Reading Reserves >>

Reading Reserves competed in the Southern League Division 2 between 1903 and 1907. For details see here. They then transferred to the Great Western Suburban League, being champions in 1909-10 while the first team were being relegated from the Southern League Division 1, and then to the South Eastern League.

When the old Southern League Division 1 was incorporated en masse into the Football League in 1920, a new Division 1 was formed. This had two sections, a Welsh section consisting of the previous season's Division 2, and an English section consisting largely of reserve teams. The two sections were reorganised into Eastern and Western sections in 1923. The overall League champions were decided by a play-off between the two section winners. Reading Reserves competed in the English and Eastern sections between 1920 and 1927. For details see here.

During their time in the Southern League, Reading Reserves played against the first teams of ten league sides: Bournemouth (Boscombe), Charlton, Crystal Palace, Orient, Peterborough (Peterborough and Fletton United), Southend, Torquay, Watford, Wycombe and Yeovil (Yeovil and Petters United).

For most of the time since the Second World War, the Reserves have played in the various incarnations of the Football Combination. They were Combination champions in 1951-52, after beating Tottenham 4-0 in a play-off at Elm Park. They were also Combination Division 2 champions in 1965-66. Not only did the Reserves regularly attract larger crowds than the first team, but player-manager Jimmy Wheeler was voted Player of the Year despite only making two first team appearances.

Reading spent a number of seasons in the Capital League in the mid-1990s before rejoining the Combination in 1998, a year before a major restructuring of reserve football saw the formation of the Premier Reserve League.

With the departure of many of the top clubs, Reading were again Combination champions in 2003-04, beating Cardiff 3-1 in a play-off at the Madejski Stadium. They again reached a play-off in 2005-06, but lost 1-2 to Cheltenham at Whaddon Road. They also reached the final of the Combination League Cup in 2000-01, losing on penalties to Norwich.

When Reading reached the Premier League, the Reserves competed in the Southern section of the Premier Reserve League. In 2006-07 they were overall champions, beating Northern champions Bolton 2-0 in a play-off at the Madejski Stadium. The following season they finished second in the Southern section, but lost their place as the first team was relegated.

Back in the Combination, Reading were again overall champions in 2008-09 and reached the League Cup final. Along with a number of other teams Reading left the Combination in 2010 in favour of playing friendlies.

This table gives a summary of recent seasons. When Reading topped a regional group, an asterisk (*) is used to indicate that they were overall champions, while a cross (×) indicates that were not. Note that Reading did not run a reserve team in 1999-2000, or play competitive games from 2010-12.

SEASON   DIV          POSN    PL   W  D  L  GF  GA  PTS
1995-96  Capital      9/18    25  12  3 10  52  36   39
1996-97  Capital     11/18    25  10  6  9  49  41   36
1997-98  Capital      7/14    26   9 10  7  45  33   37
1998-99  F Comb      22/29    28   9  4 15  31  41   31

SEASON   DIV          POSN    PL   W  D  L  GF  GA  PTS
2000-01  F Comb       3/25    24  17  2  5  43  22   53
2001-02  F Comb       9/25    24  10  6  8  35  25   36
2002-03  F Comb       5/26    25  14  4  7  53  32   46
2003-04  F Comb C&E   1/15*   14  12  1  1  48  11   37
2004-05  F Comb C&E   2/16    15   9  3  3  41  16   30
2005-06  F Comb Cen   1/9×    16  12  2  2  48  10   38
2006-07  Prem Res S   1/10*   18  12  2  4  45  15   38
2007-08  Prem Res S   2/10    18   8  7  3  32  16   31
2008-09  F Comb Cen   1/10*   18  13  3  2  64  12   42
2009-10  F Comb W&W   3/10    18  10  1  7  38  24   31

The Reserves also entered the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup 1940-45 and 1985-2001. They were winners in 1994-95, beating Slough Town 1-0 in the final at Adams Park, Wycombe. They were also beaten finalists four times, losing 2-3 to Windsor & Eton in 1940-41, 1-2 to Aylesbury in 1996-97, 1-2 to Maidenhead in 1997-98, and 0-2 to Aylesbury in 1999-2000.

Also see the notes on Reading 'A'.