last weekend. Newcatle boss Alan Pardew, meanwhile, names the same XI which were beaten by champions Manchester City last time out, with Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba leading the line up front.
We've got our first caller of the afternoon, with Cian Hughes emailing in: Hello Ryan, I think QPR can pull of a christmas upset, Newcastle have'nt been good so far, they need to clean there act up and start playing football, QPR got their first win this season and i think they'll get their 2nd. 1-0 QPR
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Anita, Tiote, Perch, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse Subs: Harper, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson
QPR: Green, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Hill, Mackie, Mbia, Granero, Faurlin, Taarabt, Cisse Subs: Murphy, Diakite, Traore, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Hoilett
As promised, the teams...
The team-sheets have just come across my desk, but before we get into that why not take the time to get involved by emailing your thoughts or predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fancy making it a bit more interesting? Well, why not pop over to our friends at Sky Bet, who have a feast of footballing odds for you to play, with Newcastle currently at 21/20 for the victory, while a QPR win will get you 5/2.
So that, in the words of Magpies defender Mike Williamson, makes today's game a "must-win" for both sides, and you can't argue with that.
Things could be worse though. Just ask QPR. The 2-1 win over Fulham last weekend marked their first victory of the campaign, although they did manage to climb off the foot of the table at the expense of Reading. So things might at last be looking up for Rangers, who have gone their last four Premier League matches undefeated, a run that has been largely accredited to new manager Harry Redknapp.
It's been a troubling few months for Alan Pardew's side, who have seen their genuine top-four ambitions last term turn to relegation concerns in this. The Magpies have won just four of their opening 17 Premier League matches this season to sit two points above the relegation zone, leaving plenty of question marks hanging over the club as we head into 2013.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I'm Ryan Gordon and I'll be taking you through all the action today as Newcastle host Queens Park Rangers at St James' Park. Kick-off is at 15:00 GMT.