After Reading’s 6-4 defeat at White Hart Lane and their earlier famous 7-4 reverse at Fratton Park, the Royals will be out for revenge.
But they will have to do a lot better than in recent encounters in the Berkshire City.
Pompey and Reading have not played too many times over the years but they have met at all levels of the Football League structure. This stretches from the Premier League down to the old Fourth Division and including the Third Division (South) but our story begins in the days before either club joined the Football League.
Pompey’s first visit to Reading was on 8 November 1899 in the Southern District Combination when they lost by two goals to nil. They returned seven weeks later for their first game of the Twentieth Century, in the Southern League Division One, but lost again by an identical score line.
Pompey’s first win at Elm Park was in October 1901 when they prevailed by a single goal scored by Frank ‘Beddy’ Bedingfield. Beddy was a prolific goalscorer in his two years at Fratton Park. He left for QPR in 1902 but sadly died in November 1904 aged only 27.
1901/02 was a good season for Pompey in Reading they played their three times winning them all including the English Cup (later known as FA Cup) Second Round tie with a single ‘Beddy’ goal. There were many more meetings before both clubs were elected to the League on 1920.
Fixtures in Division Three South were strangely organised for played both games against a club seven days apart. Hence on 15 January 1921 Pompey drew 2-2 with the Royals and seven days later lost 1-0 at Elm Park. Pompey’s first win at Reading came in 1923 when on their way to the Division Three South championship they won 4-1 with Billy Haines on target. That is still the biggest Pompey win in Reading.
Reading followed Pompey to Division Two and they met again in 1926/27 with Pompey winning 2-1 in what was again a promotion season. There was to be only one more trip to Berkshire in the next fifty years and that ended with 3-0 Pompey win in 1961/62 another promotion season. Three games, three wins and three promotions over 40 years!!
The next four meetings at Elm Park were all home wins until in 1982/83 Pompey started their win and get promoted run. On 28 December 1982 they goals from Alan Biley and Steve Aizlewood (Penalty) are enough to see off Reading 2-1 with Kerry Dixon replying for the Royals. Pompey go on to win the old Division Three title.
This run is finally ended in 1987 when Pompey only managed a 2-2 draw at Reading and yet are promoted to the old First Division. Mick Quinn and Vince Hilaire score for Pompey in a game where Trevor Senior ends up in goal against his former club. Those two goals were Reading’s last at home against Pompey. Since then Pompey have kept six consecutive clean sheets but have only managed two goals themselves in that time – sounds familiar.
I am not sure whether the ‘he played for both’ feature is coming this week but I will add one as footnote.
Trevor Senior signed for Pompey from Dorchester Town in 1981 but his chances were limited to just eleven starts and two goals. Strangely those two goals came in April 1982 as a substitute at Fratton and the visitors were Reading. The next year Reading signed Senior and he became a Royals legend scoring 153 goals in 301 games in two spells at Elm Park.
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Written by eastneydave.
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