Stoke City 1 Newcastle United 1
Stoke City failed to convert several chances after Abdoulaye Faye had given them a first-half lead and Carroll made them pay nine minutes from time.
The 20-year-old towered above a previously solid home defence to steer in his third goal of the season with a splendid header from Damien Duff's cross.
City's fans were in deafening form and they almost got an early tonic when Ryan Shawcross headed narrowly wide from Liam Lawrence's third minute corner.
Newcastle's response was swift with Michael Owen nodding off target from Ryan Taylor's fifth minute free-kick.
But it was Stoke who called most of the early shots as Steven Harper blocked an effort from James Beattie seconds before Ricardo Fuller headed over the top.
A high octane contest started to settle down, which suited the visitors as Nicky Butt and Kevin Nolan began to get their foot on the ball in the middle of the park.
But the reprieve was short-lived as Stoke made their potency from set-plays pay dividends yet again in the 32nd minute.
Lawrence's left-wing corner bent towards the back post where former Newcastle stopper Faye, standing totally unmarked, buried a downward header from six yards.
More than three-quarters of the Britannia Stadium erupted and a rattled Newcastle came close to conceding again before they reached the sanctuary of Shearer's half-time team talk.
Fuller's header from another Lawrence corner forced a reaction save from Harper and Stoke then had three shouts for penalties, although none convincing, in quick succession.
Stoke really went for the jugular at the start of the second half as David Edgar cleared Glenn Whelan's header off the line before Taylor denied Faye in similar fashion.
Whelan also had a couple of pots at Harper's under-fire goal before Shearer made a change with Jonas Gutierrez replacing Danny Guthrie in the 63rd minute.
Newcastle finally began to put the Stoke goal under a measure of pressure as Shola Ameobi headed over and Butt again began to orchestrate from midfield.
But it was Carroll, who replaced Ameobi with 20 minutes to go, who came up trumps for the Magpies.