<< Season 1951-52 >>

Reading again came close to promotion, scoring a club record 112 league goals in the process. Ron Blackman was again the main marksman, hitting 40 goals for the second successive season. It was however the last season for manager Ted Drake, who left for Chelsea. The young team he built, "Drake's Ducklings", including former Reading centre half Stan Wicks, rivalled the more famous "Busby Babes" of former Reading guest player, Matt Busby, at Manchester United. Drake secured Chelsea's first League title in 1954-55, part of a unique quadruple, as their Reserve, 'A', and Junior teams also won their respective leagues. The Chelsea captain, Roy Bentley, was in turn to become Reading manager in 1962.

Division 3 South (2nd)

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS     H    A  
 1. Plymouth Arg        46  19  3  1  70  19  10  5  8  37  34   66    2-0  2-3 
 2. READING             46  19  2  2  73  23  10  1 12  39  37   61
 3. Norwich City        46  18  1  4  55  15   8  8  7  34  35   61    1-1  1-2 
 4. Millwall            46  16  5  2  46  21   7  7  9  28  32   58    2-0  2-3 
 5. Brighton & HA       46  15  4  4  57  24   9  6  8  30  39   58    1-4  0-1 
 6. Newport County      46  13  7  3  45  26   8  5 10  32  50   54    1-2  1-3 
 7. Bristol Rovers      46  14  5  4  60  20   6  7 10  29  33   52    4-2  2-1 
 8. Northampton T       46  17  1  5  65  31   5  4 14  28  43   49    2-0  3-0 
 9. Southend Utd        46  16  6  1  56  17   3  4 16  19  49   48    5-2  0-2 
10. Colchester Utd      46  12  7  4  32  22   5  5 13  24  55   46    4-2  1-4 
11. Torquay Utd         46  10  3 10  53  42   7  7  9  33  56   44    6-1  3-0 
12. Aldershot           46  11  4  8  40  27   7  4 12  38  62   44    5-1  2-0 
13. Port Vale*          46  11 11  1  33  16   3  4 16  17  50   43    5-1  2-0 
14. Bournemouth & BA    46  11  4  8  42  30   5  6 12  27  45   42    5-0  2-1 
15. Bristol City        46  13  6  4  44  26   2  6 15  14  43   42    3-0  3-1 
16. Swindon Town        46   9  9  5  29  22   5  5 13  22  46   42    2-0  0-2 
17. Ipswich Town        46  12  4  7  45  31   4  5 14  18  43   41    4-0  2-4 
18. Leyton Orient       46  12  5  6  39  26   4  4 15  16  42   41    1-1  4-0 
19. Crystal Palace      46   9  7  7  32  28   6  2 15  29  52   39    3-1  2-1 
20. Shrewsbury T*       46  11  3  9  35  29   2  7 14  27  57   36    6-2  1-2 
21. Watford             46   7  7  9  34  37   6  3 14  23  44   36    4-1  1-3 
22. Gillingham          46  10  7  6  47  31   1  6 16  24  50   35    2-1  1-1 
23. Exeter City         46  10  4  9  40  36   3  5 15  25  50   35    2-1  4-1 
24. Walsall             46  11  3  9  38  31   2  2 19  17  63   31    3-0  0-2 

    * Port Vale transferred to Division 3 North, 1952
    * Shrewsbury transferred from Division 3 North, 1951

FA Cup

R1     Walsall3          H  W  1-0
R2     Southport4        H  D  1-1 *
R2(R)  Southport4        A  D  1-1 *
R2(2R) Southport4        *  W  2-0
R3     Swansea Town2     H  L  0-3

       * Southport previously known as Southport Central
       * after extra time
       * at Villa Park, Birmingham