Seasons are defined by certain moments. Whether it be a last-minute goal, inspired defensive performance or a display of individual brilliance, there are some moments which change the tide of a team’s momentum.

In keeping with their topsy-turvy nature, Newcastle United have had more than one of these moments this season alone.

Romelu Lukaku’s second goal against the Magpies for Everton had Toon fans fearing the worst about their season before Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran scored against Chelsea to inspire a fine run of form that had fans dreaming of a push for a top-six finish.

Then came the Derby Day debacle against Sunderland, in which Newcastle totally capitulated and let local bragging rights remain on Wearside for another year. All of a sudden, pressure was being heaped on Alan Pardew to change something quickly to ensure the Magpies weren’t dragged towards the bottom half and adrift of the top eight.

But on Sunday, the latest turning point arrived for Newcastle and it came from an unlikely source. Mike Williamson.

It was probably the most specific turning point you could ever wish to see, too.

With Newcastle little over 20 minutes away from another game where they failed to score, Christian Benteke led an Aston Villa counter-attack which had the Geordies in serious trouble.

It was three against three at the back and Gabby Agbonlahor had pulled away on the edge of the box in anticipation of Benteke’s simple pass.

The St James’ Park crowd had been subjected to two 3-0 defeats and a 4-0 hammering in the last three games they’d watched, so they could have been forgiven for expecting Benteke to find Agbonlahor and the former England international to heap more misery on them.

But Williamson had other ideas and with a thrust of his right leg, intercepted the pass to spark a deafening roar from the 50,000+ locals, who had been uncharacteristically quiet due to their team’s lack of threat that afternoon.

In the space of a split second, Williamson had given the home crowd hope again and the roars – which were almost as loud as a goal flying into the top corner of the Gallowgate end – rejuvenated a Newcastle side that had looked far from their best in the previous 70 minutes.

For the next 20 minutes, the home side battered Paul Lambert’s men and it was only a question of whether Newcastle could score the winner before the final whistle sounded.

Luuk De Jong then robbed Ron Vlaar inside the penalty area and when he found Remy in front of an open goal, the latest turning point looked to be on the horizon.

But as is the way with Newcastle United, it wasn’t as straight forward as that and the on-loan striker hit the post to keep fans sweating until the dying seconds.

Those seconds were worth waiting for though; as Remy swivelled away from Vlaar and crashed his shot past Brad Guzan for his 12th goal of the season and earned his adopted side a vital victory.

When it comes to stand-out performers of Newcastle’s season, Remy will be the obvious choice for many. However, Williamson’s interception against Aston Villa deserves to be remembered by the Toon Army every bit as much as any of Remy’s strikes.