<< Season 2000-01 >>

Butler and Cureton Reading's improved form from the previous season continued as they narrowly missed out on automatic promotion in a thrilling three-way fight with Millwall and Rotherham. Jamie Cureton, a £250K bargain from Bristol Rovers to replace the injured Nicky Forster, struck up a lethal partnership with Martin Butler, scoring 58 of the 100 goals Reading scored in all competitions.

In the play-off semi-final, Reading were clear favourites after securing a 0-0 draw at Wigan in the first leg. However in the second leg it was Wigan who took a 1-0 lead in front of a then record Madejski Stadium crowd of 22,034. When it looked like Reading would never equalise, Nicky Forster, recently recovered from his injury, came on as a substitute and his pace proved the key to unlock Wigan's solid defence. Firstly he set up Martin Butler for the equaliser with just minutes left, then he was brought down for a penalty. Jamie Cureton's shot was saved, but Forster was on hand to slot home the winner from the rebound. The way the whole stadium shook in the goal celebrations is something I will never forget.

This set up a final clash with Walsall at the Millennium Stadium. Jamie Cureton put Reading ahead, but they were pegged back to take the game into extra time. Martin Butler put Reading ahead again, but the game was turned on its head in the 109th minute. Firstly Barry Hunter's clearance hit Anthony Rougier and looped into the Reading goal for a bizarre own goal. Then Walsall scored again seconds later with a long range effort, and managed to hold out for a 3-2 win. So Reading suffered play-off final extra time heartbreak for the second time in six years, but whereas the Premier League had been an impossible dream in 1994-95, this time it really hurt.

Division 2 (3rd, Not promoted after play-off)

       Millwall          A  L  0-2
       Swindon Town      H  W  2-0         Butler, Caskey
       Northampton T     A  L  0-2
       Stoke City        H  D  3-3         Butler, Caskey (pen), Cureton
       Port Vale         A  W  1-0         Cureton
       Brentford         H  W  4-0         Cureton 3, Caskey (pen)
       Oldham Athletic   H  W  5-0         Butler, Igoe 2, Hodges, McIntyre
       Peterborough U    A  L  0-1
       Swansea City      H  W  5-1         Cureton, Butler 3, Hodges
       Rotherham Utd     A  W  3-1         Butler, Cureton, McIntyre
       Wigan Athletic    A  D  1-1         Butler
       Wycombe Wand      H  W  2-0         Butler, Viveash
       Wrexham           H  W  4-1         Butler 2, Caskey 2
       Bristol City      A  L  0-4
       Bury              A  W  2-0         Butler, Cureton
       Oxford Utd        H  W  4-3         Caskey (pen), Cureton, Rougier 2
       Walsall           A  L  1-2         McIntyre
       Colchester Utd    H  L  0-1
       Cambridge Utd     H  W  3-0         Viveash, Parkinson, Gurney
       Notts County      A  L  2-3         Richardson (og), Parkinson
       Luton Town        H  W  4-1         Hunter, Cureton 3
       Bristol Rovers    A  D  2-2         Smith, Parkinson
       Northampton T     H  D  1-1         Caskey
       Millwall          H  L  3-4         Igoe, Caskey (pen), Cureton
       Stoke City        A  D  0-0
       Bristol Rovers    H  W  1-0         Cureton
       Port Vale         H  W  1-0         Butler
       Brentford         A  W  2-1         Parkinson, Igoe
       Peterborough U    H  D  1-1         Cureton
       Oldham Athletic   A  W  2-0         Butler, Cureton
       Swansea City      A  W  1-0         Cureton
       Rotherham Utd     H  W  2-0         Harper, Butler
       Wycombe Wand      A  D  1-1         Igoe
       Wigan Athletic    H  W  1-0         McIntyre
       Wrexham           A  W  2-1         Butler 2
       Bristol City      H  L  1-3         Murty
       Swindon Town      A  W  1-0         Cureton
       Notts County      H  W  2-1         Butler, Cureton
       Luton Town        A  D  1-1         Butler
       Cambridge Utd     A  D  1-1         Cureton
       AFC Bournemouth   A  W  2-1         Cureton, Butler
       Bury              H  W  4-1         Igoe, Cureton, Butler 2
       Oxford Utd        A  W  2-0         Cureton, Butler
       Walsall           H  D  2-2         Cureton 2
       Colchester Utd    A  L  1-2         Cureton
       AFC Bournemouth   H  D  3-3         Butler, Caskey, Forster

