West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 21 August
Referee: Andre Marriner
West Ham United 1-3 Bolton Wanderers
Avram Grant's men slipped to an undeserved home defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers - to make it seven straight defeats for the Hammers at the hands of the Trotters.
Saturday's defeat was perhaps harsher than any of the previous half-dozen reverses, with West Ham absolutely dominating the first half at a packed Boleyn Ground before an inexplicable turnaround. Chance after chance went begging - including a Carlton Cole penalty - and as so often the case, such wastefulness was to be punished by a Matt Upson own goal and Johan Elmander double after the break.
That Upson 'goal' was the turning point as was the offside goal conceded in the 3-0 loss at Aston Villa last Saturday. It came just three minutes after the interval but it appeared the captain was shoved by Kevin Davies before being kicked in the face as he diverted the ball beyond the helpless Robert Green. Elmander then struck either side of a Mark Noble consolation on 79 minutes to give Bolton a victory that had not seemed possible at the break.
The Hammers were wonderful in the opening stages with Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne full of running and movement, and Kieron Dyer showing flashes of his old self in his first start of the campaign. At the back, Danny Gabbidon also looked good before things went awry at the back with Upson's enforced substitution and some tiring legs. Grant will know his team have a tough ask at Manchester United next week but will at least expect better fortune than they have enjoyed so far this season.
94 mins - The final whistle goes.
93 mins - Bolton have a corner and I don't think they're too bothered about putting the ball in the box.
92 mins - The game is petering out here, with the home fans streaming to the exits. There is no doubt about it, this has been a disappointing start to the new season. Manager Grant will be hoping for a morale-boosting victory over Oxford United in Tuesday night's Carling Cup second-round tie.
90 mins - Noble is booked for fouling Davies. We're going to have four added minutes and the Hammers need a miracle.
88 mins - Piquionne gets free again down the right, but delays the cross towards McCarthy just too long and Cahill nips in to clear the danger. Petrov is replaced by Blake.
86 mins - Elmander goes off to be replaced by Mark Davies. Cole is replaced by Freddie Sears.
84 mins - GOAL! There is going to be no fairytale comeback here, I'm afraid. Ilunga fails to clear and Elmander belts a low shot past Green. Game over.
82 mins - Faubert thunders down the right and gets to the by-line, actually barging the assistant referee out of the way as he goes! He wins a corner. Piquionne wins it but cannot direct the ball goalwards. It drops to Gabbidon, who flashes a volley a mile over. Frustrating...
81 mins - Lee is replaced by Matt Taylor. Bolton have three subs to make and they're taking a bit of time over the first one...
80 mins - West Ham have ten minutes to salvage a point and the Boleyn is jumping again. Come on you Irons!
79 mins - GOAL! To be fair to him, Noble buried that, side-footing confidently into the bottom right-hand corner.
79 mins - West Ham have another penalty! Parker is fouled by Cahill and Marriner points to the spot again. Noble to take this time...
77 mins - Fine work again from the new boys as Piquionne and Barrera swap passes down the right before the Frenchman crosses low. Unfortunately, neither Cole nor Dyer make the run to the near post and Knight is there. Cole fouls him and the chance is lost. McCarthy is on for Dyer.
74 mins - Noble gives the ball away on the edge of the Bolton box and the Trotters go on the break. The ball is worked wide right to Petrov, but Gabbidon does superbly to track back and block the Bulgarian's shot behind for a corner. The flag-kick comes to nothing more than a goal kick. Time is running out here.
73 mins - Elmander brings down Reid and is booked. The big Kiwi has looked confident.
72 mins - Piquionne should do better there. The ball breaks to him 12 yards out but he can only flash his volley over the top. You've got to hit the target from that range.
71 mins - Drama. Reid bangs the ball forward and it flicks off Cole's head. He challenges Jaaskelainen and the ball breaks clear, but he can't get up quick enough to apply the finish.
68 mins - GOAL! That is probably that. Elmander rises between the two centre-backs to head Lee's superb cross past Green from six yards.
65 mins - Bolton want a penalty twice in the space of five seconds, but neither claim is convincing. First, Lee throws himself to the ground as he goes past Ilunga, then the ball hits Parker on the left hand. Nothing given. Bolton win a corner, but when the ball breaks to Lee, the South Korean smashes his shot high and wide.
64 mins - Barrera does well again, trying to find Dyer, who wins a corner off Knight. It is headed clear by Cahill.
62 mins - West Ham have got their mojo back. Barrera wins another corner following superb work from Piquionne. Noble's initial effort is cleared by Davies to Ilunga. The left-back humps the ball back into the mixer where Gabbidon wins the header. Cole shoots but his effort is into the ground and when Noble tries to beat Jaaskelainen from close-range, he is flagged offside.
60 mins - Barrera wins a corner off Robinson. Noble crosses and Piquionne heads goalwards. Massive handball shouts but replays suggest the ball hit Robinson's thigh. Bolton break and Holden picks up the ball 25 yards out, but shoots straight at Green.
