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The 198687 season was the 88th completed season of The Football League.

The Football League
Season1986–87
ChampionsEverton
RelegatedLincoln City

Play-offs to determine promotion places were introduced in 1987 so that more clubs remained eligible for promotion closer to the end of the season, and at the same time to aid in the reduction over two years of the number of clubs in the First Division from 22 to 20.

At the same time, automatic promotion and relegation between the Fourth Division and the Football Conference was introduced for one club, replacing the annual application for re-election to the League of the bottom four clubs and linking the League to the developing National League System pyramid.

Contents

Final league tables and resultsEdit

The tables and results below are reproduced here in the exact form that they can be found at The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation website,[1] with home and away statistics separated.

As of this season, there were no more re-election procedures, but instead, the club finishing last in the Fourth Division was demoted to Conference. The first casualty of this new practice were Lincoln City.

First DivisionEdit

Football League, First Division
Season1986–87
ChampionsEverton (9th English title)
RelegatedAston Villa
Leicester City
Manchester City
Matches played462
Goals scored1,215 (2.63 per match)
Top goalscorerClive Allen (Tottenham Hotspur), 33 [2]
Biggest home winNottingham Forest 6–0 Aston Villa (20 Sep 1986)
Sheff Wed 7–1 QPR (2 May 1987)
Biggest away winChelsea 2–6 Nottingham Forest (20 Sep 1986)
Southampton 0–4 Arsenal (15 Nov 1986)
Aston Villa 0–4 Arsenal (29 Nov 1986)
Chelsea 0–4 Wimbledon (6 Dec 1986)
Newcastle 0–4 Everton (26 Dec 1986)
Highest scoringChelsea 2–6 Nottingham Forest (20 Sep 1986)
West Ham 5–3 Chelsea (11 Oct 1986)
Liverpool 6–2 Norwich City (1 Nov 1986)
Sheff Wed 7–1 QPR (2 May 1987)
Longest winning runEverton (7 games)
Longest unbeaten runArsenal (17 games)
Longest losing runNewcastle United (6 games)

The First Division championship went to Everton in their final season under the management of Howard Kendall before his departure to Athletic Bilbao. To date, this remains Everton's last league title. His side overcame a spate of injuries to fight off competition from runners-up Liverpool and third-placed Tottenham. Fourth place went to George Graham’s emerging young Arsenal side who also won the League Cup in his first season in charge. Fifth place in the league went to newly promoted Norwich City, whose manager Ken Brown built a strong squad on a limited budget to achieve a finish which would have been enough to qualify for the UEFA Cup had it not been for the ongoing ban on English clubs in European competitions.

Wimbledon finished sixth in the First Division in only their tenth season as a Football League club. Dave Bassett’s men had led the league for the first two weeks of September, but sixth place was still much higher than most pundits had tipped them for at the start of the season.

Aston Villa were relegated to the Second Division just five years after they won the European Cup. Chairman Doug Ellis had sensed from the start that 1986-87 would be a tough season for the club, so he axed manager Graham Turner in September and replaced him with Manchester City’s Billy McNeill. But McNeill was unable to stop the rot and Villa went down in bottom place. McNeill was subsequently sacked and replaced by Watford’s Graham Taylor.

Villa were joined on the way down by Manchester City and Leicester City. In the first season of the relegation/promotion play-offs, Charlton Athletic beat Second Division Leeds United to retain their top flight status.

Manchester United, whose blistering start to the previous season had ended in failure, started the 1986-87 season badly and entered November second from bottom in the league. Manager Ron Atkinson paid for these failings with his job and in came the Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson to replace him. Ferguson rejuvenated United and they climbed up the table to finish in a secure 11th place.

No European qualification took place due to the Heysel Stadium disaster suspension in place.


