<< Season 1999-2000 >>

Darren Caskey Once again, pre-season optimism, boosted by the big money signing of striker Nicky Forster, was dashed as Reading's poor early form saw them fall to one off the bottom of the table. Time eventually ran out for manager Tommy Burns following defeat at Bournemouth as he was replaced by Alan Pardew. He had spent over £4M on players, many from Scotland, but too many had proved expensive flops. His ruthless handling of players that did not form part of his plans, including crowd favourites like Phil Parkinson, also did little to endear him to the fans.

However following his dismissal things got even worse, including a run of 13 games without a win, before they got better. Three events can be seen as turning points. The game against Wrexham saw a good-natured crowd protest, known as Pants Day, when the fans swirled their underpants around their heads to protest at the team being, well, pants. This marked the start of an improvement in the atmosphere at the Madejski Stadium, which started to feel a bit more like home. The second key event was the arrival of Martin "Mad Dog" Allen as coach. His fierce determination helped to put heart back into a demoralised side. Finally, Pardew, showing more judgement in the transfer market than Burns, signed Martin Butler from Cambridge, who proved the sort of hard-working target man the team needed. However it was midfield play-maker Darren Caskey who was the top scorer, with 23 goals, as Reading fought back to a respectable mid-table position.

Division 2 (10th)

       Bristol City      H  W  2-1         Brebner, Crawford
       Cambridge Utd     A  L  1-3         McIntyre
       Luton Town        H  L  1-2         M.Williams
       Colchester Utd    A  L  2-3         Forster, M.Williams
       Preston NE        H  D  2-2         Smith, Scott
       AFC Bournemouth   A  L  1-3         Caskey (pen)
       Chesterfield      H  W  1-0         Caskey
       Oldham Athletic   H  D  1-1         Polston
       Wycombe Wand      A  L  3-5         Forster 2, Caskey (pen)
       Stoke City        A  L  1-2         Forster
       Wigan Athletic    H  L  0-2
       Bury              H  W  2-0         Scott, M.Williams
       Oldham Athletic   A  W  2-1         Gurney, Caskey (pen)
       Brentford         A  D  1-1         Gurney
       Oxford Utd        H  L  1-2         McIntyre
       Millwall          A  L  0-5
       Burnley           H  D  0-0
       Scunthorpe Utd    H  D  1-1         Hunter
       Bristol City      A  L  1-3         Caskey
       Wrexham           H  D  2-2         Grant, Scott
       Cardiff City      A  L  0-1
       Notts County      H  D  0-0
       Gillingham        A  D  2-2         Nicholls, M.Williams (pen)
       Blackpool         H  D  1-1         Caskey
       Cambridge Utd     H  D  0-0
       Luton Town        A  L  1-3         Caskey
       Colchester Utd    H  W  2-0         Caskey 2
       Preston NE        A  D  2-2         Forster, Butler
       Blackpool         A  W  2-0         McIntyre, Butler
       Millwall          H  W  2-0         Parkinson, Forster
       Scunthorpe Utd    A  D  2-2         Caskey (pen), McIntyre
       Chesterfield      A  L  0-2
       AFC Bournemouth   H  W  2-0         Caskey, Forster
       Oxford Utd        A  W  3-1 *       Arendse (og), Hodges, Caskey
       Brentford         H  W  1-0         A.Williams
       Burnley           A  L  0-3
       Bristol Rovers    H  W  2-0         Forster, Caskey
       Cardiff City      H  L  0-1
       Wrexham           A  W  1-0         Butler
       Bristol Rovers    A  W  1-0         Caskey
       Gillingham        H  D  2-2         Butler, Caskey
       Notts County      A  W  2-1         Forster, Newman
       Wigan Athletic    A  L  0-1
       Wycombe Wand      H  W  2-1         Forster, M.Williams
       Bury              A  D  1-1         Caskey
       Stoke City        H  W  1-0         Caskey (pen)

       * first goal also attributed to Hodges

Division 2 Table

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS
 1. Preston NE          46  15  4  4  37  23  13  7  3  37  14   95
 2. Burnley             46  16  3  4  42  23   9 10  4  27  24   88
 3. Gillingham+         46  16  3  4  46  21   9  7  7  33  27   85
 4. Wigan Athletic+     46  15  3  5  37  14   7 14  2  35  24   83
 5. Millwall+           46  14  7  2  41  18   9  6  8  35  32   82
 6. Stoke City+         46  13  7  3  37  18  10  6  7  31  24   82
 7. Bristol Rovers      46  13  7  3  34  19  10  4  9  35  26   80
 8. Notts County        46   9  6  8  32  27   9  5  9  29  28   65
 9. Bristol City        46   7 14  2  31  18   8  5 10  28  39   64
10. READING             46  10  9  4  28  18   6  5 12  29  45   62
11. Wrexham             46   9  6  8  23  24   8  5 10  29  37   62
12. Wycombe Wand        46  11  4  8  32  24   5  9  9  24  29   61
13. Luton Town          46  10  7  6  41  35   7  3 13  20  30   61
14. Oldham Athletic     46   8  5 10  27  28   8  7  8  23  27   60
15. Bury                46   8 10  5  38  33   5  8 10  23  31   57
16. AFC Bournemouth     46  11  6  6  37  19   5  3 15  22  43   57
17. Brentford           46   8  6  9  27  31   5  7 11  20  30   52
18. Colchester Utd      46   9  4 10  36  40   5  6 12  23  42   52
19. Cambridge Utd       46   8  6  9  38  33   4  6 13  26  32   48
20. Oxford Utd          46   6  5 12  24  38   6  4 13  19  35   45
21. Cardiff City        46   5 10  8  23  34   4  7 12  22  33   44
22. Blackpool           46   4 10  9  26  37   4  7 12  23  40   41
23. Scunthorpe Utd      46   4  6 13  16  34   5  6 12  24  40   39
24. Chesterfield        46   5  7 11  17  25   2  8 13  17  38   36

