Sunderland, in second place , just one point behind, had a game in hand.
The following Saturday Sunderland traveled the 20 km to play their local rivals Newcastle United at St James' Park. A win would see them retain the League title (they had won 4 previous titles in total; Aston Villa held the record with 5).
Newcastle went ahead in the 48th minute- a short range effort from Robert Smyth McColl.
In the latter stages of the game, pressing for the equalizer, Sunderland changed formation to 1-4-5 (Rhodes 'joining the halves'). Under the rules of the day this led to a lot of off sides- much to the anger of the Newcastle fans.
Ephraim 'Dusty' Rhodes
'Toffee Bob' McColl was the founder of a chain of corner shops that can still be seen to this day.