Pos Team Pld HW HD HL HGF HGA AW AD AL AGF AGA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Everton 42 16 4 1 49 11 10 4 7 27 20 +45 86 League Champions, excluded from the 1987–88 European Cup[a]
2 Liverpool 42 15 3 3 43 16 8 5 8 29 26 +30 77 Excluded from the 1987–88 UEFA Cup[a]
3 Tottenham Hotspur 42 14 3 4 40 14 7 5 9 28 29 +25 71
4 Arsenal 42 12 5 4 31 12 8 5 8 27 23 +23 70 League Cup winners, excluded from the 1987–88 UEFA Cup[a]
5 Norwich City 42 9 10 2 27 20 8 7 6 26 31 +2 68
6 Wimbledon 42 11 5 5 32 22 8 4 9 25 28 +7 66
7 Luton Town 42 14 5 2 29 13 4 7 10 18 32 +2 66
8 Nottingham Forest 42 12 8 1 36 14 6 3 12 28 37 +13 65
9 Watford 42 12 5 4 38 20 6 4 11 29 34 +13 63
10 Coventry City 42 14 4 3 35 17 3 8 10 15 28 +5 63 FA Cup Winners, but excluded from the 1987–88 European Cup Winners' Cup[a]
11 Manchester United 42 13 3 5 38 18 1 11 9 14 27 +7 56
12 Southampton 42 11 5 5 44 24 3 5 13 25 44 +1 52
13 Sheffield Wednesday 42 9 7 5 39 24 4 6 11 19 35 −1 52
14 Chelsea 42 8 6 7 30 30 5 7 9 23 34 −11 52
15 West Ham United 42 10 4 7 33 28 4 6 11 19 39 −15 52
16 Queens Park Rangers 42 9 7 5 31 27 4 4 13 17 37 −16 50
17 Newcastle United 42 10 4 7 33 29 2 7 12 14 36 −18 47
18 Oxford United 42 8 8 5 30 25 3 5 13 14 44 −25 46
19 Charlton Athletic 42 7 7 7 26 22 4 4 13 19 33 −10 44 Into play-offs[b]
20 Leicester City 42 9 7 5 39 24 2 2 17 15 52 −22 42 Relegated
21 Manchester City 42 8 6 7 28 24 0 9 12 8 33 −21 39
22 Aston Villa 42 7 7 7 25 25 1 5 15 20 54 −34 36
Source:[citation needed]
Notes:
  1. ^ a b c d All English teams were banned by UEFA from its competitions from the season 1985–86 on until the season 1990–91 because of the Heysel Disaster in 1985.
  2. ^ Charlton Athletic were able to retain their place in the 1st Division through play-offs.

Second Division play-offsEdit

Both the semifinals and the finals were decided over two legs.
The full results can be found at: Football League Division Two play-offs 1987.

Semi-finals
1st leg –14 May; 2nd leg –17 May 1987
Finals
1st leg –23 May; 2nd leg –25 May 1987
          
19th Charlton Athletic (Div 1) 0 2 2
5th Ipswich Town 0 1 1
19th Charlton Athletic (Div 1) 1 0 1
4th Leeds United 0 1 1
3rd Oldham Athletic 0 2 2
4th Leeds United [notes2 1]1 1 2
Replay
Leeds United1 –2 (a.e.t.)Charlton Athletic (Div 1)
Report/Soccerbase [1]
Attendance: 18,000

