<< Season 1971-72 >>

Goal! Reading's first season in Division 4 saw them fall to their lowest ever league position. Manager Jack Mansell paid the inevitable price, being replaced by Charlie Hurley, following a caretaker spell by Jimmy Wallbanks. Highlight of the season was reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup and meeting mighty Arsenal at Elm Park. A crowd of over 25,000 saw Reading go down 2-1. The game was later immortalised in Nick Hornby's largely autobiographical novel, "Fever Pitch", the joke being that, being from Maidenhead, he should support Reading rather than Arsenal. In the film of the book there are several anachronisms, for example, the Reading supporters are wearing rosettes featuring the stripy club badge from the 1980s.

Division 4 (16th)

       Hartlepool        A  L  1-3         T.Wagstaff
       Chester           H  W  1-0         Bell
       Aldershot         A  W  2-1         Chappell 2
       Stockport Co      A  W  1-0         Cumming
       Darlington        H  W  2-0         Cumming, Chappell
       Lincoln City      A  D  0-0
       Bury              H  L  0-2
       Crewe Alexandra   A  L  0-2
       Barrow            A  D  0-0
       Grimsby Town      H  L  1-3         Bell
       Northampton T     A  L  0-5
       Hartlepool        H  W  3-0         Harman, Chappell, Bell
       Brentford         H  W  2-1         Bell, Chappell
       Workington T      A  L  0-5
       Exeter City       H  W  3-1         B.Wagstaff, Cumming 2 (1 pen)
       Cambridge Utd     A  L  1-4         Cumming
       Gillingham        H  L  1-2         B.Wagstaff
       Scunthorpe Utd    A  D  1-1         Cumming
       Newport County    H  W  4-2         Cumming 2, Bell, Chappell
       Darlington        A  L  0-1
       Doncaster Rov     H  W  3-1         Harley, Chappell, Cumming
       Bury              A  L  1-2         Harman
       Aldershot         H  W  2-0         B.Wagstaff, Cumming
       Barrow            H  W  1-0         Chappell
       Brentford         A  W  2-1         B.Wagstaff, Harman
       Workington T      H  D  0-0
       Exeter City       A  D  0-0
       Cambridge Utd     H  W  1-0         Chappell
       Gillingham        A  L  2-4         Bell 2
       Northampton T     H  W  2-1         Cumming 2
       Peterborough U    H  W  2-1         Chappell 2
       Chester           A  L  0-2
       Southend Utd      H  L  1-4         Chappell
       Lincoln City      H  L  0-1
       Grimsby Town      A  L  0-2
       Doncaster Rov     A  D  1-1         Harman
       Crewe Alexandra   H  W  1-0         B.Wagstaff
       Southend Utd      A  L  1-4         Cumming (pen)
       Colchester Utd    A  L  1-2         Habbin
       Scunthorpe Utd    H  W  2-0         Chappell 2
       Southport         H  D  1-1         Cumming
       Newport County    A  L  1-2         Harman
       Stockport Co      H  D  2-2         Harman 2
       Colchester Utd    H  L  2-4         Habbin, Harman
       Peterborough U    A  L  2-3         Cumming 2 (1 pen)
       Southport         A  L  2-5         Harman, Chappell

