FA Cup Records

The FA Cup, or the English Cup as it was customarily called well into the 1930s, was set up in 1871, the same year that Reading were founded. Along with Darwen and Notts County, Reading were the first of the English League clubs, or former clubs, to enter the FA Cup (in 1877), although the Scottish team, Queen's Park, had entered the first competition. Reading might even claim priority because Reading Hornets had entered the previous season before merging with Reading. For a complete list of FA Cup winners, see here.

Reading's complete record in the FA Cup (including qualifying rounds) is as follows:

            PL     W    D    L    GF    GA    PTS    P3/PL
HOME       196   102   47   47   401   236    278    1.801
AWAY       171    50   45   76   216   320    160    1.140
NEUTRAL     11     5    1    5    12    13     11    1.454
TOTAL      378   157   93  128   629   569    449    1.492
(129 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           11   5  1  0  18   7   1  1  3   6  12   14    20
  2. Gillingham           6   2  1  0   8   4   2  1  0   5   3   11    14
  3. Bristol Rovers       7   2  1  1   6   4   2  1  0   3   1   11    14
  4. West Bromwich A      7   3  1  0   9   5   1  1  1   4   5   14    14
  5. Colchester Utd       6   2  1  0  10   3   2  0  1   7   5    9    13
  6. Brentford            5   4  0  0  11   2   0  1  0   1   1    9    13
  7. Newport County       9   2  3  0  16   8   1  0  3   4   7    9    12
  8. Huddersfield T       5   2  0  0   7   3   1  2  0   3   2   11    11
  9. Cheltenham T         4   2  0  0   5   2   1  1  0   3   2    8    10
 10. Burnley              5   3  1  0   6   3   0  0  1   0   1    9    10
 11. Torquay Utd          5   0  2  0   1   1   2  1  0   5   2    5     9
 12. Welling Utd          5   1  2  0   1   0   1  1  0   3   2    9     9
 13. Walsall              4   2  1  0   6   1   0  1  0   0   0    7     8
 14. Southport            4   0  1  0   1   1   2  1  0   5   1    4     8
 15. Tottenham H          7   2  1  1   4   2   0  1  2   4   8    6     8
 16. Cardiff City         6   0  1  0   1   1   2  1  2   5   8    7     8
 17. Manchester Utd      14   0  3  3   6  12   1  2  5   7  18    5     8
 18. Warmley              3   2  1  0   7   1   0  0  0   0   0    5     7
 19. Slough Town          3   2  0  0   5   1   0  1  0   3   3    6     7
 20. Millwall             4   2  0  1   7   4   0  1  0   1   1    5     7
 21. Birmingham C         4   1  1  0   2   1   1  0  1   4   4    7     7
 22. Watford              5   1  0  1   3   3   1  1  1   4   6    5     7
 23. Swansea City         5   0  1  1   1   4   2  0  1   5   5    6     7
 24. Swindon Town         7   1  1  0   1   0   1  0  4   7  13    5     7
 25. Wycombe Wand         2   0  0  0   0   0   2  0  0  10   1    4     6
 26. Hendon I             2   2  0  0   6   0   0  0  0   0   0    4     6
 27. Kettering Town       2   2  0  0   8   4   0  0  0   0   0    4     6
 28. Clifton Assoc        3   1  0  0   6   1   1  0  1   9  11    4     6
 29. Hendon II            3   1  0  0   4   2   1  0  1   3   2    5     6
 30. Hereford Utd         3   2  0  0   4   0   0  0  1   0   1    6     6
 31. Newbury              2   1  0  0   2   1   1  0  0   2   1    4     6
 32. Wealdstone           3   2  0  0   2   0   0  0  1   1   2    5     6
 33. Norwich City         5   1  1  0   3   2   0  2  1   3   4    4     6
 34. Southend Utd         3   2  0  0   5   3   0  0  1   0   2    4     6
 35. Portsmouth           4   1  0  1   3   2   1  0  1   1   3    4     6
 36. Southampton          7   2  0  2   6   7   0  0  3   2  15    5     6
 37. Grimsby Town         5   1  1  1   7   4   0  1  1   2   4    4     5
 38. Coventry City        3   0  1  0   2   2   1  1  0   4   3    2     5
 39. Bristol City         4   0  1  0   1   1   1  1  1   4   4    2     5
 40. Weymouth             2   1  1  0   9   4   0  0  0   0   0    3     4
 41. Blyth Spartans       2   1  0  0   6   1   0  1  0   2   2    3     4
 42. South Reading        2   0  1  0   2   2   1  0  0   4   0    3     4
 43. Bromley              2   1  0  0   3   0   0  1  0   3   3    3     4
     Chester City         2   1  0  0   3   0   0  1  0   3   3    3     4
 45. Enfield              2   0  1  0   2   2   1  0  0   4   2    3     4
 46. Stoke City           3   1  0  1   3   1   0  1  0   2   2    3     4
     Wrexham              3   1  0  1   4   2   0  1  0   1   1    3     4
 48. Bradford City        3   1  0  0   3   0   0  1  1   0   2    4     4
     Liverpool            2   0  1  0   1   1   1  0  0   2   1    4     4
     Maidstone Utd        2   0  1  0   1   1   1  0  0   2   1    4     4
     Shrewsbury T         2   1  0  0   1   0   0  1  0   2   2    3     4
     Tranmere Rov         2   1  0  0   2   1   0  1  0   1   1    4     4
 53. Dagenham             2   0  1  0   1   1   1  0  0   1   0    3     4
     Halifax Town         2   0  1  0   1   1   1  0  0   1   0    4     4
     West End             2   1  1  0   2   1   0  0  0   0   0    3     4
 56. Hayes                2   0  1  0   0   0   1  0  0   1   0    3     4
     Peterborough U       2   1  0  0   1   0   0  1  0   0   0    4     4
 58. Hull City            3   0  0  1   1   2   1  1  0   1   0    3     4
 59. Sunderland           3   1  0  1   3   4   0  1  0   1   1    4     4
 60. Bolton Wand          4   0  1  0   1   1   1  0  2   3   5    3     4
 61. Plymouth Arg         4   1  1  0   2   1   0  0  2   0   3    3     4
 62. Aston Villa          5   1  0  2   4   7   0  1  1   2   6    3     4
 63. Chesham Generals     1   1  0  0  11   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 64. Chesham Town         1   1  0  0   7   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Southall             1   1  0  0   7   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 66. Leyton               1   1  0  0   6   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 67. Corinthians          1   1  0  0   8   3   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 68. Bristol St G         1   1  0  0   7   2   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 69. Bedminster           1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   5   0    2     3
