<< Season 1986-87 >>

Reading's first season in the Second Division for over fifty years was fairly nondescript despite finishing in 13th place, at that time their highest ever league finish. A major source of disappointment was the injury to new signing Paul Canoville, one of the most exciting players ever to play for the Royals. After just 13 games his leg was broken in a horror tackle at Sunderland. Although he was to return after a year, he was unable to make a full recovery and made just 6 further appearances. He continued to play non-league football. I saw him play for Maidenhead at Hungerford around 1990, and it was a poignant reminder of what a cruel game football can be.

Note 1986 saw the introduction of play-offs to decide the final promotion and relegation places. In the first couple of seasons, the team in the last relegation place played off with three teams from the lower division. The current system, with automatic relegation and four teams playing off for the final promotion place was introduced in 1988.

Division 2 (13th)

       Millwall          H  L  0-1
       Plymouth Arg      A  L  0-1
       West Bromwich A   H  D  1-1         Hicks
       Leeds Utd         A  L  2-3         White, Senior
       Shrewsbury T      H  W  3-1         Beavon, Bremner, Williams
       Crystal Palace    A  W  3-1         Hicks, Canoville, Senior
       Grimsby Town      H  L  2-3         Canoville, Beavon (pen)
       Blackburn Rov     H  W  4-0         Canoville, Senior, Wood, Bremner
       Sheffield Utd     A  D  3-3         Senior, Hicks, Eckhardt (og)
       Hull City         A  W  2-0         Senior 2
       Sunderland        A  D  1-1         Williams
       Oldham Athletic   H  L  2-3         Bremner, Senior
       Bradford City     A  L  0-3
       Barnsley          H  D  0-0
       Brighton & HA     H  W  2-1         Bremner 2
       Stoke City        A  L  0-3
       Derby County      A  L  0-3
       Ipswich Town      H  L  1-4         Hazell
       West Bromwich A   A  W  2-1         Bremner, Senior
       Birmingham C      H  D  2-2         Beavon (pen), Bremner
       Brighton & HA     A  D  1-1         Bremner
       Portsmouth        A  L  0-1
       Millwall          A  L  1-2         Taylor
       Sunderland        H  W  1-0         Bremner
       Plymouth Arg      H  W  2-0         Senior 2
       Grimsby Town      A  L  2-3         Bremner 2
       Huddersfield T    H  W  3-2         Senior 2, Bailie
       Crystal Palace    H  W  1-0         Senior
       Shrewsbury T      A  D  0-0
       Oldham Athletic   A  L  0-4
       Hull City         H  W  1-0         Bremner
       Sheffield Utd     H  W  2-0         Senior, Vaughan
       Barnsley          A  L  0-2
       Bradford City     H  L  0-1
       Blackburn Rov     A  D  0-0
       Portsmouth        H  D  2-2         Peters, Bremner
       Birmingham C      A  D  1-1         Bremner
       Leeds Utd         H  W  2-1         Ashurst (og), Senior
       Stoke City        H  L  0-1
       Huddersfield T    A  L  0-2
       Derby County      H  W  2-0         Senior 2
       Ipswich Town      A  D  1-1         Richardson