First Division resultsEdit

Home \ Away ARS AST CHA CHE COV EVE LEI LIV LUT MCI MUN NEW NWC NOT OXF QPR SHW SOU TOT WAT WHU WDN
Arsenal 2–1 2–1 3–1 0–0 0–1 4–1 0–1 3–0 3–0 1–0 0–1 1–2 0–0 0–0 3–1 2–0 1–0 0–0 3–1 0–0 3–1
Aston Villa 0–4 2–0 0–0 1–0 0–1 2–0 2–2 2–1 0–0 3–3 2–0 1–4 0–0 1–2 0–1 1–2 3–1 0–3 1–1 4–0 0–0
Charlton Athletic 0–2 3–0 0–0 1–1 3–2 2–0 0–0 0–1 5–0 0–0 1–1 1–2 0–1 0–0 2–1 1–1 1–3 0–2 4–3 2–1 0–1
Chelsea 1–0 4–1 0–1 0–0 1–2 3–1 3–3 1–3 2–1 1–1 1–3 0–0 2–6 4–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 0–0 1–0 0–4
Coventry City 2–1 0–1 2–1 3–0 1–1 1–0 1–0 0–1 2–2 1–1 3–0 2–1 1–0 3–0 4–1 1–0 1–1 4–3 1–0 1–3 1–0
Everton 0–1 3–0 2–1 2–2 3–1 5–1 0–0 3–1 0–0 3–1 3–0 4–0 2–0 3–1 0–0 2–0 3–0 1–0 3–2 4–0 3–0
Leicester City 1–1 1–1 1–0 2–2 1–1 0–2 2–1 1–1 4–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–0 4–1 6–1 2–3 1–2 1–2 2–0 3–1
Liverpool 2–1 3–3 2–0 3–0 2–0 3–1 4–3 2–0 0–0 0–1 2–0 6–2 3–0 4–0 2–1 1–1 1–0 0–1 1–0 1–0 1–2
Luton Town 0–0 2–1 1–0 1–0 2–0 1–0 1–0 4–1 1–0 2–1 0–0 0–0 4–2 2–3 1–0 0–0 2–1 3–1 0–2 2–1 0–0
Manchester City 3–0 3–1 2–1 1–2 0–1 1–3 1–2 0–1 1–1 1–1 0–0 2–2 1–0 1–0 0–0 1–0 2–4 1–1 1–2 3–1 3–1
Manchester United 2–0 3–1 0–1 0–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 1–0 1–0 2–0 4–1 0–1 2–0 3–2 1–0 3–1 5–1 3–3 3–1 2–3 0–1
Newcastle United 1–2 2–1 0–3 1–0 1–2 0–4 2–0 0–2 2–2 3–1 2–1 4–1 3–2 0–0 0–2 2–3 2–0 1–1 2–2 4–0 1–0
Norwich City 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–1 0–1 2–1 2–1 0–0 1–1 0–0 2–0 2–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 4–3 2–1 1–3 1–1 0–0
Nottingham Forest 1–0 6–0 4–0 0–1 0–0 1–0 2–1 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 2–0 1–0 3–2 0–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 3–2
Oxford United 0–0 2–2 3–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–0 1–3 4–2 0–0 2–0 1–1 0–1 2–1 0–1 2–1 3–1 2–4 1–3 0–0 3–1
Queens Park Rangers 1–4 1–0 0–0 1–1 3–1 0–1 0–1 1–3 2–2 1–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 3–1 1–1 2–2 2–1 2–0 3–2 2–3 2–1
Sheffield Wednesday 1–1 2–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 0–1 1–0 2–1 1–0 2–0 1–1 2–3 6–1 7–1 3–1 0–1 0–1 2–2 0–2
Southampton 0–4 5–0 2–2 1–2 2–0 0–2 4–0 2–1 3–0 1–1 1–1 4–1 1–2 1–3 3–0 5–1 1–1 2–0 3–1 1–0 2–2
Tottenham Hotspur 1–2 3–0 1–0 1–3 1–0 2–0 5–0 1–0 0–0 1–0 4–0 1–1 3–0 2–3 3–1 1–0 1–1 2–0 2–1 4–0 1–2
Watford 2–0 4–2 4–1 3–1 2–3 2–1 5–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 3–0 0–3 0–1 1–1 1–0 2–2 0–1
West Ham United 3–1 1–1 1–3 5–3 1–0 1–0 4–1 2–5 2–0 2–0 0–0 1–1 0–2 1–2 0–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–1 1–0 2–3
Wimbledon 1–2 3–2 2–0 2–1 2–1 1–2 1–0 1–3 0–1 0–0 1–0 3–1 2–0 2–1 1–1 1–1 3–0 2–2 2–2 2–1 0–1
Source:[citation needed]
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

First Division mapsEdit

Locations of the Football League First Division London teams 1986–1987

Second DivisionEdit

There were just two guaranteed promotion places in the Second Division this season due to the introduction of the playoffs and the phased reorganization of the league. Derby County finished top of the Second Division to clinch a second successive promotion and reclaim the First Division place they had last held in 1980. Portsmouth, absent from the First Division for nearly 30 years and who had missed promotion by a single place in the previous two seasons, finally achieved promotion by finishing second. Oldham Athletic and Ipswich Town failed to progress beyond the semi-finals of the new playoffs, leaving Leeds United to take on Charlton Athletic in a two-legged contest for a First Division place. Charlton won the replay to keep their First Division status and condemn Leeds to a sixth successive season in the Second Division.

