The Watney Cup was a short-lived pre-season competition which was competed for by the two top scorers in each of the four divisions of the Football League. It featured an experimental offside rule and was the first British tournament to use penalty shoot-outs to decide games. Jack Mansell's Reading side qualified as one of the Third Division entrants for the 1970-71 season for their exploits in the 1969-70 season, when they scored 87 times, cumulating in an 8-0 drubbing of Southport on the last day of the season. They faced a Manchester United side including the likes of Best, Charlton and Law, narrowly losing out 3-2 in front of a crowd of over 18,000 at Elm Park.
|1970-71||Derby County||4||Manchester United||1|
|1971-72||West Bromwich A||41||Colchester United||41|
|1972-73||Bristol Rovers||02||Sheffield United||02|
|1973-74||Stoke City||2||Hull City||0|
1 Colchester won 4-3 on penalties
2 Bristol Rovers won 7-6 on penalties