Division 4 Table

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS
 1. Grimsby Town        46  18  3  2  61  26  10  4  9  27  30   63
 2. Southend Utd        46  18  2  3  56  26   6 10  7  25  29   60
 3. Brentford           46  16  2  5  52  21   8  9  6  24  23   59
 4. Scunthorpe Utd      46  13  8  2  34  15   9  5  9  22  22   57
 5. Lincoln City        46  17  5  1  46  15   4  9 10  31  44   56
 6. Workington T        46  12  9  2  34   7   4 10  9  16  27   51
 7. Southport           46  15  5  3  48  21   3  9 11  18  25   50
 8. Peterborough U      46  14  6  3  51  24   3 10 10  31  40   50
 9. Bury                46  16  4  3  55  22   3  8 12  18  37   50
10. Cambridge Utd       46  11  8  4  38  22   6  6 11  24  38   48
11. Colchester Utd      46  13  6  4  38  23   6  4 13  32  46   48
12. Doncaster Rov       46  11  8  4  35  24   5  6 12  21  39   46
13. Gillingham          46  11  5  7  33  24   5  8 10  28  43   45
14. Newport County      46  13  5  5  34  20   5  3 15  26  52   44
15. Exeter City         46  11  5  7  40  30   5  6 12  21  38   43
16. READING             46  14  3  6  37  26   3  5 15  19  50   42
17. Aldershot           46   5 13  5  27  20   4  9 10  21  34   40
18. Hartlepool          46  14  2  7  39  25   3  4 16  19  44   40
19. Darlington          46   9  9  5  37  24   5  2 16  27  58   39
20. Chester             46  10 11  2  34  16   0  7 16  13  40   38
21. Northampton T       46   8  9  6  43  27   4  4 15  23  52   37
22. Barrow*             46   8  8  7  23  26   5  3 15  17  45   37
23. Stockport Co        46   7 10  6  33  32   2  4 17  22  55   32
24. Crewe Alexandra     46   9  4 10  27  25   1  5 17  16  44   29

    * Barrow not re-elected (replaced by Hereford)

FA Cup

R1     Bridgwater TN     A  W  3-0         Prescott (og), Flannigan, Cumming
R2     Aldershot4        H  W  1-0         Harman
R3     Blyth SpartansN   A  D  2-2         B.Wagstaff, Cumming (pen)
R3(R)  Blyth SpartansN   H  W  6-1         Harman 3, Cumming, B.Wagstaff, Habbin
R4     Arsenal1          H  L  1-2         B.Wagstaff
League Cup
R1     Gillingham4       A  L  0-4

Top Scorers

                        LG  FA  LC  MC  ALL  PEN  HAT    RATE
 1. Gordon Cumming      16   3   0   0   19    4    0   0.388
 2. Les Chappell        15   0   0   0   15    0    0   0.333
 3. Peter Harman         9   4   0   0   13    0    1   0.382
 4. Barry Wagstaff       5   3   0   0    8    0    0   0.170
 5. Terry Bell           7   0   0   0    7    0    0   0.233
 6. Dick Habbin          2   1   0   0    3    0    0   0.070
 7. John Harley          1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.023
    Tony Wagstaff        1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.024
 9. Ray Flannigan        0   1   0   0    1    0    0   0.050
10. Own goals            0   1   0   0    1    0    0   0.019
    Line
    Totals              56  13   0   0   69    4    1   1.327

Most Appearances

                        LG    FA    LC    MC    ALL     SUM
 1. Gordon Cumming      43     5     1     0     49      49
 2. Barry Wagstaff      41     5     1     0     47      47
 3. Les Chappell        39     5     1     0     45      45
 4. Steve Death         37     5     1     0     43      43
 5. John Harley         36+1   5     1     0     42+1    43
 6. Dick Habbin         37+2   3     1     0     41+2    43
 7. Will Dixon          36+2   3     1     0     40+2    42
 8. Tony Wagstaff       36+1   2+1   1     0     39+2    41
 9. Dennis M Butler     31     5     1     0     37      37
10. Peter Harman        29+1   4     0     0     33+1    34
11. Terry Bell          28     1     1     0     30      30
12. Alan Wooler         24     3     0     0     27      27
13. Stuart Morgan       21+1   3     0     0     24+1    25
14. Martin James        21     1     0     0     22      22
15. Ray Flannigan       13+2   4     1     0     18+2    20
16. Phil Archer         12+5   0     0     0     12+5    17
17. Malcolm Swain        6+4   0     0     0      6+4    10
18. John Pratt           9     0     0     0      9       9
19. Andy Proudlove       4+1   1     0     0      5+1     6
20. Steve Hetzke         1+3   0     0     0      1+3     4
21. Bob Lenarduzzi       1+1   0     0     0      1+1     2
22. John Ashton          1     0     0     0      1       1
    Line
    Totals              46     5     1     0     52      52