West Ham United 2-0 Sunderland FT

Barclays Premier League
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 4 April
Referee: Mike Jones


99 min - We're into the ninth minute of added  time and the final whistle is blown by referee Jones. A fine result for West Ham United and a great day for both Stanislas and Tomkins only tempered by the nasty-looking injury suffered by Spector. West Ham are up to seventh in the table, while Sunderland drop down to 17th behind Stoke City and Portsmouth.

97 min - Ilunga is booked for bringing down Cisse on the left touchline as Sunderland broke down the left. Richardson's free-kick falls to Leadbitter, but his shot is cleared off the line by Collins. West Ham break downfield and Boa Morte wins another corner.

96 min - Dyer runs at the Sunderland defence and wins another corner. Noble is in no rush to take it, and who can blame him. Tristan actually tricks himself out of possession with a neat drop of the shoulder!

94 min - Ferdinand flings himself in front of Lopez's shot. Otherwise, the Uruguayan could have become the third Hammer to open his account for the club this afternoon. West Ham win another corner, but it comes to nothing.

92 min - Bolton are 4-1 up against Middlesbrough now, while Chelsea are 2-0 up at Newcastle. Back here, Cisse fires a shot wide before Richardson shoots straight at Green. Sunderland have given this a bit of a go late-on, but they've not really looked like beating the West Ham goalkeeper.

90 min - Sumptuous stuff from Tristan, who jinks in from the left touchline before curling a lovely shot that lands on the top of Gordon's net with the goalkeeper beaten. Unlucky! Stanislas is replaced by Lopez. Meanwhile, there are going to be EIGHT extra minutes!

89 min - Edwards lets fly from 30 yards, but his effort is straight at Green. Walter Lopez is waiting to enter the fray.

88 min - Sunderland force two corners in quick succession, but they come to nothing.

87 min - Jones hacks a left-foot shot into the visiting supporters. That sums up Sunderland's day.

85 min - Apologies if you bet on either of the claret and blue-clad horses in the Grand National - neither was placed in the top-four.

83 min - Super play from West Ham sees Stanislas find Boa Morte thanks to Tristan's fine dummy. The Portuguese forward's shot is half-blocked and falls to Dyer, but Gordon makes a good save to push the ball out for a corner.

81 min - Dyer is on for Di Michele.

80 min - Sunderland threaten twice in the space of 20 seconds. First, Collins blocks Whitehead's overhead kick, then Green comes out well to paw aside the same player's cross with Jones lurking.

78 min - Tomkins has been fantastic again this afternoon. His composure is something to behold. Bardsley looks Sunderland's most likely scorer, bizarrely, working Green with another well-struck shot that the England goalkeeper spills before gathering at the second attempt. Dyer is on the touchline!

75 min - Sunderland make a second change, with Carlos Edwards replacing Malbranque. There is a strange hush at the Boleyn Ground. Dyer, Lopez and Sears are warming up on the touchline.

74 min - West Ham need to keep their focus here. They are on course for three important points that would lift them back into seventh-place and within range of Everton.

72 min - After a lengthy stoppage, Spector is taken off the field on a stretcher. Boa Morte helpfully carries the physio's bag to the touchline. Collins is on, with Tomkins going to right-back. We're going to have at least six added minutes, I would estimate.

70 min - West Ham's players are gathered around Spector. Meanwhile, Collins and manager Zola wait on the touchline.

68 min - It looks like we could have a lengthy stoppage here while Spector receives attention. That is a real shame for the defender. He has only recently battled back after six months out with a hip problem.

66 min - Spector lands very heavily after challenging for a high ball with Ben Haim. That looked a bit nasty. The paramedics are on already. James Collins is stripped off and ready to take the American's place.

65 min - Whitehead rolls a free-kick to Cisse, but Green keeps his eye on the ball and gathers it via two deflections.

64 min - The Alan Shearer effect is not working just yet. Chelsea are a goal up at Newcastle United. Tomkins is harshly adjudged to have brought down Richardson 30 yards from goal.

63 min - Green is still concentrating, despite his lack of involvement, coming out smartly twice in the space of 30 seconds to deal with crosses into his penalty area.

62 min - West Ham win another corner and Tomkins comes close to doubling his tally with a powerful header that Gordon can only bat to safety. The loose ball breaks to Stanislas, who forces the goalkeeper into a low, diving save.

60 min - Ben Haim is penalised for possibly the most blatant handball in the history of the beautiful game. West Ham are handed (get it!) a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Stanislas is a mean striker of a dead ball and he immediately shows an interest. He'll have to wait, though, as Leadbitter is down for treatment to a back problem. Mark Noble eventually takes and Upson forces a smart save from Gordon.

59 min - Arsenal and Stoke are both 2-0 up.