Financially troubled Grimsby Town were relegated, along with Brighton & Hove Albion. Sunderland's second relegation in three seasons condemned them to Third Division football for the first time in their history as they went down after losing in the playoffs.

Football League, Second Division
Season1986–87
ChampionsDerby County (4th title)
PromotedPortsmouth
RelegatedBrighton & Hove Albion,
Grimsby Town,
Sunderland
Matches played462
Goals scored1,131 (2.45 per match)
Top goalscorerMicky Quinn (Portsmouth), 22 [2]
Pos Team Pld HW HD HL HGF HGA AW AD AL AGF AGA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Derby County 42 14 6 1 42 18 11 3 7 22 20 +26 84 Division Champions, promoted
2 Portsmouth 42 17 2 2 37 11 6 7 8 16 17 +25 78 Promoted
3 Oldham Athletic 42 13 6 2 36 16 9 3 9 29 28 +21 75 Participated in play-offs
4 Leeds United 42 15 4 2 43 16 4 7 10 15 28 +14 68
5 Ipswich Town 42 12 6 3 29 10 5 7 9 30 33 +16 64
6 Crystal Palace 42 12 4 5 35 20 7 1 13 16 33 −2 62
7 Plymouth Argyle 42 12 6 3 40 23 4 7 10 22 34 +5 61
8 Stoke City 42 11 5 5 40 21 5 5 11 23 32 +10 58
9 Sheffield United 42 10 8 3 31 19 5 5 11 19 30 +1 58
10 Bradford City 42 10 5 6 36 27 5 5 11 26 35 0 55
11 Barnsley 42 8 7 6 26 23 6 6 9 23 29 −3 55
12 Blackburn Rovers 42 11 4 6 30 22 4 6 11 15 33 −10 55
13 Reading 42 11 4 6 33 23 3 7 11 19 36 −7 53
14 Hull City 42 10 6 5 25 22 3 8 10 16 33 −14 53
15 West Bromwich Albion 42 8 6 7 29 22 5 6 10 22 27 +2 51
16 Millwall 42 10 5 6 27 16 4 4 13 12 29 −6 51
17 Huddersfield Town 42 9 6 6 38 30 4 6 11 16 31 −7 51
18 Shrewsbury Town 42 11 3 7 24 14 4 3 14 17 39 −12 51
19 Birmingham City 42 8 9 4 27 21 3 8 10 20 38 −12 50
20 Sunderland 42 8 6 7 25 23 4 6 11 24 36 −10 48 Relegated in play-offs[a]
21 Grimsby Town 42 5 8 8 18 21 5 6 10 21 38 −20 44 Relegated
22 Brighton & Hove Albion 42 7 6 8 22 20 2 6 13 15 34 −17 39
Source:[citation needed]
Notes:
  1. ^ Sunderland lost in the first round of the play-offs and were thus relegated.

Third Division play-offsEdit

Both the semifinals and the finals were decided over two legs.
The full results can be found at: Football League Division Three play-offs 1987.

Semi-finals
1st leg –14 May; 2nd leg –17 May 1987
Finals
1st leg –22 May; 2nd leg –25 May 1987
          
20th Sunderland (Div 2) 2 4 6
5th Gillingham [notes4 1]3 3 6
3rd Swindon Town [notes4 2]0 2 2
5th Gillingham 1 1 2
3rd Swindon Town 3 0 3
4th Wigan Athletic 2 0 2
Replay
Swindon Town2 –0Gillingham
Report/Soccerbase [2]
Attendance: 18,491
  1. ^ After the second leg and an extra time the aggregate was 6–6, but Gillingham had scored 4 times at Sunderland, versus
    Sunderland 3 times at Gillingham, and thus Gillingham progressed to finals on away goals.
  2. ^ Swindon won the replay 2–0, and were thus promoted to Division 2.