 70. Bishop Stortford     2   1  0  1   7   3   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 71. Bognor Regis T       1   1  0  0   6   2   0  0  0   0   0    3     3
 72. Hotspur              1   1  0  0   5   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 73. Dartford             1   1  0  0   4   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Grays Athletic       1   1  0  0   4   0   0  0  0   0   0    3     3
     Oxford City          1   1  0  0   4   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 76. Sheffield Utd        2   1  0  0   4   0   0  0  1   0   1    3     3
 77. Bridgwater T         1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   3   0    2     3
 78. Ilford               1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   4   2    2     3
     Kings Lynn           1   1  0  0   4   2   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Yeovil Town          1   1  0  0   4   2   0  0  0   0   0    3     3
 81. Barking              1   1  0  0   3   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Crawley Town         1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   3   1    3     3
     Leyton Orient        2   1  0  0   3   0   0  0  1   0   1    3     3
     Merthyr Tydfil       1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   3   1    2     3
 85. Erith & Belv         1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   2   0    2     3
     Richmond Assoc       1   1  0  0   2   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     South Norwood        1   1  0  0   2   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 88. Doncaster Rov        2   1  0  1   4   3   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 89. Uxbridge             1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   3   2    2     3
 90. Barry Town           1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   2   1    3     3
     Castleford T         1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   2   1    2     3
     Chesterfield         1   1  0  0   2   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Derby County         1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   2   1    3     3
     Eastleigh LSWR       1   1  0  0   2   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Marlow               1   1  0  0   2   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Sutton Town          1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   2   1    2     3
     Wisbech Town         1   1  0  0   2   1   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
 98. Bedford Town         1   1  0  0   1   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
     Everton              1   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  0   1   0    3     3
     Gainsborough Tr      1   1  0  0   1   0   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
101. Sheffield Wed        2   1  0  1   3   3   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
102. Stevenage            2   0  0  1   0   1   1  0  0   2   1    3     3
103. Notts County         2   0  0  0   0   0   1  0  1   4   5    2     3
104. AFC Bournemouth      3   1  0  0   1   0   0  0  2   0   3    2     3
105. Rochester            2   1  0  0   2   0   0  0  1   1   6    2     3
106. Crystal Palace       7   0  1  3   2   7   0  2  1   2   4    3     3
107. Chelsea              3   0  1  0   0   0   0  1  1   3   5    2     2
108. Fulham               4   0  1  1   1   2   0  1  1   0   1    2     2
109. Manchester C         5   0  0  2   0  11   0  2  1   1   2    2     2
110. Cambridge Utd        2   0  0  1   1   2   0  1  0   0   0    1     1
     Exeter City          2   0  1  0   1   1   0  0  1   0   1    1     1
112. Barnsley             3   0  1  0   1   1   0  0  2   4   7    1     1
113. Bury                 2   0  1  0   1   1   0  0  1   0   3    1     1
     Oxford Utd           2   0  1  0   1   1   0  0  1   0   3    1     1
115. Nottingham F         3   0  0  1   3   6   0  1  1   0   1    1     1
     York City            3   0  0  1   1   3   0  1  1   2   4    1     1
117. Newcastle Utd        4   0  1  0   3   3   0  0  3   2  10    1     1
118. Preston NE           3   0  0  1   1   2   0  1  1   3  21    1     1
119. Old St Paul's        1   0  0  1   3   4   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
120. Blackburn Rov        1   0  0  1   1   2   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
     Old Carthusians      1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   1   2    0     0
122. Aberdare Ath         1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   1    0     0
     Brentwood Town       1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   1    0     0
     Brighton & HA        1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   1    0     0
     Darlington           1   0  0  1   0   1   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
     Guildford City       1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   1    0     0
     Old Etonians         1   0  0  1   0   1   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
     Queens Park Rang     1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   1    0     0
     Swifts               1   0  0  1   0   1   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
130. Leicester City       2   0  0  2   1   3   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
131. Dulwich              1   0  0  1   0   2   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
132. Oldham Athletic      2   0  0  2   2   5   0  0  0   0   0    0     0
133. Northampton T        1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   3    0     0
134. Bradford PA          1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   1   5    0     0
135. Arsenal              4   0  0  3   2   6   0  0  1   1   2    0     0
136. Ipswich Town         2   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  2   1   6    0     0
     Luton Town           2   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  2   1   6    0     0
138. Wolverhampton W      2   0  0  1   0   1   0  0  1   0   5    0     0
139. Upton Park           3   0  0  1   1   6   0  0  2   1   4    0     0
140. Royal Engineers      1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   8    0     0