59 mins - The crowd today is 32,533 and the vast majority of them were groaning there as Cole dragged his shot horribly wide from a difficult angle.
57 mins - West Ham need to find a second wind here. Grant is out to the edge of his technical area to issue some instructions as Barrera is fouled wide on the right. Noble lofts the free-kick over and Reid connects on the volley, but the ball bounces into the arms of Jaaskelainen. Either side of the goalkeeper...
55 mins - Bolton win a free-kick 25 yards out as Parker fouls Muamba. Petrov can be dangerous from these, but the wall does its job.
54 mins - Reid is on.
53 mins - Davies has too much space outside the West Ham box and finds Petrov wide left. He swings the cross over and Green does well to hold on to the ball low down to his left.
52 mins - Upson is not going to be able to continue. Winston Reid is being readied for his home debut. West Ham need to get him on quickly, as they are playing with ten at the moment.
50 mins - Upson is getting some treatment here. He's got blood pouring out of his nose courtesy of Davies's boot.
48 mins - GOAL! Oh dear, oh dear. Upson runs back towards his own goal and tries to head clear under pressure from Davies, only to head the ball past Green from six yards. He takes a kick in the face from Davies for his troubles. That was the old Bolton, Elmander winning a flick-on above Gabbidon to put the defender under pressure.
46 mins - We are back underway here at the Boleyn Ground. No changes from either side.
Huge apologies to everyone for the breakdown in the minute-by-minute reports during the first half. The company which provides the technology behind the club's official website had some major technical issues that saw the site go down after 12 minutes of play. Once again, we apologise for this.
Half-time score - West Ham United 0-0 Bolton Wanderers
48 mins - A breathless first half is brought to a close. West Ham need to keep this up after the break. They should be ahead.
46 mins - Ilunga has played well, as have Parker and virtually every player in claret and blue, but it has been Barrera who has really caught the eye. He has been outstanding. Faubert nearly ruins 45 minutes of good work by gifting possession to Bolton inside the home penalty area. Thankfully, the ball is cleared.
44 mins - Piquionne hooks the ball through for Cole, who outstrips Knight but drags his shot across the face of goal. We're going to have at least three added minutes.
43 mins - Superb again from Parker. He plays an outstanding defence-splitting pass to find Dyer, whose first-time shot flicks off Jaaskelainen and the outside of the post before going behind for a corner. Unfortunately, it comes to nothing. How are West Ham not ahead?
42 mins - Faubert finds Barrera with a superb pass. The Mexican lays a cross into the feet of Cole, who goes down again under a challenge. Hmmm…. Referee Marriner gives a goal kick.
40 mins - Ilunga gets some treatment and is back into the fray. West Ham have played very well over the last 15 minutes or so.
38 mins - Davies becomes the third Bolton player booked for a late and high challenge on Ilunga that leaves the DR Congo man writhing on the turf. That was not a very good tackle.
37 mins - Loud calls for another penalty as Cole's cross hits Knight on the right hand. To be fair to the defender, his hand did not move towards the ball and was to his side.
35 mins - Cole comes close again, latching on to a through ball and shooting low with his left foot. Jaaskelainen sticks out his left arm to make a good save. West Ham keep up the pressure and Barrera cuts inside and shoots left-footed, straight at Jaaskelainen.
33 mins - That was not a very good penalty. Low to Jaaskelainen's right and the goalkeeper guesses right and makes a routine save.
32 mins - The crowd are singing 'England's No1' for Green. He's looked secure. West Ham have a penalty! Steinson shoves Cole from behind and referee Marriner points to the spot. Cole will take…
31 mins - Lee finds Muamba, who rampages forward before feeding the ball left to Petrov. The Bulgarian shoots low but the ball flicks off Faubert and behind for a corner. Petrov takes it and Green rises high to claim the ball.
30 mins - West Ham win a tackle in the midfield and all of a sudden Dyer is goal-side of Steinsson. The right-back tugs him back and is booked for his troubles.
29 mins - Bolton would have been livid if that had gone in. Cahill is frantically waving at the referee, but Marriner does bring him back on. West Ham break and Knight's clearance falls to Dyer 20 yards out. The midfielder curls a low shot a yard wide of the right-hand post with Jaaskelainen rooted to the spot.
28 mins - Boa Morte, Kovac and McCarthy have a run out. Cahill wants to come back on, but the referee hasn't seen him yet.
26 mins - The ball is only half-cleared to Faubert, who controls on his chest and shoots goalwards. Unfortunately, the shot is too close to Jaaskelainen and the Finn holds on. Cahill hurt himself heading that clear and needs the physio on. There's a bit of blood coming from a cut on his face.
25 mins - Barrera is terrorising Robinson. He beats him again and lofts the ball in towards Cole. Knight beats him in the air and heads behind for a corner.
24 mins - The new boys are VERY lively. Piquionne has been heavily involved down the left, while Barrera is seeing plenty of the ball too. Cole wins possession on the edge of the box and the ball drops to the Mexican, who smashes a half-volley about a yard over.
