Town did not play Reading until the 1975-76 season when The Great Slide (to Division 4) was completed. The first game was not great from Town’s viewpoint. It took place away on October 25th 1975 and the blue and whites lost 0-2 in front of 6,679 spectators. The return match on February28th 1976 was better, this time Town won 3-0 with the scorers being Bob Newton and Terry Gray(2); the gate was 6,546 which was the third highest home league gate that season.
Reading returned to Division 3 a year before Town. From 1980-81 to 1982-83 Town enjoyed their best period against the Royals. All 3 home games were won 4-1, 6-1 and 3-1. The great win on February 13th 1982 drew 6,022 fans and they saw goals by Fletcher(2), Lillis, Hicks(og), Cowling and Stanton. The match at Reading had already been won 2-0 way back on October 3rd 1981 by 2-1 with Fletcher and the unfortunate Hicks being scorers for Town. Town’s other wins away came in 1990-91, by the same 2-1 score, and the last occasion was the last time the two sides met, on March21st 1998, watched by 8,583; Town ran out winners by 2-0 when the one and only Marcus Stewart bagged them both. That season saw Town’s second “double” against the Royals.
The only FA Cup meeting was in Round 3 in January 1986. We drew 0-0 at home but lost 1-2 in the replay. Reading won promotion to Division 2 that season and we played them every year for the next 8 years both clubs dropping back to Division 3 at the end of the 1987-88 season. The Royals returned to the new Division 1 a year before Town but dropped back after only 3 seasons.
The last meeting came in 2003/04 at Reading in the only League Cup tie between the sides. The result went the same way as the FA Cup tie, but it took only one game for the Royals to proceed as they won on their own ground 1-0 in a third round game. The game was one of the better attended games between the sides with a gte of 11,892.
League games resumed in 2013/14 and Reading came to town in mid December. Town played well throughout against a side just relegated from the Greedy League. However it was not Town’s day and one goal by the visitors was enough for 3 points in a 0-1 loss. That made it four in a row of 0-1 defeats by the Royals. The game drew the best gate ever, either home or away and Town was unlucky to lose. Their keeper made two brilliant saves from Ward and Paterson hit the post with the keeper beaten. Lynch was a bit of a twerp getting sent off for two cautions late on. The return match on 29th March Town put in a great display against promotion hopeful opponents that saw Wells score on four minutes only for the Royals to equalize from a penalty on seven minutes. 1-1 was the final score but Town was well worth the point.
Early 2014/15 does not get any easier for Town with a visit to Reading on Tuesday. The Royals have started well against top half sides from last season, Ending 7th themselves they have beaten Ipswich (9th) 1-0 at home and earned a point at Wigan (5th) 2-2 away. Town has a poor record at Reading with only 3 wins from 19 league games. With the very weak defence, 10 goals in 3 games, I cannot see Town getting anything from this match and expect that the Royals will win 2-1.