Associate Members' Cup Records

The history of the Associate Members' Cup and Football League Trophy can be traced back, strangely, to the Anglo-Scottish Cup that ran between 1970 and 1981 (sponsored by Texaco between 1970 and 1975). This finally bit the dust in 1981 when the Scottish clubs withdrew. Instead, a rehashed version containing just English clubs, called the Football League Group Cup (FLGC), was competed for in 1981-82. The entrants were 24 Second, Third and Fourth Division teams, including Reading, divided into six regional groups, the winners going on to the knock-out stages. Reading were eliminated at the group stage.

A change of name, to the Football League Trophy (FLT), and the addition of two First Division clubs, Watford and Norwich, in 1982-83, did little to encourage interest. There were 32 entrants, divided into eight regional groups. Reading won through their group, beat first division Watford 5-3 in the quarter final, but went out to the eventual winners, Millwall, in the semi-final.

The Associate Members' Cup (AMC) proper was founded in 1983-84 as a competition open to the Third and Fourth Division teams (Associate Members) of the Football League. It is organised into Northern and Southern regions, corresponding to the old Division 3 South and Division 3 North cups, but with a play-off between the two regional winners. The set-piece final at Wembley, or the Millennium Stadium, introduced in its second season, has proved the competition's one real strong point. A similar Full Members' Cup was started in 1985. The distinction between full and associate members of the Football League was abolished with the formation of the Premier League in 1992, and the name of the competition has reverted to the Football League Trophy. Various innovations have been tried, including admitting the leading Conference clubs between 2000 and 2006, and Category One Academy Sides (including Reading) from 2016.

The competition has had various sponsors and has been known as the Freight Rover Trophy, the Sherpa Van Trophy, the Leyland DAF Cup, the Autoglass Trophy, the Auto Windscreens Shield, the LDV Vans Trophy, the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, and the Checkatrade Trophy. The results of the finals for each of these competitions are as follows. The southern section winners are always given first.

                         South                     North
    1981-82  Group Cup   Wimbledon3           2    Grimsby Town2        3  (at Grimsby)
    1982-83  FL Trophy   Millwall3            3    Lincoln City3        2  (at Lincoln)
    1983-84  AM Cup      AFC Bournemouth3     2    Hull City3           1  (at Hull)
    1984-85  FR Trophy   Brentford3           1    Wigan Athletic3      3
    1985-86  FR Trophy   Bristol City3        3    Bolton Wand3         0
    1986-87  FR Trophy   Bristol City3        1    Mansfield Town3      1  (aet, pens 4-5)
    1987-88  SV Trophy   Wolverhampton W4     2    Burnley4             0
    1988-89  SV Trophy   Torquay Utd4         1    Bolton Wand3         4
    1989-90  LDAF Cup    Bristol Rovers3      1    Tranmere Rov3        2
    1990-91  LDAF Cup    Birmingham C3        3    Tranmere Rov3        2
    1991-92  AG Trophy   Stoke City3          1    Stockport Co3        0
    1992-93  AG Trophy   Port Vale2           2    Stockport Co2        1
    1993-94  AG Trophy   Swansea City2        1    Huddersfield T2      1  (aet, pens 3-1)
    1994-95  AW Shield   Birmingham C2        1    Carlisle Utd3        0  (aet, gold)
    1995-96  AW Shield   Shrewsbury T2        1    Rotherham Utd2       2
    1996-97  AW Shield   Colchester Utd3      0    Carlisle Utd3        0  (aet, pens 3-4)
    1997-98  AW Shield   AFC Bournemouth2     1    Grimsby Town2        2  (aet, gold)
    1998-99  AW Shield   Millwall2            0    Wigan Athletic2      1
    1999-00  AW Shield   Bristol City2        1    Stoke City2          2
    2000-01  LDV Trophy  Brentford2           1    Port Vale2           2
    2001-02  LDV Trophy  Cambridge Utd2       1    Blackpool2           4
    2002-03  LDV Trophy  Bristol City2        2    Carlisle Utd3        0
    2003-04  LDV Trophy  Southend Utd3        0    Blackpool2           2
    2004-05  LDV Trophy  Southend Utd2        0    Wrexham1             2  (aet)
    2005-06  FL Trophy   Swansea City1        2    Carlisle Utd2        1
    2006-07  JP Trophy   Bristol Rovers2      2    Doncaster Rov1       3  (aet)
    2007-08  JP Trophy   Milton K Dons2       2    Grimsby Town2        0
    2008-09  JP Trophy   Luton Town2          3    Scunthorpe Utd1      2  (aet)
    2009-10  JP Trophy   Southampton1         4    Carlisle Utd1        1
    2010-11  JP Trophy   Brentford1           0    Carlisle Utd1        1
    2011-12  JP Trophy   Swindon Town2        0    Chesterfield1        2
    2012-13  JP Trophy   Southend Utd2        0    Crewe Alexandra1     2
    2013-14  JP Trophy   Peterborough U1      3    Chesterfield2        1
    2014-15  JP Trophy   Bristol City1        2    Walsall1             0
    2015-16  JP Trophy   Oxford Utd2          2    Barnsley1            3
    2016-17  EFL Trophy  Oxford Utd1          1    Coventry City1       2