This table includes a number of disputed games: against West End in 1881-82, against Dulwich in 1887-88, and against Southampton in 1891-92. It also includes the game abandoned after 20 minutes of extra time against Bristol City in 1900-01. It excludes three games in which Reading scratched: against Henley in 1879-80, against Marlow in 1881-82, and the replay against Dulwich in 1887-88.

Manchester United lead the way having been drawn against Reading on nine occasions, followed by Aldershot on eight (including the two-legged affair in 1945-46). These are followed by Southampton on seven, with Newport and Swindon on six. Of these, five against Southampton and three against Swindon were in the qualifying rounds. Reading were drawn against Southampton in the regionalised qualifying rounds for four successive seasons between 1893-94 and 1896-97, winning the first and losing the next three.

Reading's best performance in the FA Cup was reaching the semi-final in 1926-27 and 2014-15. In the earlier run they played ten matches and won six, equalling the records set in reaching the quarter-final in 1900-01. They also played ten games in 1989-90, although only three of these were wins. On the latter two occasions they played more games than any other team in the entire competition (equal with Cambridge United in 1989-90). In 1926-27, Rhyl Athletic played eleven games before going out in the third round.

The familiar current scheme of a preliminary round, four qualifying rounds, six rounds, a semi-final and a final was only introduced in 1925. To allow for easy comparisons of performances before this date, this table gives the modern equivalents of the rounds played up to the start of the Second World War:

         PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1871-72                                  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1872-73                              R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1873-74                                  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1874-75                                  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1875-76                                  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1876-77                              R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1877-78                              R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1878-79                              R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1879-80                          R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  SF  F
1880-81                          R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  SF  F
1881-82                          R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  SF  F
1882-83                          R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  SF  F
1883-84                          R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  SF  F
1884-85                      R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1885-86                      R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1886-87                      R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1887-88                      R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1888-89                  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1889-90                  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1890-91                  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1891-92                  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1892-93              PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1893-94                  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1894-95              PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1895-96              PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1896-97          PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1897-98          PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1898-99          PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1899-00          PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1900-01      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  IR  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1901-02      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  IR  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1902-03      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  IR  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1903-04      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  IR  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1904-05  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  IR  R1  R2  R3  SF  F
1905-06          PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1906-07      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1907-08      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1908-09      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1909-10      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1910-11      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1911-12      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1912-13      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1913-14      PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1914-15  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1919-20  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1920-21  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1921-22  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1922-23  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1923-24  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1924-25  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  Q5  Q6  R1  R2  R3  R4  SF  F
1925-26  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1926-27  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1927-28  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1928-29  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1929-30  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1930-31  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1931-32  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1932-33  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1933-34  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1934-35  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1935-36  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1936-37  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1937-38  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F
1938-39  PR  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4  R1  R2  R3  R4  R5  R6  SF  F

Extra preliminary rounds are not shown. IR stands for Intermediate Round. Byes and disputed games are given in red. For later seasons, see the summary of seasons. Note that the normal exemptions apply, with Reading joining in the Third Round when in the top two divisions, and in the First Round otherwise. There are two exceptions to this, in 1926-27 when they had to play in the First Round, and in 1949-50 when they received a bye into the Third Round.

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