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© Chris Byrne 2010


This was to prove to be a difficult season with several of the senior players, for one reason or another, deciding upon moves to other clubs. As the season progressed Bernard Allen, Doug Buswell, Norville Dalrymple, Jimmy Evans, Bernard Harris, Arthur Howlett, Fred Jackson, Colin Kelly, Trevor Lewis and Bill Woodward, all who had played in the senior XI, sought pastures new. Though some new players arrived at the club, the places were mainly filled from the Reserves and by some of the up-and-coming youngsters, and it was to their credit that the overall performance of the club did not diminish too much.
The highlight of the league season was a double over the old rivals from Wycombe, the comprehensive 5-0 victory on Boxing Day being particularly pleasing, but otherwise results were patchy with a winless run spanning January and February causing some alarm, and the season finished with two defeats, at home to Maidstone, whom City had yet to beat in the league, and at Leytonstone.
The Reserves, with so many calls on their men, unsurprisingly had a poor season and finished with only two teams below them in their Section, and had gone no further than the Third Round of the Reading Senior Cup where a strong Slough Town Reserves beat them 3-0.
The national cup competitions brought little excitement either. Though Huntley & Palmers were easily beaten, 6-1, in the First Qualifying Round in the FA Cup, Hellenic League neighbours Abingdon Town, containing a number of ex-City players and managed by ex-City man Ken Chung, held City to a 1-1 draw at the White House and then went one better the following Thursday by beating City 2-1 at Culham Road. For the second year running the club had a bye to the final Qualifying Round of the Amateur Cup but played poorly at Maidenhead and lost 3-1. There was a good cup win against Eastbourne in the AFA Invitation Cup, but they couldn’t repeat their league form against Wycombe in the final at the White House, and lost 1-3.


Locally they saw off Chipping Norton Town and Quarry Nomads in the Senior Cup before the semi-final paired them with the season’s surprise package Barton United, who had beaten Pressed Steel, who had themselves surprised many by defeating Pegasus. The upsets ended there, though, as Keith Castle scored five, including a four-minute hat-trick in the second half, and John Woodley netted four in a 13-1 trouncing. The Final was a closer affair however with Castle getting the only goal of the match against Witney Town.
The Benevolent Cup Final was lost to newly-crowned Southern League champions Oxford United with United putting out a full strength side and coasting to a 5-1 win with Ron Atkinson scoring a thirty yard goal-of-the-match. The Smith Memorial Cup Final saw them lose at Wycombe’s Loakes Park 4-1.
Whatever problems existed elsewhere, the Youth team were successful, with Tony Bradbury, Ian Rundle, and Vic Mobley, all of whom tasted 1st XI football during the season, playing particularly well. In fact the team reached the 4th Round of the FA Youth Cup, further than they had ever gone before, as the only remaining amateur side. Coincidently Oxford United also reached this round for the first time ever. Oxford did not fare well though, with the City losing 9-1 to Arsenal at Highbury, and United falling 7-0 at Tottenham to a side featuring Terry Venables. Tottenham also visited the White House in January for a friendly but City couldn’t match a side containing Medwin, Hopkins, Smith, Marchi and Saul among others and lost 1-8.
The City Council finally gave planning permission, but with limitations on the number of matches and a ‘...concern about loud music’, for the erection of floodlights at the White House for matches, and tenders of between £3000 and £5000 were being investigated by the Committee.
Club finances were becoming more of a concern, and the building of a new stand and improving the Supporters’ Club had already been put on hold. Additionally it was decided that the club would withdraw its team from the Oxfordshire Senior League, and that the Reserves would compete in the Oxfordshire Charity Cup rather than the Reading Senior Cup in future.
The annual Whitsun tour was still given the go-ahead, and a party of players and officials travelled to Utrecht where two matches were played against teams representing different parts of the Dutch amateur system. The side representing the ‘Saturday Section’ were beaten 4-2, and the match against the ‘Sunday Section’ produced a 3-3 draw.

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