<< Season 1982-83 >>

Kerry Dixon playing for Chelsea Reading dropped back into Division 4 despite the scoring exploits of Kerry Dixon who hit 32 goals in spite of missing two months through injury. He has the rare distinction of having scored four times in a game and still finished on the losing side, as the Royals lost 5-7 at Doncaster.

Off-the-field events dominated however, with media tycoon Robert Maxwell attempting to merge Reading with Oxford to form a chimera called the Thames Valley Royals, playing in Didcot. Although Chairman Frank Waller was in favour of the move, a number of other directors and manager Maurice Evans publicly opposed it. Eventually Waller was forced to resign and the proposed merger collapsed. Although Maxwell's evil plan ultimately came to nothing, it was enough to distract both teams from more important matters.

Oxford narrowly missed out on promotion, due in part to a Reading win at the Manor Ground. On the final Saturday of the season Reading had to beat Wrexham and hope that one of Millwall, Exeter and Orient slipped up. Although Kerry Dixon scored the only goal, sending Wrexham down, the other teams all got the results they needed, and Reading were agonisingly relegated.

Division 3 (21st, Relegated)

       Bradford City     A  L  2-3         Beavon, Dixon
       Plymouth Arg      H  W  3-2         Earles, Dixon 2
       Brentford         H  D  1-1         Dixon
       Lincoln City      A  L  0-4
       Chesterfield      H  D  0-0
       Doncaster Rov     A  L  5-7         Dixon 4, Robinson
       Gillingham        A  L  0-1
       Preston NE        H  L  2-3         Dixon 2
       Orient            H  W  3-0         Earles 2, Robinson
       Southend Utd      A  L  2-4         Dixon, Earles
       Sheffield Utd     A  D  1-1         Beavon
       Wigan Athletic    H  W  2-1         Dixon, Doherty
       Bristol Rovers    A  L  0-3
       Cardiff City      H  L  1-2         Sanchez
       Newport County    H  W  4-2         Dixon 3, Stant
       Walsall           A  L  1-2         Stant
       Millwall          A  D  1-1         Earles
       Exeter City       H  W  3-1         Dixon 2, Beavon
       Exeter City       A  D  2-2         Dixon 2
       Huddersfield T    H  D  1-1         Dixon
       AFC Bournemouth   A  D  1-1         Tutty
       Portsmouth        H  L  1-2         Dixon
       Wrexham           A  L  0-4
       Oxford Utd        H  L  0-3
       Bradford City     H  W  2-1         Matthews, Doherty
       Chesterfield      A  D  0-0
       Lincoln City      H  D  1-1         Barnes
       Plymouth Arg      A  L  0-3
       Doncaster Rov     H  W  2-0         Williams, Doherty
       Brentford         A  W  2-1         Williams, Price
       Orient            A  D  3-3         Beavon, Doherty, Richardson
       Sheffield Utd     H  W  2-0         King (og), Donnellan
       Southend Utd      H  D  1-1         Donnellan
       Cardiff City      A  D  0-0
       Wigan Athletic    A  D  2-2         Doherty, Barnes
       Bristol Rovers    H  L  1-2         Dixon
       Newport County    A  L  0-1
       Walsall           H  D  1-1         Dixon
       Portsmouth        A  D  2-2         Price, Earles
       AFC Bournemouth   H  W  2-1         Hicks, White
       Gillingham        H  D  0-0
       Huddersfield T    A  L  1-3         Price
       Millwall          H  D  3-3         Earles, Price, Dixon
       Oxford Utd        A  W  2-1         Jones (og), Dixon (pen)
       Preston NE        A  L  0-2
       Wrexham           H  W  1-0         Dixon

Division 3 Table

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS
 1. Portsmouth          46  16  4  3  43  19  11  6  6  31  22   91
 2. Cardiff City        46  17  5  1  45  14   8  6  9  31  36   86
 3. Huddersfield T      46  15  8  0  56  18   8  5 10  28  31   82
 4. Newport County      46  13  7  3  40  20  10  2 11  36  34   78
 5. Oxford Utd          46  12  9  2  41  23  10  3 10  30  30   78
 6. Lincoln City        46  17  1  5  55  22   6  6 11  22  29   76
 7. Bristol Rovers      46  16  4  3  55  21   6  5 12  29  37   75
 8. Plymouth Arg        46  15  2  6  37  23   4  6 13  24  43   65
 9. Brentford           46  14  4  5  50  28   4  6 13  38  49   64
10. Walsall             46  14  5  4  38  19   3  8 12  26  44   64
11. Sheffield Utd       46  16  3  4  44  20   3  4 16  18  44   64
12. Bradford City       46  11  7  5  41  27   5  6 12  27  42   61
13. Gillingham          46  12  4  7  37  29   4  9 10  21  30   61
14. AFC Bournemouth     46  11  7  5  35  20   5  6 12  24  48   61
15. Southend Utd        46  10  8  5  41  28   5  6 12  25  37   59
16. Preston NE          46  11 10  2  35  17   4  3 16  25  52   58
17. Millwall            46  12  7  4  41  24   2  6 15  23  53   55
18. Wigan Athletic      46  10  4  9  35  33   5  5 13  25  39   54
19. Exeter City         46  12  4  7  49  43   2  8 13  32  61   54
20. Orient              46  10  6  7  44  38   5  3 15  20  50   54
21. READING             46  10  8  5  37  28   2  9 12  27  51   53
22. Wrexham             46  11  6  6  40  26   1  9 13  16  50   51
23. Doncaster Rov       46   6  8  9  38  44   3  3 17  19  53   38
24. Chesterfield        46   6  6 11  28  28   2  7 14  15  40   37

