For the record, Sunderland will play in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-finals, having avoided the banana skin which was thrown into their path by Newcastle's wannabes.
The League One side got the better of the Magpies' Under-21s to keep alive their hopes of a trip to Wembley with a 4-0 win which was harder-fought than it might have been on a night when anything else was unthinkable.
The Wear-Tyne derby has a rich and sometimes ugly history, anticipated as eagerly as it is dreaded by those for whom victory can make a season and defeat can break it.
But the days when Sunderland beat their arch-rivals six times on the trot in the Premier League, a run which ended with a 1-1 draw at St James' Park in March 2016, seem a distant memory.
The Magpies are currently engaged in a seemingly endless fight for top-flight survival, something once the preserve of their nearest neighbours until they suffered the ignominy of back-to-back relegations.
And so it was that the Black Cats' first team, now plying their trade in the third tier, came to line up against Newcastle's Under-21s in a game they could not really win, but simply could not afford to lose, a fact which was not lost on Sunderland boss Jack Ross.
He said: "It wasn't a no-win, but the consequences of us losing the game and what that would have brought would have obviously been challenging for me."
It is a measure of the passion for the game in a region which has endured rather than enjoyed its football in recent seasons that a crowd of 16,654, 2,780 of them from Tyneside – a request for an increased allocation was rejected on safety grounds – turned up at the Stadium of Light to watch.
That Newcastle's youngsters made it to half-time unscathed was a source of immense satisfaction to the travelling fans, and it was with a sense of relief that the locals greeted the opening goal after seeing Chris Maguire's 47th-minute corner go in off an unwitting defender.
When Charlie Wyke headed home a second five minutes later, the game as a contest was effectively over, allowing the home fans to enjoy what remained, secure in the knowledge that there would be no red faces in the morning as Maguire and substitute Benji Kimpioka added to their tally.
Their counterparts, meanwhile, speculated in song as to when the clubs might meet again at senior level.