Division 2 Table

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS
 1. Derby County        42  14  6  1  42  18  11  3  7  22  20   84
 2. Portsmouth          42  17  2  2  37  11   6  7  8  16  17   78
 3. Oldham Athletic+    42  13  6  2  36  16   9  3  9  29  28   75
 4. Leeds Utd+          42  15  4  2  43  16   4  7 10  15  28   68
 5. Ipswich Town+       42  12  6  3  29  10   5  7  9  30  33   64
 6. Crystal Palace      42  12  4  5  35  20   7  1 13  16  33   62
 7. Plymouth Arg        42  12  6  3  40  23   4  7 10  22  34   61
 8. Stoke City          42  11  5  5  40  21   5  5 11  23  32   58
 9. Sheffield Utd       42  10  8  3  31  19   5  5 11  19  30   58
10. Bradford City       42  10  5  6  36  27   5  5 11  26  35   55
11. Barnsley            42   8  7  6  26  23   6  6  9  23  29   55
12. Blackburn Rov       42  11  4  6  30  22   4  6 11  15  33   55
13. READING             42  11  4  6  33  23   3  7 11  19  36   53
14. Hull City           42  10  6  5  25  22   3  8 10  16  33   53
15. West Bromwich A     42   8  6  7  29  22   5  6 10  22  27   51
16. Millwall            42  10  5  6  27  16   4  4 13  12  29   51
17. Huddersfield T      42   9  6  6  38  30   4  6 11  16  31   51
18. Shrewsbury T        42  11  3  7  24  14   4  3 14  17  39   51
19. Birmingham C*       42   8  9  4  27  21   3  8 10  20  38   50
20. Sunderland+         42   8  6  7  25  23   4  6 11  24  36   48
21. Grimsby Town        42   5  8  8  18  21   5  6 10  21  38   44
22. Brighton & HA       42   7  6  8  22  20   2  6 13  15  34   39

    + after play-off
    * Birmingham City previously known as Birmingham

FA Cup

R3     Arsenal1          H  L  1-3         Senior
League Cup
R1(1)  Bristol Rovers3   A  W  2-1         Senior 2
R1(2)  Bristol Rovers3   H  W  4-0 [6-1]   Senior 3, Horrix
R2(1)  Aston Villa1      H  D  1-1         Bremner
R2(2)  Aston Villa1      A  L  1-4 [2-5]   Senior
Full Members' Cup
R1     Shrewsbury T2     A  W  1-0         Beavon
R2     Ipswich Town2     H  L  0-2

Top Scorers

                        LG  FA  LC  MC  ALL  PEN  HAT    RATE
 1. Trevor Senior       17   1   6   0   24    0    1   0.500
 2. Kevin Bremner       14   0   1   0   15    0    0   0.312
 3. Stuart Beavon        3   0   0   1    4    2    0   0.082
 4. Paul Canoville       3   0   0   0    3    0    0   0.231
    Martin Hicks         3   0   0   0    3    0    0   0.077
 6. Jerry Williams       2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.051
 7. Colin Bailie         1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.023
    Bob Hazell           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.200
    Gary Peters          1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.036
    Steve Richardson     1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.023
    Les Taylor           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.031
    Nigel Vaughan        1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.200
    Mark White           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.167
    Steve Wood           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.028
15. Dean Horrix          0   0   1   0    1    0    0   0.043
16. Own goals            2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.041
    Line
    Totals              52   1   8   1   62    2    1   1.265

Most Appearances

                        LG    FA    LC    MC    ALL     SUM
 1. Stuart Beavon       41+1   1     4     2     48+1    49
 2. Kevin Bremner       42     1     4     1     48      48
    Trevor Senior       42     1     4     1     48      48
 4. Colin Bailie        37     1     4     2     44      44
    Steve Richardson    37     1     4     2     44      44
 6. Martin Hicks        34     1     4     0     39      39
 7. Jerry Williams      34     1     2     2     39      39
 8. Steve Wood          30+2   1     2     1     34+2    36
 9. Les Taylor          31     1     0     0     32      32
10. Gary Westwood       24     1     4     2     31      31
11. Gary Peters         23+2   0     2+1   0     25+3    28
12. Dean Horrix          6+12  0     1+2   2      9+14   23
13. Terry Hurlock       13     1     3     2     19      19
14. Neil Smillie        16     0     0     0     16      16
15. Steve Francis       14     0     0     0     14      14
16. Paul Canoville       9     0     4     0     13      13
17. Michael Gilkes       6+1   0     0+1   1+1    7+3    10
18. Andy Rogers          4     0     2     2      8       8
19. Mark White           2+2   0     0+2   0      2+4     6
20. Nigel Vaughan        5     0     0     0      5       5
21. Dean Crombie         4     0     0     1      5       5
    Bob Hazell           4     0     0     1      5       5
23. Paul Barron          4     0     0     0      4       4
24. Steve Head           0     0     0     0+1    0+1     1
    Line
    Totals              42     1     4     2     49      49