<< Season 2005-06 >>

Ron Grant Reading powered to the Football League Championship to gain promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time. Things got off to the worst possible start as Plymouth grabbed a late win on the first day of the season, but after that Steve Coppell's team went on an unbelievable run of 33 games without defeat. Ten successive wins in November and December saw early leaders Sheffield United overhauled, and even eventual defeat at Luton could not stop Reading running away with the title. Promotion was secured on 25th March with a draw at Leicester, and the Championship the following week with a 5-0 demolition of Derby. Even then there was no letting up and the final total of 106 points is a League record.

The key difference from the previous season was the addition of a real goal-scoring threat to add to Dave Kitson. England under-21 international Leroy Lita became the club's first £1M player when he signed from Bristol City, but it was Ireland under-21 international Kevin Doyle who proved the real find of the season after signing for a bargain £80K from Cork City. In midfield, Glen Little and American international Bobby Convey, showing his true form after a difficult first season, proved the main creative forces on the wings, with Steve Sidwell and James Harper dominating in the centre. The back five of Marcus Hahnemann, Graeme Murty, Nicky Shorey, Ívar Ingimarsson and Ibrahima Sonko continued to form a solid unit, with Murty and Shorey also getting forward to support the two wingers. There was also a much stronger set of back-up players, with John Oster, Stephen Hunt, Brynjar Gunnarsson, Chris Makin, Shane Long and Graham Stack - all new signings - all making valuable contributions.

FL Championship (Champions)

       Plymouth Arg      H  L  1-2         Lita
       Brighton & HA     A  W  2-0         Little, Kitson
       Preston NE        A  W  3-0         Lita 2, Little
       Millwall          H  W  5-0         Convey 2, Harper, Kitson (pen), Sidwell
       Watford           A  D  0-0
       Burnley           H  W  2-1         Lita, Doyle
       Coventry City     A  D  1-1         Doyle
       Crystal Palace    H  W  3-2         Doyle, Lita, Sonko
       Crewe Alexandra   H  W  1-0         Ingimarsson
       Norwich City      A  W  1-0         Harper
       Southampton       A  D  0-0
       Sheffield Utd     H  W  2-1         Gunnarsson 2
       Ipswich Town      H  W  2-0         Naylor (og), Doyle
       Hull City         A  D  1-1         Little
       Stoke City        A  W  1-0         Kitson (pen)
       Leeds Utd         H  D  1-1         Gunnarsson
       Sheffield Wed     H  W  2-0         Whelan (og), Kitson
       Queens Park Rang  A  W  2-1         Harper, Ingimarsson
       Hull City         H  W  3-1         Convey, Doyle, Little
       Ipswich Town      A  W  3-0         Sidwell, Lita, Doyle
       Plymouth Arg      A  W  2-0         Little, Doyle
       Luton Town        H  W  3-0         Sidwell, Kitson, Doyle
       Brighton & HA     H  W  5-1         Oatway (og), Kitson 3 (1 pen), Hunt
       Millwall          A  W  2-0         Sidwell, Doyle
       Wolverhampton W   A  W  2-0         Kitson, Convey
       Leicester City    H  W  2-0         Doyle, Gunnarsson
       Derby County      A  D  2-2         Doyle, Long
       Cardiff City      H  W  5-1         Sidwell 2, Sonko, Kitson 2 (1 pen)
       Coventry City     H  W  2-0         Kitson 2
       Crystal Palace    A  D  1-1         Harper
       Norwich City      H  W  4-0         Shorey, Sidwell, Lita, Convey
       Crewe Alexandra   A  W  4-3         Shorey, Sidwell, Lita 2
       Southampton       H  W  2-0         Lita, Doyle
       Sheffield Utd     A  D  1-1         Kitson
       Luton Town        A  L  2-3         Doyle 2
       Preston NE        H  W  2-1         Sidwell, Lita
       Burnley           A  W  3-0         Convey, Sonko, Kitson
       Watford           H  D  0-0
       Wolverhampton W   H  D  1-1         Convey
       Leicester City    A  D  1-1         Doyle
       Derby County      H  W  5-0         Harper, Doyle, Oster, Long 2
       Cardiff City      A  W  5-2         Harper 2, Kitson, Loovens (og), Doyle
       Leeds Utd         A  D  1-1         Hunt
       Stoke City        H  W  3-1         Sidwell, Doyle (pen), Halls
       Sheffield Wed     A  D  1-1         Kitson
       Queens Park Rang  H  W  2-1         Kitson, Murty (pen)