Division 2 Table

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS
 1. Millwall            46  17  2  4  49  11  11  7  5  40  27   93
 2. Rotherham Utd       46  16  4  3  50  26  11  6  6  29  29   91
 3. READING+            46  15  5  3  58  26  10  6  7  28  26   86
 4. Walsall+            46  15  5  3  51  23   8  7  8  28  27   81
 5. Stoke City+         46  12  6  5  39  21   9  8  6  35  28   77
 6. Wigan Athletic+     46  12  9  2  29  18   7  9  7  24  24   75
 7. AFC Bournemouth     46  11  6  6  37  23   9  7  7  42  32   73
 8. Notts County        46  10  6  7  37  33   9  6  8  25  33   69
 9. Bristol City        46  11  6  6  47  29   7  8  8  23  27   68
10. Wrexham             46  10  6  7  33  28   7  6 10  32  43   63
11. Port Vale           46   9  8  6  35  22   7  6 10  20  27   62
12. Peterborough U      46  12  6  5  38  27   3  8 12  23  39   59
13. Wycombe Wand        46   8  7  8  24  23   7  7  9  22  30   59
14. Brentford           46   9 10  4  34  30   5  7 11  22  40   59
15. Oldham Athletic     46  11  5  7  35  26   4  8 11  18  39   58
16. Bury                46  10  6  7  25  22   6  4 13  20  37   58
17. Colchester Utd      46  10  5  8  32  23   5  7 11  23  36   57
18. Northampton T       46   9  6  8  26  28   6  6 11  20  31   57
19. Cambridge Utd       46   8  6  9  32  31   6  5 12  29  46   53
20. Swindon Town        46   6  8  9  30  35   7  5 11  17  30   52
21. Bristol Rovers      46   6 10  7  28  26   6  5 12  25  31   51
22. Luton Town          46   5  6 12  24  35   4  7 12  28  45   40
23. Swansea City        46   5  9  9  26  24   3  4 16  21  49   37
24. Oxford Utd          46   5  4 14  23  34   2  2 19  30  66   27

    + after play-off

Position Graph

Position Graph

Division 2 Play-offs

SF(1)  Wigan Athletic    A  D  0-0
SF(2)  Wigan Athletic    H  W  2-1 [2-1]   Butler, Forster
F      Walsall           *  L  2-3         Cureton, Butler

       * at Millennium Stadium (att. 50,496), after extra time
FA Cup
R1     Grays AthleticN   H  W  4-0         Hodges, Cureton, Butler, Jones
R2     York City3        A  D  2-2         Newman, Butler
R2(R)  York City3        H  L  1-3         Caskey
League Cup
R1(1)  Leyton Orient3    A  D  1-1         Cureton
R1(2)  Leyton Orient3    H  L  0-2 [1-3]
Associate Members' Cup
R2     Hereford UtdA     A  W  2-1         Cureton, McIntyre
R3     Swansea City2     A  L  0-1

Top Scorers

                        LG  FA  LC  MC  ALL  PEN  HAT    RATE
 1. Jamie Cureton       26   1   1   2   30    0    2   0.566
 2. Martin Butler       24   2   0   2   28    0    1   0.518
 3. Darren Caskey        9   1   0   0   10    4    0   0.204
 4. Sammy Igoe           6   0   0   0    6    0    0   0.150
 5. Jim McIntyre         4   0   0   1    5    0    0   0.125
 6. Phil Parkinson       4   0   0   0    4    0    0   0.077
 7. Lee Hodges           2   1   0   0    3    0    0   0.088
 8. Anthony Rougier      2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.053
    Adrian Viveash       2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.040
10. Nicky Forster        1   0   0   1    2    0    0   0.167
11. Andy Gurney          1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.037
    James Harper         1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.071
    Barry Hunter         1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.034
    Graeme Murty         1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.038
    Neil Smith           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.059
16. Keith Jones          0   1   0   0    1    0    0   0.036
    Ricky Newman         0   1   0   0    1    0    0   0.023
18. Own goals            1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.018
    Line
    Totals              86   7   1   6  100    4    3   1.786

Most Appearances

                        LG    FA    LC    MC    ALL     SUM
 1. Phil Whitehead      46     3     2     3     54      54
 2. Martin Butler       42+3   3     1+1   3+1   49+5    54
 3. Jamie Cureton       37+6   2+1   2     5     46+7    53
 4. Phil Parkinson      44     3     1     4     52      52
 5. Adrian Viveash      40     3     2     5     50      50
 6. Darren Caskey       35+8   1     1     3+1   40+9    49
 7. Ricky Newman        37+2   3     1     1     42+2    44
 8. Jim McIntyre        25+8   0+1   0+1   5     30+10   40
 9. Sammy Igoe          15+16  2     2     5     24+16   40
10. Matthew Robinson    29+3   2     2     3     36+3    39
11. Anthony Rougier     14+17  1+1   1     2+2   18+20   38
12. Lee Hodges          23+6   3     1     0+1   27+7    34
13. Barry Hunter        21+2   0+1   1     3+1   25+4    29
14. Keith Jones         18+5   3     0     2     23+5    28
15. Andy Gurney         15+6   0+1   2     2+1   19+8    27
16. Graeme Murty        18+5   0     0     3     21+5    26
17. Adrian Whitbread    19     0     0     0     19      19
18. Neil Smith           4+11  0+1   0+1   0      4+13   17
19. John Mackie          7+3   3     1+1   0+1   11+5    16
20. James Harper         9+3   0     0     1+1   10+4    14
21. Nicky Forster        0+9   0     0     0+3    0+12   12
22. Adrian Williams      5     0     0     2      7       7
23. Darius Henderson     0+4   0     1     0+1    1+5     6
24. Stuart Gray          2+1   1     0     1      4+1     5
25. Joe Gamble           0+1   0+1   0+1   0      0+3     3
26. Scott Howie          0     0     0     2      2       2
27. Keith Scott          1     0     0     0      1       1
28. Sean Evers           0     0     1     0      1       1
29. Jamie Ashdown        0+1   0     0     0      0+1     1
    Alex Haddow          0+1   0     0     0      0+1     1
    Line
    Totals              46     3     2     5     56      56