Wigan Athletic v West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 12 September 2009
Referee: Alan Wiley
Final score - Wigan Athletic 1-0 West Ham United
96 mins - One last chance as Behrami is brought down inside the centre circle. Everyone bar Green goes up. Faubert lifts the ball into the penalty area, where Kirkland rises highest to catch. He belts the ball upfield and Wiley blows the final whistle. A bit harsh on the Hammers, that.
95 mins - Close to a second for Wigan. Bramble lofts the ball over the top and Green comes out and misses it, but Tomkins gets back in just in time to hook the ball clear.
94 mins - Zola sends Tomkins and Upson forward for a long free-kick from Green. Wigan clear to Faubert, who pumps the ball back into the box, but Wigan again head it clear. A minute to go...
93 mins - We're halfway through the added-time and the ball is inside the West Ham half. They need to get forward fast.
92 mins - Wigan make their third and final change, taking off Gomez for Scott Sinclair.
91 mins - Gomez fouls Gabbidon wide on the left. Diamanti runs over to take the free-kick, Upson heads the ball down to Gabbidon, but Wigan scramble the ball clear.
90 mins - Hines and Nouble combine, but the teenager runs the ball out for a goal kick. We should have a fair bit of added-time, if that is any consolation. The fourth official raises his board and we're going to have at least five minutes.
89 mins - It's not looking great for West Ham here. Wigan have a corner.
87 mins - Nouble is on for Noble.
86 mins - We're going to see Nouble in a second, but West Ham nearly score without him. Cole and Diamanti combine before the Italian curls in a cross with the outside of his left foot. The ball flicks off Parker's head and just wide of the far post.
84 mins - The free-kick comes to nothing and, after Hines and Behrami get in each other's way, Wigan break through Scotland. He finds Gomez, who gets around Gabbidon but drags his shot wide of the far post.
83 mins - After some running repairs, Gabbidon is back on. Hines wins another free-kick in a dangerous area after being taken out by Bramble, who is cautioned. He is the third player to be booked. Diamanti stands over the set piece again...
81 mins - Gabbidon is down after an aerial clash with Scharner. He needs the physio on for what looks like a nasty bump in the face.
80 mins - West Ham have picked it up here. Diamanti takes a corner short to Behrami, who lays it back to his mate. The Italian fires low into the box, where 'Zogbia clears.
78 mins - Absolutely brilliant play from Diamanti, who holds off his marker, turns, and curls a magnificent shot against the far post from a tight angle. That was so, so close to an equaliser.
77 mins - Wigan win a corner. The ball finds Figueroa unmarked inside the box, but it is slightly behind the full-back and he can only divert it out for a goal kick.
76 mins - Parker gives the ball away to Scharner, whose tackle finds Scotland. The striker runs at Upson, but the England man stands firm.
74 mins - Jordi Gomez has a go from about 20 yards, but his shot is deflected and rolls through harmlessly to Robert Green. West Ham need to find another gear here. It is all a bit comfortable for the Latics at present.
72 mins - A second change for Wigan. Goalscorer Rodallega is replaced by Jason Scotland.
71 mins - Formation-wise, Noble is now playing on the left of a four-man midfield, with Behrami on the right and Diamanti behind the front-two.
70 mins - The Italian curls a superb free-kick no more than a yard wide of the post with Kirkland beaten all ends up. What a start that would have been to his Hammers career!
68 mins - Figueroa is the second player to be cautioned for a rather late challenge on Hines, who was, quite frankly, a bit too quick for the left-back. West Ham have a free-kick about 30 yards from goal. Diamanti?
65 mins - Enterprising play from Hines, who latches on to Parker's through-ball and cuts inside Melchiot, but his shot flies high and wide of the far post. Scharner is on for Koumas.
64 mins - Behrami is straight into the action, conceding a free-kick for a push on Thomas.
63 mins - Wigan are going to make a change too, bringing on Paul Scharner, who scored against West Ham at the Boleyn Ground in August 2007. Diamanti and Behrami are on for Stanislas and Kovac.
61 mins - We're about to see Alessandro Diamanti become the 800th player in West Ham United's history. Valon Behrami is also going to come on. Meantime, Faubert wins yet another corner down the right.
60 mins - West Ham win another corner, this time on the right wing. Noble again takes and the ball finds Parker unmarked at the back post. The midfielder lets fly with a rising half-volley that Kirkland does well to divert over the crossbar. From the third corner in quick succession, Tomkins again heads wide, but this time he was under pressure from his marker.
58 mins - That goal was a bit of a shock to the system, but West Ham have come back strongly since conceding. Hines forces Bramble into conceding a corner, Noble crosses and Tomkins somehow heads wide of the target from six yards out.
55 mins - GOAL! Poor Robert Green. 'Zogbia releases Melchiot inside the penalty area. His low cross finds Koumas completely unmarked at the back post, but Green does brilliantly to save the Welshman's shot, only for the ball to drop to the Colombian, who stabs into the unguarded net.
54 mins - Not much has really happened since the interval, to be honest. Both teams are struggling to reproduce the quality they were showing just before the break.
50 mins - It is now more than four hours since West Ham conceded on their travels. The last away goal Robert Green let in came at Everton on 16 May courtesy of Louis Saha's 76th-minute strike.
49 mins - Hines is brought down by Figueroa wide on the right, earning him a round of applause from Cole. Noble crosses, but Wigan are able to clear.
