Thursday, December 5, 2013

5 December 1908 - Sunderland Storms Newcastle

On 5 December 1908, Sunderland got their largest league win, beating rivals Newcastle 1-9.

It was the twenty-first league meeting in a rivalry that dates back to 1898. Of those, Sunderland had won ten and Newcastle had won five, with five draws (they also met once in the FA Cup, with Newcastle taking that one). Up to that point, neither team had won by more than two goals and neither had scored more than four in any match.

That changed in 1908 when Sunderland visited St. James' Park. There, Sunderland captain Billy Hogg put the Black Cats up in the eighth minute, but Newcastle pulled level before the break with a penalty. The second half, though, belonged to the visitors.

Within the span of 28 minutes, Sunderland got eight goals, including a hat-trick from inside-left George Holley (pictured). Hogg matched him with two more goals of his own, with Arthur Bridgett (2) and Jackie Mordue making up the balance. According to a post-match report, "The Sunderland forwards simply lined up in procession time after time, left their opponents floundering in the roar, and bombarded and shelled the goal as easily they would light a cigarette."

In addition to being Sunderland's largest margin of victory, the 1-9 scoreline matched an English top-flight record for an away win, first set by West Brom in 1893. Although Wolves got the same margin in 1955, it remains unsurpassed.

Newcastle may have lost the day, but they got their revenge by winning the league that season, nine points clear of Sunderland who finished third.

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