Two goals by Eljero Elia were enough to extend John Carver’s winless run as Newcastle United caretaker manager, as Southampton triumphed 2-1 at St James’ Park.

The on-loan Dutch winger got the better of countryman Daryl Janmaat in either half to do the damage for the Saints, who were given plenty of problems by a bright Newcastle side that again came up short in the attacking third.

In contrast, Southampton’s attack caused problems all afternoon, with Graziano Pelle’s aerial ability causing problems for Newcastle’s relatively short central defensive pairing of Fabricio Coloccini and Paul Dummett.

Perhaps that was a mistake on Carver’s part, who chose Dummett ahead of 6’4” Mike Williamson, who would surely have had more of a chance against the powerful Italian.

Aside from their defensive frailties, the home side started brightly. Remy Cabella turned in an excellent performance against Chelsea last time out and continued his good form in the early stages, giving Ryan Bertrand problems on the right.

Ayoze Perez was again given the task of leading the line alone and was the first to test former Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster with a low effort.

Yoan Gouffran kept the giant keeper busy with a dipping volley but it was the visitors who took their chance first.

A high ball up to Pelle was knocked down to James Ward-Prowse, who slipped a pass through to Elia with Coloccini out of position after challenging the striker. The loanee was quick enough to get ahead of Janmaat and fire a shot towards Krul, who should have done better as it squirmed underneath him.

Southampton continued to come forward and almost doubled their lead soon after, when Jose Fonte headed a free-kick over the bar.

But Newcastle came back and had their equaliser after 29 minutes, when Cabella’s through ball caused problems between Southampton’s defenders and Forster. A sliding clearance from Florin Gardos ricocheted off Gouffran and bounced into the empty net to bring Newcastle level.

The home side looked for the goal that would take them ahead and went close through Gouffran again, but the Frenchman’s glancing effort was just off target.

Carver turned to Emmanuel Riviere and Sammy Ameobi from the bench to try and win it for his side but it was a Southampton sub that made a telling contribution.

Shane Long had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds before he flicked a header through for Elia, who again reached it ahead of Janmaat. The defender might have thought he done enough to thwart the chance but Elia’s shot deflected into the far corner to restore Southampton’s advantage.

Dummett had the best chance to equalise as Newcastle forced a succession of corners and free kicks in the final ten minutes but it was the referee who denied the home side a point when he turned away protests for handball against Fonte. The Portuguese defender certainly blocked Riviere’s shot with his arm inside the box and despite strong protests; Robert Madley waved away the shouts and blew for full-time a short while later.