FL Championship Table

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS
 1. READING             46  19  3  1  58  14  12 10  1  41  18  106
 2. Sheffield Utd       46  15  5  3  43  22  11  7  5  33  24   90
 3. Watford+            46  11  7  5  39  24  11  8  4  38  29   81
 4. Preston NE+         46  11 10  2  31  12   9 10  4  28  18   80
 5. Leeds Utd+          46  13  7  3  35  18   8  8  7  22  20   78
 6. Crystal Palace+     46  13  6  4  39  20   8  6  9  28  28   75
 7. Wolverhampton W     46   9 10  4  24  18   7  9  7  26  24   67
 8. Coventry City       46  12  7  4  39  22   4  8 11  23  43   63
 9. Norwich City        46  12  4  7  34  25   6  4 13  22  40   62
10. Luton Town          46  11  6  6  45  31   6  4 13  21  36   61
11. Cardiff City        46  10  7  6  32  24   6  5 12  26  35   60
12. Southampton         46   9 10  4  26  17   4  9 10  23  33   58
13. Stoke City          46   7  5 11  24  32  10  2 11  30  31   58
14. Plymouth Arg        46  10  7  6  26  22   3 10 10  13  24   56
15. Ipswich Town        46   8  8  7  28  32   6  6 11  25  34   56
16. Leicester City      46   8  9  6  30  25   5  6 12  21  34   54
17. Burnley             46  11  6  6  34  22   3  6 14  12  32   54
18. Hull City           46   8  8  7  24  21   4  8 11  25  34   52
19. Sheffield Wed       46   7  8  8  22  24   6  5 12  17  28   52
20. Derby County        46   8 10  5  33  27   2 10 11  20  40   50
21. Queens Park Rang    46   7  7  9  24  26   5  7 11  26  39   50
22. Crewe Alexandra     46   7  7  9  38  40   2  8 13  19  46   42
23. Millwall            46   4  8 11  13  27   4  8 11  22  35   40
24. Brighton & HA       46   4  8 11  21  34   3  9 11  18  37   38

    + after play-off

Position Graph

Position Graph

Points Gap Graph

Points Gap Graph

FA Cup

R3     West Bromwich AP  A  D  1-1         Doyle (pen)
R3(R)  West Bromwich AP  H  W  3-2 *       Lita 3
R4     Birmingham CP     H  D  1-1         Long
R4(R)  Birmingham CP     A  L  1-2         Hunt

       * after extra time
League Cup
R1     Swansea City1     H  W  3-1 *       Kitson 2, Lita
R2     Luton TownC       H  W  1-0         Oster
R3     Sheffield UtdC    H  W  2-0         Kitson 2
R4     ArsenalP          A  L  0-3

       * after extra time

Top Scorers

                        LG  FA  LC  MC  ALL  PEN  HAT    RATE
 1. Dave Kitson         18   0   4   0   22    4    1   0.564
 2. Kevin Doyle         18   1   0   0   19    2    0   0.372
 3. Leroy Lita          11   3   1   0   15    0    1   0.469
 4. Steve Sidwell       10   0   0   0   10    0    0   0.250
 5. Bobby Convey         7   0   0   0    7    0    0   0.155
    James Harper         7   0   0   0    7    0    0   0.137
 7. Glen Little          5   0   0   0    5    0    0   0.132
 8. Bryn Gunnarsson      4   0   0   0    4    0    0   0.118
 9. Shane Long           3   1   0   0    4    0    0   0.267
10. Ibrahima Sonko       3   0   0   0    3    0    0   0.058
11. Stephen Hunt         2   1   0   0    3    0    0   0.065
12. Ívar Ingimarsson     2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.038
    Nicky Shorey         2   0   0   0    2    0    0   0.045
14. John Oster           1   0   1   0    2    0    0   0.049
15. John Halls           1   0   0   0    1    0    0   0.333
    Graeme Murty         1   0   0   0    1    1    0   0.023
17. Own goals            4   0   0   0    4    0    0   0.074
    Line
    Totals              99   6   6   0  111    7    2   2.055

Most Appearances

                        LG    FA    LC    MC    ALL     SUM
 1. Ívar Ingimarsson    46     3     4     0     53      53
 2. Ibrahima Sonko      46     2     4     0     52      52
 3. James Harper        44+1   3     3     0     50+1    51
 4. Kevin Doyle         41+4   0+3   2+1   0     43+8    51
 5. Marcus Hahnemann    45     0     1+1   0     46+1    47
 6. Stephen Hunt         3+35  4     4     0     11+35   46
 7. Bobby Convey        45     0     0     0     45      45
 8. Graeme Murty        40     1     3     0     44      44
    Nicky Shorey        40     1     3     0     44      44
10. John Oster          11+22  4     4     0     19+22   41
11. Steve Sidwell       29+4   4     3     0     36+4    40
12. Dave Kitson         27+7   2     3     0     32+7    39
13. Glen Little         34+1   0+1   0+2   0     34+4    38
14. Bryn Gunnarsson     19+10  4     0+1   0     23+11   34
15. Leroy Lita          22+4   2+1   1+2   0     25+7    32
16. Chris Makin         11+1   4     2+1   0     17+2    19
17. Shane Long           1+10  4     0     0      5+10   15
18. Graham Stack         1     4     3     0      8       8
19. Eric Obinna          0+6   0     2     0      2+6     8
20. Simon Cox            0+2   0+2   0+2   0      0+6     6
21. John Halls           1     2     0     0      3       3
22. Sekou Baradji        0+1   0     2     0      2+1     3
23. Michael Dobson       0+1   0     0     0      0+1     1
    Scott Golbourne      0+1   0     0     0      0+1     1
25. Curtis Osano         0     0+1   0     0      0+1     1
    Line
    Totals              46     4     4     0     54      54