Second Division resultsEdit

Home \ Away BAR BIR BLB BRA B&HA CRY DER GRI HUD HUL IPS LEE MIL OLD PLY POR REA SHU SHR STK SUN WBA
Barnsley 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–3 0–1 1–0 0–1 1–1 2–1 0–1 1–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–2 2–1 0–2 1–0 2–2
Birmingham City 1–1 1–1 2–1 2–0 4–1 1–1 1–0 1–1 0–0 2–2 2–1 1–1 1–3 3–2 0–1 1–1 2–1 0–2 0–0 2–0 0–1
Blackburn Rovers 4–2 1–0 2–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–2 1–2 0–2 0–0 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–2 1–0 0–0 0–2 2–1 2–1 6–1 0–1
Bradford City 0–0 0–0 2–0 2–0 1–2 0–1 4–2 4–3 2–0 3–4 2–0 4–0 0–3 2–2 1–0 3–0 1–1 0–0 1–4 3–2 1–3
Brighton & Hove Albion 1–1 2–0 0–2 2–2 2–0 0–1 0–1 1–1 2–1 1–2 0–1 0–1 1–2 1–1 0–0 1–1 2–0 3–0 1–0 0–3 2–0
Crystal Palace 0–1 6–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–0 0–3 1–0 5–1 3–3 1–0 2–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 1–3 1–2 2–3 1–0 2–0 1–1
Derby County 3–2 2–2 3–2 1–0 4–1 1–0 4–0 2–0 1–1 2–1 2–1 1–1 0–1 4–2 0–0 3–0 2–0 3–1 0–0 3–2 1–1
Grimsby Town 0–1 0–1 1–0 0–0 1–2 0–1 0–1 0–1 2–2 1–1 0–0 1–0 2–2 1–1 0–2 3–2 1–0 0–1 1–1 1–1 3–1
Huddersfield Town 2–2 2–2 1–2 5–2 2–1 1–2 2–0 0–0 1–3 1–2 1–1 3–0 5–4 1–2 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–1 2–2 0–2 2–1
Hull City 3–4 3–2 0–0 2–1 1–0 3–0 1–1 1–1 0–0 2–1 0–0 2–1 1–0 0–3 0–2 0–2 0–0 3–0 0–4 1–0 2–0
Ipswich Town 1–0 3–0 3–1 1–0 1–0 3–0 0–2 1–1 3–0 0–0 2–0 0–0 0–1 3–0 0–1 1–1 2–2 1–0 2–0 1–1 1–0
Leeds United 2–2 4–0 0–0 1–0 3–1 3–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 3–0 3–2 2–0 0–2 4–0 3–1 3–2 0–1 1–0 2–1 1–1 3–2
Millwall 1–0 0–2 2–2 1–2 3–1 0–1 0–1 1–0 4–0 0–1 1–0 1–0 0–0 3–1 1–1 2–1 1–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 0–1
Oldham Athletic 2–0 2–2 3–0 2–1 1–1 1–0 1–4 1–1 2–0 0–0 2–1 0–1 2–1 2–1 0–0 4–0 3–1 3–0 2–0 1–1 2–1
Plymouth Argyle 2–0 0–0 1–1 3–2 2–2 3–1 1–1 5–0 1–1 4–0 2–0 1–1 1–0 3–2 2–3 1–0 1–0 3–2 1–3 2–4 1–0
Portsmouth 2–1 2–0 1–0 2–1 1–0 2–0 3–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 3–0 0–1 1–0 1–2 3–0 3–0 3–1 2–1
Reading 0–0 2–2 4–0 0–1 2–1 1–0 2–0 2–3 3–2 1–0 1–4 2–1 0–1 2–3 2–0 2–2 2–0 3–1 0–1 1–0 1–1
Sheffield United 1–0 1–1 4–1 2–2 0–1 1–0 0–1 1–2 0–0 4–2 0–0 0–0 2–1 2–0 2–1 1–0 3–3 1–1 3–1 2–1 1–1
Shrewsbury Town 1–0 1–0 0–1 0–1 1–0 0–0 0–1 4–1 1–2 3–0 2–1 0–2 1–2 2–0 1–1 1–0 0–0 1–0 4–1 0–1 1–0
Stoke City 1–2 0–2 1–0 2–3 1–1 3–1 0–2 5–1 2–0 1–1 0–0 7–2 2–0 0–2 1–0 1–1 3–0 5–2 1–0 3–0 1–1
Sunderland 2–3 2–0 3–0 2–3 1–1 1–0 1–2 0–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–1 0–0 1–1 1–2 1–1 2–0 0–3
West Bromwich Albion 0–1 3–2 0–1 2–2 0–0 1–2 2–0 1–1 1–0 1–1 3–4 3–0 0–1 2–0 0–0 1–0 1–2 1–0 1–2 4–1 2–2
Source:[citation needed]
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Second Division mapsEdit