22 mins - Tomkins, Sears and Reid head out for a run on the touchline. Reid has some lovely bright green boots on. Elmander has a another bout of treatment. Bolton have a free-kick…`
21 mins - After some running repairs, the Swede is back on.
20 mins - Referee Marriner stops play for Elmander to receive some treatment. He had been caught by Parker on the right leg.
19 mins - West Ham have got going here. Piquionne does well to find space before sliding the ball to Dyer. He crosses low into the six-yard box but Holden reacts quicker than Cole and gets in to clear.
18 mins - Barrera again! The Mexican shoots first time following good work from Noble, who had got to the by-line and cut the ball back into his path. The shot flies across the face of goal.
15 mins - Barrera does well again, cutting inside two defenders before shooting left-footed. The effort takes a deflection and bounces through into the arms of a grateful Jaaskelainen.
12 mins - This is not good for the nerves. Steinsson gets in behind Ilunga and crosses, Elmander hits his shot first time and it hits Upson before Noble slides in and clears.
11 mins - Piquionne holds the ball up well and looses his marker before shooting from 25 yards, but the effort is blocked and flies out for a throw.
10 mins - Paul Robinson sees yellow, and that is hardly a shock. The left-back brings down Barrera with a sliding challenge that was about two seconds late.
9 mins - Another warning for West Ham. Lee sprints between Ilunga and Upson to try and convert Holden's clever through ball, but his finish is poor and goes well wide. The visitors have started the better here.
7 mins - Robinson seeks out Lee with a 50 yard pass, but Ilunga tracks back well to head to Green.
6 mins - Faubert does well to clear down the line to Barrera, who finds Noble. He tries to send the Mexican clear down the right, only for a handball to stop West Ham's break. Free-kick ten yards inside the Bolton half.
4 mins - That was like the old Bolton. Jaaskelainen lofts a free-kick high into the penalty area, Kevin Davies outjumps Gabbidon but Elmander cannot control and the ball bounces behind for a goal kick. West Ham need to settle down here and have a bit of possession.
3 mins - West Ham win a free-kick inside the Bolton half...and almost end up conceding. Noble lofts the ball into the middle of the park and Holden reacts far quicker than Gabbidon. Bolton break and Faubert tries to prevent the ball being worked to Elmander. The Swede shoots low but a yard wide of the far post. That was a big big let off.
2 mins - Piquionne tries to get on to a pass from Ilunga, but Cahill gets in and clears for a throw.
1 min - It takes Scott Parker 18 seconds to concede his first free-kick at the Boleyn this season! The Hammer of the Year leaves Stuart Holden in a heap. Typically strong play from the No8.
3pm - West Ham will get things underway, kicking towards the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand. Dyer is playing wide left and Barrera wide right.
2.59pm - Barrera, Piquionne and Grant get a proper East End welcome from the supporters. Grant rises from his seat in the dugout to wave at the fans. Let's hope it's the start of a beautiful and successful relationship.
2.58pm - Matt Upson and Rob Green get a rousing reception as they break from the traditional handshakes and sprint towards the Bobby Moore Stand. Green gets a massive cheer as his name is read out.
2.56pm - 'Bubbles' is playing over the PA system, with the fans singing loudly as the two teams emerge from the tunnel. The floodlights are already on on what is a gloomy afternoon in east London.
2.55pm - The Boleyn Ground is filling up rapidly ahead of kick-off. A bit of news to give you is that Tony Carr's Under-18s were beaten 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion this lunchtime. Matthias Fanimo and Daniel Subuola were on target for the Hammers, who fought back from two goals down to level early in the second half, only for West Brom to score a late winner. A full report and reaction will appear on whufc.com shortly.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for West Ham United's opening home Barclays Premier League fixture of 2010/11.
The game also marks Avram Grant's first competitive home match as Hammers manager, while Frederic Piquionne, Pablo Barrera and Winston Reid could all make their competitive home debuts for the club.
West Ham will have to end a horrific recent run against Bolton if they are to pick up their first Premier League points of the season. The Trotters have been triumphant on the last six occasions on which the two have met. West Ham's last victory over Bolton occurred on 5 May 2007, when Carlos Tevez scored twice and Mark Noble once in a 3-1 hom victory at the Boleyn Ground.
Bolton kicked-off 2010/11 with a goalless home draw with Fulham at the Reebok Stadium, while West Ham struggled to a 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
The early team news is in, with West Ham selecting Barrera and Piquionne for full home debuts in a 4-4-2 formation. Kieron Dyer is also fit to start and will take his place on the right wing.
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Gabbidon, Upson (Reid 54), Ilunga, Dyer (McCarthy 77), Parker, Noble, Barrera, Piquionne, Cole (Sears 86)
Subs: Stech, Tomkins, Kovac, Boa Morte
Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Lee (Taylor 81), Muamba, Holden, Petrov (Blake 88), K.Davies, Elmander (M.Davies 86)
Subs: Bogdan, Ricketts, A.O'Brien, Klasnic