Southern League II Records

These tables cover Southern League Division 2 results between 1894 and 1920. During this period Reading spent just one season in this division, namely 1910-11, however Reading Reserves had previously played four seasons in Division 2 (1903-07). The first team's complete record is as follows:

            PL     W    D    L    GF    GA    PTS    P3/PL
HOME        11     9    2    0    31     1     20    2.636
AWAY        11     7    1    3    24    10     15    2.000
TOTAL       22    16    3    3    55    11     35    2.318
(1 season)

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. Chesham Town         2   1  0  0   5   0   1  0  0   8   1    4     6
 2. Salisbury City       2   1  0  0   5   0   1  0  0   4   1    4     6
 3. Walsall              2   1  0  0   4   0   1  0  0   3   1    4     6
 4. Kettering Town       2   1  0  0   5   0   1  0  0   1   0    4     6
 5. Croydon Common       2   1  0  0   1   0   1  0  0   2   0    4     6
 6. Treharris            2   1  0  0   5   1   0  1  0   2   2    3     4
 7. Cardiff City         2   0  1  0   0   0   1  0  0   2   0    3     4
 8. Aberdare             2   0  1  0   0   0   1  0  0   1   0    3     4
 9. Merthyr Town         2   1  0  0   2   0   0  0  1   0   1    2     3
    Stoke City           2   1  0  0   2   0   0  0  1   0   1    2     3
11. Ton Pentre           2   1  0  0   2   0   0  0  1   1   3    2     3

The following table gives the champions and runners-up during this period, including the results of a couple of play-offs when the League was split on a regional basis:

                         Champions                 Runners-up
    1894-95  South 2     New Brompton              Sheppey Utd
    1895-96  South 2     Wolverton LNWR            Sheppey Utd
    1896-97  South 2     Dartford                  RE Training Batt
    1897-98  South 2     Royal Artillery           Warmley
    1898-99  South 2     Thames Ironworks     3    Cowes                1
    1899-00  South 2     Watford                   Fulham
    1900-01  South 2     Brentford                 Grays Utd
    1901-02  South 2     Fulham                    Grays Utd
    1902-03  South 2     Fulham                    Brighton & HA
    1903-04  South 2     Watford                   Portsmouth Res
    1904-05  South 2     Fulham Res                Portsmouth Res
    1905-06  South 2     Crystal Palace            Leyton
    1906-07  South 2     Southend Utd              West Ham U Res
    1907-08  South 2     Southend Utd              Portsmouth Res
    1908-09  South 2     Croydon Common            Hastings & St L
    1909-10  South 2     Stoke                6    Hastings & St L      0
    1910-11  South 2     READING                   Stoke
    1911-12  South 2     Merthyr Town              Portsmouth
    1912-13  South 2     Cardiff City              Southend Utd
    1913-14  South 2     Croydon Common            Luton Town
    1914-15  South 2     Stoke                     Stalybridge Cel
    1915-19  South 2     no competition
    1919-20  South 2     Mid Rhondda               Ton Pentre

Fulham won three Division 2 championships - two by their first team and one by their reserves. Croydon Common, Southend, Stoke and Watford each won two championships. Brentford, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Dartford, Merthyr Town, Mid Rhondda, New Brompton (Gillingham), Reading, Royal Artillery, Thames Ironworks (West Ham) and Wolverton LNWR each won one championship.

The teams in blue above were promoted to Division 1. Before 1903, promotion and relegation were decided by Test Matches between the bottom teams in Division 1 and the top teams in Division 2. These were organised on a group basis in 1897-98, but otherwise the teams played off directly, with the following results:

                         Division 1                Division 2
    1894-95  Test Match  Swindon Town*        1    New Brompton         5
                         Clapton              5    Sheppey Utd          1
                         Royal Ordnance F     3    Old St Stephens      1
    1895-96  Test Match  Ilford               0    Wolverton LNWR       2
                         Royal Ordnance F*    2    Sheppey Utd          4
                         Clapton              4    1st Scots Guards     1
    1896-97  Test Match  Wolverton LNWR       2    Dartford             0
                         Sheppey Utd          2    RE Training Batt     1
                         Northfleet*          0    Freemantle*          3
    1897-98  Test Match  Wolverton LNWR     4th    Royal Artillery    1st
                         Northfleet         3rd    Warmley            2nd
    1898-99  Test Match  Sheppey Utd          1    Thames Ironworks     1  (aet)
                         Royal Artillery      1    Cowes                4
    1899-00  Test Match  Sheppey Utd          1    Watford              2
                         Thames Ironworks     5    Fulham               1
    1900-01  Test Match  Swindon Town         0    Brentford            0  (aet)
                         Watford              0    Grays Utd*           0
    1901-02  Test Match  Swindon Town         3    Fulham               1
                         Brentford            1    Grays Utd*           1
    1902-03  Test Match  Brentford            7    Fulham*              2
                         Watford              3    Brighton & HA        5

Swindon (in 1895) and Royal Ordnance Factories (in 1896) were re-elected despite losing their Test Match. Northfleet were reprieved in 1897 when Freemantle resigned before the start of the next season. Generally, in the event of a draw, both teams were elected to Division 1, however Grays United were twice denied promotion for refusing to play extra time. Fulham were elected to the expanded Division 1 despite losing their Test Match in 1903.

All three of Swindon's Test Matches were held at Reading: against New Brompton (1895) at the Caversham Cricket Ground, and against Brentford (1901) and Fulham (1902) at Elm Park.

Between 1904 and 1909, no teams were relegated from Division 1. Teams were elected to Division 1 to replace resigned teams or to expand the top division. Reserve teams were admitted to Division 2 during this period, but were not eligible for promotion. Automatic relegation was introduced in 1909-10 and automatic promotion the following season. In 1919, Brentford, Merthyr Town, Newport and Swansea were elected to Division 1, Stoke and Coventry were elected to the Football League Division 2, while Stalybridge Celtic transferred to the Central League. This left a Division 2 consisting entirely of Welsh teams for its final season. Following the election of Division 1 en masse to the Football League as Division 3 South in 1920, most of these teams transferred to the new Southern League Welsh Section.

The Southern League Division 2 did not provide the only route into Division 1. Before 1909 many clubs were elected directly to Division 1. These are given by the following table:

            Team                        Previous League
    1895    -                           -
    1896    Gravesend United            Kent League
            Northfleet                  Kent League
            Tottenham Hotspur           -
    1897    Bristol City                Western League
    1898    Bedminster                  Western League
            Brighton United             -
    1899    Bristol Rovers              Western League
            Portsmouth                  -
            Queen's Park Rangers        -
    1900    Kettering                   Midland League
            Luton Town                  Football League
    1901    Northampton Town            Midland League
            Wellingborough              Midland League
    1902    -                           -
    1903    Plymouth Argyle             -
    1904    -                           -
    1905    Norwich City                -
    1906    -                           -
    1907    Bradford Park Avenue        -
    1908    Coventry City               Birmingham League
            Exeter City                 -

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