55 min - Sunderland attempt to work their way back into the game, but Spector makes a super challenge to thwart Richardson. Tomkins is the sixth Academy graduate to score for the Hammers this season, following Stanislas, Mark Noble, Jack Collison, Kyel Reid and Zavon Hines. Jones is on for Daryl Murphy.

52 min - GOAL! The strikers combine superbly, with Di Michele laying an inch-perfect path to Tristan. His first-time shot is parried behind by Gordon. Noble takes the resulting corner and Tomkins powers a header past the Scotland goalkeeper from eight yards. The England Under-20 man celebrates in style in front of the Bobby Moore Stand.

50 min - The attendance is announced as 34,761 - a near full-house! Di Michele celebrates that fact by going on a mazy run before curling a shot past Gordon's far post. Kenwyne Jones is getting ready to come on for Sunderland. He scored in the respective fixture last season.

49 min - Bardsley has the first chance of the second half, skipping past Noble's sliding challenge before forcing Green to parry his rasping shot behind for a corner, which is cleared.

46 min - We're off and running again.

West Ham are the first of the two teams to re-emerge after the half-time break, closely followed by Sunderland.

46 min - The half-time whistle goes.

45 min - West Ham are looking confident now. Another sweeping move ends with Di Michele seeing his shot deflected wide for a corner. West Ham keep possession and the move ends with Noble crossing and forcing Bardsley to head over his own crossbar. That really was a superb goal, you know, with Di Michele also playing a starring role as the Hammers broke from one end to the other at great speed. There will be one added minute.

42 min - GOAL! Upson plays Cisse onside and the Frenchman nearly takes advantage, firing a rising shot across Green's goal that the England goalkeeper can only tip behind for a corner. Richardson takes, Collins heads the ball into the arms of Green. West  Ham break at lightning speed, with Boa Morte skipping over a challenge before steadying himself and rolling the ball across the face of the six-yard box where Stanislas is on hand to sidefoot the ball into the net!

39 min - Middlesbrough have equalised at Bolton.

38 min - Ilunga loses the ball to Cisse, who outstrips Upson but cannot get past Tomkins.

36 min - Danger for West Ham. Noble brings down Tal Ben Haim no more than a yard outside the home penalty area. Richardson and Leadbitter stand over the set piece, Richardson crosses, but the ball is too high for everybody and floats out for a goal-kick. Walter Lopez, Freddie Sears and Josh Payne trundle out for a warm-up. The trio are showcasing the full range of training kit. Lopez has opted for shorts only, Sears for the tracksuit bottoms tucked into his socks and Payne for the all-tracksuit look. On the pitch, Neill loses his boot in a tackle. It's all happening!!

35 min - Zola gives the fans sat in the Centenary Stand a wave, answering the supporters' song.

33 min - Sunderland hit back, but Leadbitter's low shot is easily gathered by Green.

32 min - Close! Di Michele lifts a lovely passinto the path of the on-rushing Ilunga, but the ball just won't sit down for the DR Congo star and his volley flies well wide. That was a good chance, beautifully crafted by the on-loan Torino man.

30 min - Sunderland are playing the better football but West Ham are keeping their opponents at arm's length so far. Meanwhile, James Collins, Savio and Kieron Dyer are sent out to warm-up by Zola, earning a warm round of applause from the home fans.

27 min - Tristan finds Stanislas with a fine cross-field pass. The winger cuts inside Bardsley but his low shot deflects behind for a goal kick off the shins of Di Michele.

26 min - The two teams are cancelling themselves out a bit here, with both managers naming five-man midfields there is not a huge amount of space to be had.

24 min - Boa Morte is booked for a challenge on Whitehead. That is his fourth yellow card of the season.

22 min - A chance for the Hammers. Noble finds Spector on the right wing. He feeds Neill who, in turn, finds Di Michele. The Italian controls and turns before smashing a left-foot shot that fizzes past Gordon's post.

21 min - Tomkins is looking very assured again alongside Upson. He has been earning rave reviews for this performances for both West Ham and England's Under-20 side.

19 min - Steed Malbranque has more assists than anyone else in the Premier League, but he looks to score for himself this time, ghosting past Noble before curling a left-foot shot past Green's post.

17 min - Boa Morte is running round as if his life depended on it, earning a hearty cheer from the home supporters as he puts in a challenge on Danny Collins. Sunderland break, though, and win a corner. Richardson crosses, but it comes to nothing as the England man is caught offside.

15 min - It's all gone a bit quiet here, but elsewhere the goals are flying in. Stoke are 1-0 up at West Brom, Arsenal lead Manchester City and Bolton have gone a goal up against Middlesbrough.

13 min - A neat passing move involving Spector, Noble and Boa Morte ends with the American going down under the challenge of Daryl Murphy. Nothing is given by replacement referee Mike Jones, however.