Locations of the Football League Second Division London teams 1986–1987

Third DivisionEdit

The three promotion places in this division were gained by three clubs who were among the least fancied promotion contenders at the start of the season. Champions Bournemouth were promoted to the Second Division for the first time in their history thanks to the efforts of hard working manager Harry Redknapp. Runners-up spot went to Bruce Rioch’s Middlesbrough, who had begun the season on the verge of extinction and had been forced to play their first home game of the season at Hartlepool’s ground because the official receiver had locked them out of Ayresome Park.

The relegation/promotion play-offs between the Third and Fourth Divisions saw Bolton Wanderers go down to the bottom division for the first time. Newport County, Darlington and Carlisle United went down automatically. The Fourth Division would be familiar territory for Newport and Darlington, but Carlisle had not played in the Fourth Division for nearly a quarter of a century and just three years earlier had been in the race for a First Division place. Defeat in the playoffs meant that Bolton Wanderers would be playing Fourth Division football for the first time in their history.

Football League, Third Division
Season1986–87
ChampionsBournemouth (1st title)
PromotedMiddlesbrough,
Swindon Town
RelegatedBolton Wanderers,
Carlisle United,
Darlington,
Newport County
Matches played552
Goals scored1,471 (2.66 per match)
Top goalscorerAndy Jones (Port Vale), 29 [2]
Pos Team Pld HW HD HL HGF HGA AW AD AL AGF AGA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Bournemouth 46 19 3 1 44 14 10 7 6 32 26 +36 97 Division Champions, promoted
2 Middlesbrough 46 16 5 2 38 11 12 5 6 29 19 +37 94 Promoted
3 Swindon Town 46 14 5 4 37 19 11 7 5 40 28 +30 87 Promoted through play-offs[a]
4 Wigan Athletic 46 15 5 3 47 26 10 5 8 36 34 +23 85 Participated in play-offs
5 Gillingham 46 16 5 2 42 14 7 4 12 23 34 +17 78
6 Bristol City 46 14 6 3 42 15 7 8 8 21 21 +27 77
7 Notts County 46 14 6 3 52 24 7 7 9 25 32 +21 76
8 Walsall 46 16 4 3 50 27 6 5 12 30 40 +13 75
9 Blackpool 46 11 7 5 35 20 5 9 9 39 39 +15 64
10 Mansfield Town 46 9 9 5 30 23 6 7 10 22 32 −3 61
11 Brentford 46 9 7 7 39 32 6 8 9 25 34 −2 60
12 Port Vale 46 8 6 9 43 36 7 6 10 33 34 +6 57
13 Doncaster Rovers 46 11 8 4 32 19 3 7 13 24 43 −6 57
14 Rotherham United 46 10 6 7 29 23 5 6 12 19 34 −9 57
15 Chester City 46 7 9 7 32 28 6 8 9 29 31 +2 56
16 Bury 46 9 7 7 30 26 5 6 12 24 34 −6 55
17 Chesterfield 46 11 5 7 36 33 2 10 11 20 36 −13 54
18 Fulham 46 8 8 7 35 41 4 9 10 24 36 −18 53
19 Bristol Rovers 46 7 8 8 26 29 6 4 13 23 46 −26 51
20 York City 46 11 8 4 34 29 1 5 17 21 50 −24 49
21 Bolton Wanderers 46 8 5 10 29 26 2 10 11 17 32 −12 45 Relegated in play-offs[b]
22 Carlisle United 46 7 5 11 26 35 3 3 17 13 43 −39 38 Relegated
23 Darlington 46 6 10 7 25 28 1 6 16 20 49 −32 37
24 Newport County 46 4 9 10 26 34 4 4 15 23 52 −37 37
Source:[citation needed]
Notes:
  1. ^ Swindon Town were winners of the play-offs and were thus promoted.
  2. ^ Bolton Wanderers lost in the first round of the play-offs and were thus relegated.