FA Cup

R1     Bishop StortfordN H  L  1-2         Earles
League Cup
R1(1)  Oxford Utd3       H  L  0-2
R1(2)  Oxford Utd3       A  L  0-2 [0-4]
Football League Trophy
R1(A)  Oxford Utd3       H  W  2-1         Beavon (pen), Bason
R1(B)  AFC Bournemouth3  H  W  4-2         Dixon 2, Beavon (pen), Donnellan
R1(C)  Aldershot4        A  D  3-3         Dixon 3
R2     Watford1          H  W  5-3 *       Donnellan 3, Dixon, O'Sullivan
SF     Millwall3         H  L  1-3         Doherty

       * after extra time
Football League Trophy (R1) Table
                        PL   W  D  L  GF  GA  PTS
 1. READING              3   2  1  0   9   6    7
 2. AFC Bournemouth      3   1  1  1   7   6    4
 3. Oxford Utd           3   1  0  2   4   6    3
 4. Aldershot            3   0  2  1   6   8    2

Top Scorers

                        LG  FA  LC  MC  ALL  PEN  HAT    RATE
 1. Kerry Dixon         26   0   0   6   32    1    3   0.780
 2. Pat Earles           7   1   0   0    8    0    0   0.216
 3. Mike Doherty         5   0   0   1    6    0    0   0.194
 4. Stuart Beavon        4   0   0   2    6    2    0   0.111
 5. Gary Donnellan       2   0   0   4    6    0    1   0.222
 6. Ken Price            4   0   0   0    4    0    0   0.235
 7. Michael Barnes       2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.083
    Martin Robinson      2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.333
    Phil Stant           2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.400
    Jerry Williams       2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.042
11. Martin Hicks         1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.026
    Mark Matthews        1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.167
    Steve Richardson     1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.022
    Lawrie Sanchez       1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.024
    Wayne Tutty          1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.143
    Mark White           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.029
17. Brian Bason          0   0   0   1    1    0    0   0.021
    Peter O'Sullivan     0   0   0   1    1    0    0   0.100
19. Own goals            2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.037
    Line
    Totals              64   1   0  15   80    3    4   1.481

Most Appearances

                        LG    FA    LC    MC    ALL     SUM
 1. Stuart Beavon       46     1     2     5     54      54
 2. Jerry Williams      41     1     1     5     48      48
 3. Brian Bason         41     1     2     2+2   46+2    48
 4. Steve Richardson    40     0     1+1   4     45+1    46
 5. Kerry Dixon         35     1     1     4     41      41
 6. Lawrie Sanchez      35+2   0     1     1+2   37+4    41
 7. Martin Hicks        32     1     1     5     39      39
 8. Pat Earles          30+1   0+1   2     3     35+2    37
 9. Alan Judge          33     0     0     2     35      35
10. Mark White          25+4   1     2     2     30+4    34
11. Mike Doherty        23+2   1     0     3+2   27+4    31
12. Gary Donnellan      14+5   1     2     5     22+5    27
13. Michael Barnes      19+2   0     1     2     22+2    24
14. Steve Wood          18     1     2     2     23      23
15. Ron Fearon          13     1     2     3     19      19
16. Ken Price           17     0     0     0     17      17
17. Peter O'Sullivan     9     0     0     1     10      10
18. Mike Kearney         5     0     2     2      9       9
19. Wayne Tutty          4+2   0     0     1      5+2     7
20. Micky Nutton         6     0     0     0      6       6
    Martin Robinson      6     0     0     0      6       6
22. Mark Matthews        4+1   0     0     1      5+1     6
23. Phil Stant           3+1   1     0     0      4+1     5
24. Stew Henderson       3+2   0     0     0      3+2     5
25. Kevin Dawtry         4     0     0     0      4       4
26. Des McMahon          0+2   0     0     2      2+2     4
    Line
    Totals              46     1     2     5     54      54