Bristol City have three wins, followed by Birmingham, Blackpool, Carlisle, Grimsby, Port Vale, Stoke, Swansea and Wigan on two (one of Grimsby's wins being in the Group Cup). Both of the Potteries clubs have one win from the Southern section and one from the Northern. Sixteen clubs have one win (including Millwall's victory in the original Football League Trophy).

For the purposes of these records, all these competitions are grouped together as the Associate Members' Cup (AMC). Reading's complete record in all the incarnations of the tournament since 1981 (excluding the Academy team) is as follows:

            PL     W    D    L    GF    GA    PTS    P3/PL
HOME        18    10    2    6    37    30     32    1.778
AWAY        21     4    5   12    21    47     17    0.809
TOTAL       39    14    7   18    58    77     49    1.256
(15 seasons)

This can be broken down by opponent as follows (for details see here).

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS    P3
 1. Aldershot            4   2  0  0   9   2   0  1  1   4   6    7     7
 2. Oxford Utd           2   2  0  0   4   1   0  0  0   0   0    6     6
 3. Leyton Orient        4   1  0  1   1   3   0  1  1   1   2    4     4
 4. AFC Bournemouth      4   1  0  0   4   2   0  1  2   1   8    4     4
 5. Northampton T        2   1  0  1   4   3   0  0  0   0   0    3     3
 6. Bristol Rovers       1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   2   1    3     3
    Colchester Utd       1   1  0  0   2   1   0  0  0   0   0    3     3
 8. Hereford Utd         2   0  0  1   2   3   1  0  0   2   1    3     3
 9. Swansea City         2   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  1   2   2    3     3
10. Fulham               2   1  0  0   1   0   0  0  1   0   1    3     3
11. Watford              2   1  0  0   5   3   0  0  1   1   4    3     3
12. Barnet               2   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  1   3   5    3     3
13. Brighton & HA        2   0  1  0   1   1   0  1  0   2   2    2     2
14. Exeter City          1   0  0  0   0   0   0  1  0   2   2    1     1
15. Bristol City         2   0  1  0   1   1   0  0  1   0   4    1     1
16. Millwall             1   0  0  1   1   3   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
17. Brentford            3   0  0  1   1   3   0  0  2   1   4    0     0
18. Southend Utd         2   0  0  1   1   4   0  0  1   0   5    0     0

Reading's best performance was reaching the semi-final of the Football League Trophy in 1982-83. Their best performance in the Associate Members' Cup proper was reaching the quarter final (Southern semi-final) in 1999-2000.

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