DIVISION 4    1986/87
      For full league and cup results  click on by club required.
 

Leading League goalscorer:
Richard Hill
 (Northampton Town)
 29  goals

The battle to avoid becoming the first club to suffer automatic relegation from the Football League proved to be a memorable one. Going into the last day three clubs were fighting the drop with Burnley the favourites to go down. Founder members of the League and former League champions they were bottom, a point behind Torquay and two points behind Lincoln with a goal difference inferior to the two clubs above them. Burnley had to win and hope the other two didn't. Burnley did win, 2-1 at home to Orient. Torquay drew, scoring an equaliser in injury time, and Lincoln lost at Swansea. Lincoln finished bottom on goal difference and dropped into the Conference.
Turf Moor had 15,781 present for the visit of Orient compared with an average League gate before that match of less than 2800. They were still cashing in on that day 25 years later with a reprint of the match programme (above). You would have thought that they had won the League championship again!

Hartlepool United's Victoria Ground hosts two Football League matches on the same day. Story.

Graham Carr made his name as manager of champions Northampton Town although in more recent years he has become better known as the dad of comedian Alan Carr.  The Cobblers were to be the only club in the 1980's to score a century of League goals in a season.
Centuries of League goals

 

 

  P W D L F A Pts
    Season Results 1 Northampton Town 46 30 9 7 103 53 99 Promoted
    2 Preston North End 46 26 12 8 72 47 90 Promoted
    3 Southend United 46 25 5 16 68 55 80 Promoted
    4 Wolverhampton W. 46 24 7 15 69 50 79 Play Off
    5 Colchester United 46 21 7 18 64 56 70 Play Off
    6 Aldershot 46 20 10 16 64 57 70 Promoted
    7 Orient 46 20 9 17 64 61 69
    8 Scunthorpe United 46 18 12 16 73 57 66
    9 Wrexham 46 15 20 11 70 51 65
    Season Results 10 Peterborough United 46 17 14 15 57 50 65
    11 Cambridge United 46 17 11 18 60 62 62
    12 Swansea City 46 17 11 18 56 61 62
    13 Cardiff City 46 15 16 15 48 50 61
    14 Exeter City 46 11 23 12 53 49 56
    15 Halifax Town 46 15 10 21 59 74 55
    16 Hereford United 46 14 11 21 60 61 53
    17 Crewe Alexandra 46 13 14 19 70 72 53
    18 Hartlepool United 46 11 18 17 44 65 51
    19 Stockport County 46 13 12 21 40 69 51
    20 Tranmere Rovers 46 11 17 18 54 72 50
    21 Rochdale 46 11 17 18 54 73 50
    22 Burnley 46 12 13 21 53 74 49
    23 Torquay United 46 10 18 18 56 72 48
    24 Lincoln City 46 12 12 22 45 65 48

Left League
   
   

Left League With promotion and relegation introduced between the Football League and Vauxhall Conference Lincoln City became the first club to be relegated to the Conference, being replaced by Conference champions Scarborough  (1986/87 Vauxhall Conference table).

   
   

Play Off Unlike current play-offs, in seasons 1986/87 and 1987/88 the four teams in each divisional play-off comprised 3 clubs from the lower division who were competing for promotion plus one from the higher division who were aiming to avoid relegation.

Divisions 3 & 4 Play Off Semi-Finals
Competing clubs - Bolton from Division 3 plus Aldershot, Colchester & Wolves from Division 4
1st Leg
Thu  May 14 Aldershot 1 - 0 Bolton Wanderers
Thu May 14 Colchester United 0 - 2 Wolverhampton W.
2nd Leg
Sun May 17 Bolton Wanderers 2 - 2 Aldershot
Sun May 17 Wolverhampton W. 0 - 0 Colchester United
Aggregate scores
Aldershot 3 - 2 Bolton Wanderers
Wolverhampton W. 2 - 0 Colchester United
Play Off Final  
1st Leg
Fri May 22 Aldershot 2 - 0 Wolverhampton W.
Mon May 25 Wolverhampton W. 0 - 1 Aldershot
Aggregate score
Aldershot 3 - 0 Wolverhampton W.
Aldershot promoted to Division 3, Bolton relegated to Division 4