<< Seasons 1890-94 >>

The early 1890s saw Reading re-emerge as the town's leading team. In 1890-91 they won the Berks Charity Cup by beating the 2nd Scots Guards 3-1. The following year saw them secure the Berks and Bucks Cup for the second time, beating Wolverton LNWR (London and North Western Railway) 2-0 in the final at Maidenhead. They also beat professional opposition for the first time, defeating Burslem Port Vale 2-1 in a friendly. The club's ambition was evident in their participation in the first, abortive attempts to form a Southern League in 1892.

The most remarkable result in the club's early history came in the 1893-94 FA Cup. Having beaten off such teams as Swindon and Southampton in the qualifying rounds, they were drawn away to the Old Invincibles of Preston North End in the first round proper. On a heavy pitch the professionals' superior fitness told and North End ran up a 7-0 lead at half time and went on to add a further eleven in the second half. No blame could be attached to Reading keeper Manners, who performed heroics to keep the score under Preston's English record of 26-0. This is the club's record defeat, and is likely to remain so.

In the same season, Reading entered the first FA Amateur Cup, losing to the eventual winners, Old Carthusians, in front of a crowd of around 1,000 at the Caversham Cricket Ground.

FA Cup 1890-91

Q1     Ipswich TownN     A  L  0-2
FA Cup 1891-92
Q1     NewburyN          H  W  2-1
Q2     Southampton St MN A  L  0-7 *
Q3     Clifton AssocN    A  L  2-8

       * Southampton disqualified
Berks & Bucks Cup 1891-92
F      Wolverton LNWRN   *  W  2-0

       * at York Road, Maidenhead
FA Cup 1892-93
Q1     Clifton AssocN    H  W  6-1
Q2     UxbridgeN         A  W  3-2
Q3     Swindon TownN     A  L  1-2
FA Cup 1893-94
Q1     WarmleyN          H  W  3-0
Q2     NewburyN          A  W  2-1
Q3     Southampton St MN H  W  2-1
Q4     Swindon TownN     A  W  2-0
R1     Preston NE1       A  L  0-18
FA Amateur Cup 1893-94
Q1     CheshamN          H  W  4-0
Q2     Chesham GeneralsN H  W  2-1
Q3     MaidenheadN       H  D  3-3
Q3(R)  MaidenheadN       A  W  4-0 *
Q3(2R) MaidenheadN       A  W  4-3 *
R1     Royal Ordnance FN H  W  3-2
R2     Old CarthusiansN  H  L  1-4

       * replay ordered after protest
       * give as home game in some sources