The home side led 2-1 at half-time thanks to strikes by local boys Steven Taylor and Jack Colback, with an embarrassing Paul Dummett own goal sandwiched in between them.
However, Sean Dyche’s men responded after the break to deservedly draw level through striker Danny Ings, only for Magpies midfielder Moussa Sissoko to seemingly hand his side all three points by firing home from close range 12 minutes from time.
And yet the Clarets refused to lie down and accept their fate, with midfielder George Boyd netting an 86th-minute equaliser to deny John Carver what would have been a winning start to his spell in temporary charge of the North East club.
Carver’s first decision to make was who should replace the suspended Papiss Cisse in attack after the Senegal international was suspended by the Football Association for elbowing Everton right-back Seamus Coleman on Sunday.
And the Newcastle-born coach opted for new signing Emmanuel Riviere to lead the line, with hometown central defender Taylor also being recalled at the back in place of Mike Williamson.
The visitors, meanwhile, went with the same starting line-up for an incredible sixth match in a row, and they very nearly rewarded their manager’s faith by opening the scoring after just 52 seconds.
However, Newcastle goalkeeper Jak Alnwick managed to get a fingertip to divert Burnley striker Ashley Barnes’s close-range shot from a tight angle to safety with the help of the post.
But thereafter it was the Magpies who dominated proceedings, with Taylor deservedly putting them in front on the quarter-hour mark as he rose to head Colback’s right-wing corner past a helpless Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal.
And while the visitors did draw level just four minutes later when Dummett got too much on his header back to the onrushing Alnwick, Newcastle soon found themselves back in front when man-of-the-match Colback struck a sweet left-footed effort past Heaton from fully 25 yards out.
Despite making three enforced substitutions before half-time, it was Burnley who came out the stronger of the two teams after the break, with the Premier League strugglers striking the woodwork on three separate occasions in the space of the opening 15 minutes of the second period.
Firstly, Ings curled a brilliant effort off the underside of Alnwick’s bar, with his strike partner Barnes then heading the rebound on to the post, before defender Ben Mee saw his close-range header from a left-wing corner also thump against the Newcastle crossbar.
But the Clarets did get their just rewards minutes later when Ings headed home his first goal in seven games, only for Newcastle to respond to that setback by retaking the lead after 78 minutes following good work by the impressive Ayoze Perez.
The Spain Under-21 international somehow managed to wriggle his way past a plethora of Burnley defenders on the left-hand touchline and while his pull back was mis-hit by substitute Adam Armstrong, Sissoko was in the right place at the right time to side-foot his side back in front at the far post.
And yet Burnley refused to give in, with midfielder Boyd firing a low shot past Alnwick from just inside the area with only four minutes left on the clock to rescue a point and break Newcastle’s, and Carver’s, heart.
Soccer Saturday verdict – Matt Murray
“Burnley will take confidence from this performance, especially the energy levels in the second half. The way they responded when they found themselves behind was excellent again. At a packed St James’ Park they believed they could get back into the game and they hit the woodwork on numerous occasions. Sean Dyche will now be hoping that the injuries aren’t too serious. After the FA Cup game there’s QPR, Palace, Sunderland and West Brom so there’s four games that maybe you could say are season defining if they can put in the performance in that they have here.”
Newcastle: Alnwick (6), Janmaat (8), Taylor (6), Coloccini (7), Dummett (6), Tiote (7), Colback (9), Ayoze Perez (8), Sissoko (8), Gouffran (7), Riviere (6)
Used subs: Williamson (6), Haidara (6), Armstrong (6)
Burnley: Heaton (7), Trippier (6), Keane (6), Shackell (6), Mee (7), Boyd (7), Jones (6), Marney (6), Arfield (6), Ings (8), Barnes (7)
Used subs: Kightly (7), Reid (6), Long (6)
Man of the Match: Jack Colback