    + after play-off

Position Graph

Position Graph

FA Cup

R1     Yeovil TownA      H  W  4-2         Bernal, Caskey (pen), Hunter, M.Williams
R2     Halifax Town3     H  D  1-1         Caskey (pen)
R2(R)  Halifax Town3     A  W  1-0         Caskey (pen)
R3     Plymouth Arg3     H  D  1-1         McIntyre
R3(R)  Plymouth Arg3     A  L  0-1
League Cup
R1(1)  Peterborough U3   H  D  0-0
R1(2)  Peterborough U3   A  W  2-1 [2-1]   Caskey, Scott
R2(1)  Bradford CityP    A  D  1-1         Caskey (pen)
R2(2)  Bradford CityP    H  D  2-2 [3-3] * Scott, Hunter

       * after extra time, lost on away goals
Associate Members' Cup
R1     Leyton Orient3    H  W  1-0         Bernal
R2     Barnet3           A  W  2-1 *       Caskey, Scott
R3     Bristol Rovers2   A  W  2-1         Nicholls 2
R4     Bristol City2     A  L  0-4

       * after extra time, won on golden goal

Top Scorers

                        LG  FA  LC  MC  ALL  PEN  HAT    RATE
 1. Darren Caskey       17   3   2   1   23    9    0   0.404
 2. Nicky Forster       10   0   0   0   10    0    0   0.227
 3. Martin Williams      5   1   0   0    6    1    0   0.154
 4. Keith Scott          3   0   2   1    6    0    0   0.176
 5. Jim McIntyre         4   1   0   0    5    0    0   0.147
 6. Martin Butler        4   0   0   0    4    0    0   0.222
 7. Barry Hunter         1   1   1   0    3    0    0   0.077
 8. Mark Nicholls        1   0   0   2    3    0    0   0.428
 9. Andy Gurney          2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.041
10. Andy Bernal          0   1   0   1    2    0    0   0.059
11. Grant Brebner        1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.333
    Jimmy Crawford       1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.125
    Peter Grant          1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.026
    Lee Hodges           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.034
    Ricky Newman         1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.143
    Phil Parkinson       1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.034
    John Polston         1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.050
    Neil Smith           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.023
    Adrian Williams      1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.062
20. Own goals            1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.017
    Line
    Totals              57   7   5   5   74   10    0   1.254

Most Appearances

                        LG    FA    LC    MC    ALL     SUM
 1. Darren Caskey       43+1   5     4     4     56+1    57
 2. Andy Gurney         35+3   5     3     3     46+3    49
 3. Scott Howie         35+1   3     4     4     46+1    47
 4. Nicky Forster       31+5   2     3     2+1   38+6    44
 5. Neil Smith          26+10  1     3     2+1   32+11   43
 6. Barry Hunter        27+4   2     3     3     35+4    39
 7. Martin Williams     22+7   4+1   2+1   2     30+9    39
 8. Peter Grant         27+2   0+4   3     2     32+6    38
 9. Linvoy Primus       27+1   4     0     3     34+1    35
10. Andy Bernal         19+4   4     3+1   3     29+5    34
11. Jim McIntyre        15+11  2+2   1+1   1+1   19+15   34
12. Keith Scott         14+11  2+1   2+1   1+2   19+15   34
13. Phil Parkinson      22     5     0     2     29      29
14. Lee Hodges          15+10  0     1+2   0+1   16+13   29
15. Sean Evers           8+9   4     0+1   2+1   14+11   25
16. Graeme Murty        14+3   4+1   0     0+2   18+6    24
17. Stuart Gray         12+3   0+1   4     1     17+4    21
18. Matthew Robinson    19     0     0     1     20      20
19. Chris Casper        14+1   2     3     0     19+1    20
20. John Polston        12+2   4     1     1     18+2    20
21. Martin Butler       17     0     0     1     18      18
22. Adrian Williams     15     0     0     1     16      16
23. Phil Whitehead      11     2     0     0     13      13
24. Paul Brayson         0+7   0+1   0+1   1      1+9    10
25. Jimmy Crawford       3+1   0     1+2   0+1    4+4     8
26. Mark Nicholls        4+1   0     0     2      6+1     7
27. Ricky Newman         4+3   0     0     0      4+3     7
28. Sammy Igoe           3+3   0     0     0      3+3     6
29. Darius Henderson     2+4   0     0     0      2+4     6
30. Mass Sarr            0+3   0+1   0     0+2    0+6     6
31. Graham Potter        4     0     0     1      5       5
32. Andy McLaren         2     0     1+1   0      3+1     4
33. Grant Brebner        2     0     1     0      3       3
34. Alex Haddow          1+1   0     1     0      2+1     3
35. Kevin Lisbie         1+1   0     0     0      1+1     2
36. Mark Bowen           0     0     0     1      1       1
37. Nathan Tyson         0+1   0     0     0      0+1     1
    Peter v.d.Kwaak      0+1   0     0     0      0+1     1
    Line
    Totals              46     5     4     4     59      59