Carlton Cole has had the red card he was shown in West Ham United's 2-1 home Barclays Premier League defeat by Everton on Saturday 22 December rescinded.

A Football Association Regulatory Commission reviewed the incident and the evidence submitted by the Club on Thursday before deciding to overturn the sending-off and withdraw Cole's three-match ban. The Commission accepted the club's successful claim for wrongful dismissal.

The striker, who will now be available to face Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, was initially shown the red card by the referee Anthony Taylor after he accidentally caught Everton left-back Leighton Baines with his boot as he tried to control a high ball.

An FA statement confirmed: "The FA can confirm that red cards shown to both Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson have been rescinded. Both players were sent from the field of play in the Premier League fixture between West Ham United and Everton at Upton Park on Saturday 22 December. Their three match suspensions have been withdrawn immediately and written reasons will be provided at a later date."

Hammers manager Sam Allardyce welcomed the decision and the boost that Cole's availability will give to his squad over the busy New Year period.

He told whufc.com: "I am delighted that we have probably got a bit of justice as it deserved to be turned around. There was never any doubt in my mind. While you can say the foot was high, it was a genuine attempt and Carlton kept his eye on the ball. It's a really good outcome for us.

"The way he is playing at the moment, he would have been a massive loss for us. He's been outstanding up front for us since Andy Carroll got injured and we didn't want to miss a player of so much importance for these three very important games - Reading away, Norwich City at home and a big FA Cup third-round tie with Manchester United.

"To have experienced Premier League players available is always very important at this time of year. This is the tough time mentally for players, as well as physically, but the mental side has to be the strongest to get some results. To have him back and available is a big boost for us."

While Big Sam was naturally delighted to have last season's top scorer available for selection for Saturday's game at the Royals, he admitted to feeling slight frustration at losing the striker while the scores were still level against Everton.

"I believe we lost what would have at least been a point. I am convinced that we wouldn't have lost the game against Everton if we'd had Carlton on the field and it had eleven against eleven.

"The game was in the balance and the balance of play went away from us as the home team when we went down to ten men and we couldn't withstand Everton's attacking force, which is difficult enough to handle with eleven men."

QPR