The rain trickled down all afternoon, billowing this way and that in the wind and soaking those in the stands.
The teams emerged into the drizzle, Newcastle in their traditional black and white shirts with blue shorts, Palace in their claret and blue shirts handed down to them by Aston Villa.
There was some difference in the pedigree of the sides. The hosts fielded 10 full internationals, while Palace had a novel way of saving money: club secretary Jack Robson, a former employee of Middlesbrough, had signed several northern players who failed to make it at his former club. Their family roots in the North East meant they had a place to stay, and the club wasn’t burdened with a bill for accommodation.
Just four of the side had ever played in the Football League, let alone for their national side.
Such was the home side’s confidence, that the fans shelved their normal intimidating welcome and applauded the Palace players onto the field – but then things went wrong.
Starting sloppily, Newcastle gave the ball away time and again and Palace took control, believing they had scored the opener via Dickie Roberts before a controversial offside decision kept the scores level.
Just before half-time, Horace Astley, the club’s top scorer, skipped around two defenders and unleashed a scorching drive into the back of the net – past Newcastle’s legendary goalkeeper Jimmy Lawrence in goal. Lawrence still holds the record for the most appearances for the club with 496, but this was surely the biggest upset he experienced.
In the second-half the Newcastle pressure ramped up a notch, and for the final six minutes injury reduced Palace to 10 men. The barrage kept coming, and only Bob Hewitson in the Palace goal prevented a dramatic late equaliser.
The final whistle confirmed one of the great cup shocks: non-league Palace had beaten champions-elect Newcastle United.