10 min - Leadbitter goes close again, playing a neat one-two with Cisse before forcing Green into a plunging save. The ball rebounds into the middle of the penalty area before being hacked to safety. West Ham need to keep possession of the ball and relieve a bit of this pressure.

8 min - Sunderland are working up a bit of a head of steam here. Grant Leadbitter lets fly from about 30 yards, but the ball goes narrowly wide of Robert Green's right-hand post. That was fairly close.

5 min - On the subject of formations, Sunderland are playing with a 4-5-1 shape. Djibril Cisse is up front on his own.

4 min - Sunderland venture forward for the first time, winning a right-wing corner. Kieran Richardson tries to take the kick short but boots the corner flag out of the ground! He retakes and the ball is cleared for a throw-in.

2 min - Diego Tristan and David Di Michele combine before Stanislas wins another corner. Noble crosses and Craig Gordon punches the ball clear. Great start from the home side here. Formation-wise, Lucas Neill is playing in front of a back-four of Spector, Tomkins, Upson and Ilunga, with Stanislas on the left and Boa Morte on the right.

1 min - Stanislas starts well, running strongly down the left flank before Herita Ilunga forces a corner. Mark Noble crosses and James Tomkins glances a header wide of the far post.

3pm - West Ham kick-off.

2.59pm - Junior Stanislas gets a nice ovation from the crowd as his name is read out. This is a big chance for the England Under-20 man to shine. He has been in superb form in recent weeks, scoring a hat-trick in a reserve friendly at Chelsea eight days ago.

2.57pm - 'Bubbles' rings round the Boleyn Ground as the two teams stroll out into the sunshine. Sunderland have brought a large away following, so the atmosphere should be a good one.

2.55pm - The ballboys are heading off around the pitch and the Premier League banner has been unveiled. All that can mean only one thing - kick-off is fast approaching.

2.50pm - I'm sure the Grand National used to be run at 3.50pm so that football supporters could watch the big race at half-time. The tape goes up at 4.15pm this afternoon. Speaking of betting, West Ham are 23/20 favourites to win this afternoon. Sunderland are 5/2 outsiders, while the draw is 11/5.

2.47pm - West Ham's players head for the home dressing room for their final instructions from manager Zola and first-team coaches Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen. James Tomkins and James Collins the the last to leave the pitch. Sunderland's players, meanwhile, are still doing shuttle runs in front of their own supporters.

2.43pm - For those fans who like a punt, there are two horses running in this afternoon's Grand National in claret and blue colours. You can get 50/1 on Silver Birch and 100/1 on Ollie Magern. Healthy returns to be had if either of them can spring a surprise at Aintree! Back at the Boleyn Ground, West Ham's players are engaging themselves in a bit of shooting practice against goalkeeper Peter Kurucz.

2.40pm - A cheer rings round the Boleyn Ground as the final whistle goes at Ewood Park. A win this afternoon would take West Ham six points clear of Tottenham. Meanwhile, the two teams are warming up in the April sunshine here in east London, with just a few wispy clouds in the sky.

2.35pm - Blackburn have scored in the 89th minute through Andre Ooijer!

2.30pm - A host of Hammers legends are at the Boleyn Ground for today's game. 1975 FA Cup final hero Alan Taylor and 1964 FA Cup and 1965 European Cup Winners Cup winner Ken Brown are both in attendance. Good news for West Ham from Ewood Park, where Blackburn Rovers have equalised against ten-man Tottenham Hotspur through Benni McCarthy. Should Spurs fail to win, they will remain behind the Hammers in the table.

2.25pm - West Ham have not lost in their last four Premier League matches, while Sunderland have not tasted victory in their previous five. The Hammers are looking to complete their third league double of the season, having won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light on 23 November.

Team News

West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola has made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Blackburn Rovers a fortnight ago, with Junior Stanislas being handed a full debut for the Hammers.
Scott Parker and Radoslav Kovac have failed to shake off knee and thigh injuries respectively. England Under-20 winger Stanislas has come into the team alongside fit-again Matthew Upson, who returns after missing the Blackburn game with a calf problem.

Stanislas will play on the left wing in an attacking formation, with Luis Boa Morte on the left and David Di Michele slotting in behind Diego Tristan.

Former Hammers Anton Ferdinand and Kieran Richardson are in the Sunderland lineup, but George McCartney is out with a thigh injury. On-loan Calum Davenport is not eligible to feature under Premier League rules.

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Illunga, Stanislas, Spector, Noble, Boa Morte, Di MIchele, Tristan
Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, J.Collins, Payne, Dyer, Savio, Sears

Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, D.Collins, Ferdinand, Ben Haim, Malbranque, Richardson, Leadbitter, Whitehead, Murphy, Cisse
Subs: Fulop, Nosworthy, McShane, Reid, Edwards, Jones, Healy