Fourth Division play-offsEdit

Both the semifinals and the finals were decided over two legs, and only the aggregates are given in the schemata below.
The full results can be found at: Football League Division Four play-offs 1987.

Semi-finals
1st leg –14 May; 2nd leg –17 May 1987
Finals
1st leg –23 May; 2nd leg –25 May 1987
          
21st Bolton Wanderers (Div 3) 0 2 2
6th Aldershot 1 2 3
6th Aldershot 2 1 3
4th Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0
4th Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 0 2
5th Colchester United 0 0 0

Third Division mapsEdit

Locations of the Football League Third Division London teams 1986–1987

Fourth DivisionEdit

The stars of the Fourth Division during 1986-87 were Graham Carr’s runaway champions Northampton Town, with young midfielder Eddie McGoldrick being the key player in his side’s season of success. Also automatically promoted were Preston North End and Southend United. The fourth promotion place went to Aldershot by winning the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Down at the bottom end of the division, an injury time winner for Torquay United kept them in the Football League after a police dog had bitten one of their players. The introduction of automatic relegation to the Conference saw Lincoln City lose their league status in favour of Conference champions Scarborough.

Burnley — league champions 27 years earlier — plummeted to new depths. They finished third from bottom in the league and only a win on the last day of the season prevented them from going down to the Conference.

Football League, Fourth Division
Season1986–87
ChampionsNorthampton Town (1st title)
PromotedAldershot,
Preston North End,
Southend United
Failed re-electionLincoln City
Matches played552
Goals scored1,456 (2.64 per match)
Top goalscorerRichard Hill (Northampton Town), 28 [2]
Pos Team Pld HW HD HL HGF HGA AW AD AL AGF AGA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Northampton Town 46 20 2 1 56 20 10 7 6 47 33 +50 99 Division Champions, promoted
2 Preston North End 46 16 4 3 36 18 10 8 5 36 29 +25 90 Promoted
3 Southend United 46 14 4 5 43 27 11 1 11 25 28 +13 80
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 12 3 8 36 24 12 4 7 33 26 +19 79 Participated in play-offs
5 Colchester United 46 15 3 5 41 20 6 4 13 23 36 +8 70
6 Aldershot 46 13 5 5 40 22 7 5 11 24 35 +7 70 Promoted through play-offs[a]
7 Orient 46 15 2 6 40 25 5 7 11 24 36 +3 69
8 Scunthorpe United 46 15 3 5 52 27 3 9 11 21 30 +16 66
9 Wrexham 46 8 13 2 38 24 7 7 9 32 27 +19 65
10 Peterborough United 46 10 7 6 29 21 7 7 9 28 29 +7 65
11 Cambridge United 46 12 6 5 37 23 5 5 13 23 39 −2 62
12 Swansea City 46 13 3 7 31 21 4 8 11 25 40 −5 62
13 Cardiff City 46 6 12 5 24 18 9 4 10 24 32 −2 61
14 Exeter City 46 11 10 2 37 17 0 13 10 16 32 +4 56
15 Halifax Town 46 10 5 8 32 32 5 5 13 27 42 −15 55
16 Hereford United 46 10 6 7 33 23 4 5 14 27 38 −1 53
17 Crewe Alexandra 46 8 9 6 38 35 5 5 13 32 37 −2 53
18 Hartlepool United 46 6 11 6 24 30 5 7 11 20 35 −21 51
19 Stockport County 46 9 6 8 25 27 4 6 13 15 42 −29 51
20 Tranmere Rovers 46 6 10 7 32 37 5 7 11 22 35 −18 50
21 Rochdale 46 8 8 7 31 30 3 9 11 23 43 −19 50
22 Burnley 46 9 7 7 31 35 3 6 14 22 39 −21 49
23 Torquay United 46 8 8 7 28 29 2 10 11 28 43 −16 48
24 Lincoln City 46 8 7 8 30 27 4 5 14 15 38 −20 48 Relegated to Conference
Source:[citation needed]
Notes:
  1. ^ Aldershot were winners of the play-offs and were thus promoted.

Fourth Division mapsEdit

Locations of the Football League Fourth Division London teams 1986–1987

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "England 1986–87". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  • Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.