After 30,000 spectators witnessed Bob Kyle’s Sunderland obtain a credible draw against titans Liverpool in the FA Cup third round, there was much anticipation around the replay that took place in Anfield four days later.
Liverpool were flying high in a league that they would eventually win whilst Sunderland languished in mid-table.
This game was seen as an opportunity for the away side to see if they could they match up again with their opposition.
Littered with such talented players like Charlie Buchan, hopes were high that they could at least put in a performance that would show they were going in the right direction.
Unfortunately for Kyle and his team, luck appeared to completely avoid them before and throughout this game where a bout of sickness and countless injuries mid-game hampered any chances they had of winning.
Due to an abundance of players catching influenza, many reserves got a starting spot in the team.
In total, eleven players missed the game through illness along with players such as Jimmy Dempster, Jock Gibson, Ernie England and Jack Mitton all pulling up more than once throughout the game with injuries.
In the first place Sunderland had to play five or six reserves owing to the ravages of influenza, which has resulted in eleven of their players being laid aside.
Then they had four players injured at different periods of the game, had to battle against a strong wind in the first half which turned against them in the second accompanied by hail squalls, and contributed to their undoing by defensive mistakes which debited them with two goals.
The result of the significant number of absentees led to a debut for Bob Ferguson in the Sunderland team - and what a difficult one it was for him when the team lost 5-0!
It was a difficult spectacle for the 46,000 strong crowd where poor weather made the ground very heavy along with a blustery wind present throughout.
That being said, Liverpool were a quality outfit at the time and they displayed this throughout this game where one report suggested ‘ They were sound in defence, superior at half-back, and combined and shot infinitely better’.
In contrast, the Sunderland attack was slated as they only got two shots off in the entire game. Their reliance on Charlie Buchan came back to haunt them when their main man struggled to get into the game at all
The Wearsiders were very poor forward where Buchan had a completely barren afternoon, and little was seen of Stephenson, his partner. Mitton played well enough at centre, but was hurt on three occasions, which affected his finishing work.
Ultimately, it was dominant from Liverpool in a game of men against boys. It is hard to be too critical of a Sunderland side that experienced such rotten luck in the build up to the game but reports seem to suggest they were thankful for Dempster in the goal who at least kept the score down to only 5.
The first goal came just a few minutes before half time, but it seemed the team tired as the game went on and Dempster conceded four more in the final half hour of the game.
After this game, Liverpool appeared to maintain their quality form when they pipped Tottenham Hotspur to the league with six points to spare.
Bob Kyle’s team seemed to take a hit after this game where one win against a struggling Manchester United team was their only win in the next eight games.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott, Donald Mackinlay, Walter Wadsworth, John McNab, William Lacey, Tom Bromilow, Harry Chambers, Dick Forshaw, Tommy Lucas, Harry Lewis, Fred Hopkin.
Sunderland (2-3-5): James Dempster, John Gibson, Ernie England, George Hunter, Robert Ferguson, Jack Poole, Jimmy Stephenson, Charlie Buchan, Jack Mitton, Arthur Hawes, Billy Ellis.
The goals: 1-0 Forshaw (26 min.), 2-0 Chambers (56 min.), 3-0 Forshaw (60 min.), 4-0 Chambers (69 min.), 5-0 Wadsworth (89 min.).