48 mins - Very composed defending from Gabbidon, who chests the ball into the arms of Green from Koumas' cross. Kovac then concedes a corner, which 'Zogbia takes and Cole clears at the near post.
46 mins - Rodallega and Gomez get the second half underway. West Ham are kicking towards their own fans now. Will it inspire them on to victory?
Half-time - Wigan Athletic 0-0 West Ham United
46 mins - Comedy right at the end of the half. A long free-kick is lofted forward and, as Cole attempts to latch on to the bouncing ball, the referee blows for half-time. Cole carries on, nods the ball over Kirkland and puts the ball in the net. The West Ham fans celebrate, much to the Wigan supporters' amusement. Cole leans on the post with a wry smile on his face.
45 mins - Good defending from the August Player of the Month, Faubert, who is in the right place to hook 'Zogbia's cross to safety. We're going to have one minute, at least, of added-time.
43 mins - Noble again does well, curling the ball on to Cole's head. The big striker nods down for Parker, but Melchiot just nips in to smash the ball behind for a corner. Noble crosses, but the ball flies through the six-yard box and away to safety.
42 mins - Wigan have woken up. Koumas swaps passes with Rodallega before bursting into the box and crossing, but Gabbidon clears. Then, it is Gomez's chance to sting Green's palms with a bouncing shot.
40 mins - West Ham are definitely finishing the first half the stronger of the two teams. The home fans are getting a bit frustrated, but then, almost out of nowhere, Wigan break and Rodallega's shot takes a slight deflection, forcing Green into an acrobatic save. From the resulting corner, Koumas bends the ball over and Bramble can only divert his header out for a goal kick.
36 mins - More good stuff from the exuberant Hines, who charges down a Kirkland clearance, but the ball spins out for a goal kick, much to the goalkeeper's relief.
35 mins - This is now the only Barclays Premier League 3pm kick-off without a goal... Diamanti and Payne, who could do something about that statistic after the break, are now warming up, as is Frank Nouble.
33 mins - Spector, Da Costa and Behrami head back to their seats on the bench after enjoying a few exercises on the touchline.
32 mins - Kovac does well again to rob Gomez in the centre circle. The big man has been putting himself about so far and his efforts are being appreciated by the travelling fans. Moments later, Hines beats Boyce and sends a well-struck shot straight at Kirkland that the goalkeeper can only grab at the second attempt.
30 mins - Super defending, as you might expect, from Upson. The England defender was in exactly the right place to head clear after Figueroa had whipped in a dangerous-looking cross from the left.
28 mins - Noble is booked for a rather innocuous challenge on Thomas. Parker expresses his displeasure to the Honduran, suggesting he might have made a meal of the midfielder's tackle.
26 mins - It seems this game is one long procession of free-kicks at the moment. Hines is the latest victim, being brought down by the sliding Thomas. Noble crosses from 30 yards out on the right flank, Cole tries to shoot and his shot is blocked to Stanislas, who sees his effort half-blocked and then clawed behind for a corner by Kirkland. Noble takes the corner and Cole flicks a header goalwards, but it is an easy catch for the goalkeeper.
25 mins - Parker makes up for his error by bursting through the centre of the midfield. He tries to slide in Hines, who had sprung the Wigan offside trap, but his pass is slightly overhit and rolls through to Kirkland.
24 mins - West Ham concede a needless free-kick 30 yards out. Stanislas, under no pressure, passes too far in front of Parker, who slides in and brings down Diame. Koumas curls the ball in and Kovac heads clear.
23 mins - After a fairly subdued opening quarter, West Ham are slowly starting to take control proceedings. Noble is becoming increasingly influential, finding space between Wigan's five midfielders impressively and picking passes to his team-mates well.
21 mins - Nice interplay down the right from Faubert and Noble ends with the Frenchman finding Cole, who is flattened by Thomas 40 yards from goal. Parker floats in the free-kick, but Wigan clear.
18 mins - Good work from Kovac again in the midfield sees him win the ball and find Noble wide on the right. The former England Under-21 man looks up and curls a superb ball between Bramble and Figueroa, but Cole cannot get enough on his shot to beat Kirkland.
17 mins - Cole concedes a free-kick wide on the Wigan right. 'Zogbia curls the ball over, but it is too high for Bramble and flies out for a goal kick.
15 mins - A sixth of the game is gone and it is Wigan who have settled the better of the two sides, perhaps unsurprisingly considering they are at home. West Ham need to keep possession of the ball a bit better when they get it. At present, Cole and Hines, who is dropping deep to help out the midfield, look a bit isolated.
13 mins - Lovely football from Wigan sees them work the ball from back to front, with Koumas cutting inside and feeding Diame, whose skidding low shot flies a couple of yards wide.
10 mins - Gomez forces England's No1 into a plunging save low to his left. The chance had been fashioned by Koumas, who robbed Kovac in midfield and fed Rodallega.
7 mins - Second time lucky for Hines, who controls on his chest before being knoked to the ground. Noble and Stanislas stand over a free-kick 25 yards from goal. The latter shoots and hits the wall. The ball breaks to Gabbidon, who clips it back into the area, where Hines is flagged offside.
6 mins - More good work from Kovac, who gets in ahead of Gomez and forces the Spaniard into conceding a throw-in. The Czech has clearly been picked to stop Wigan's attacks in their tracks. A moment of controversy follows soon afterwards as Hines skips around Bramble and appears to be clipped by Figueroa just outside the penalty area. Referee Wiley, who didn't have a great view of the incident, waves West Ham's appeals away.
4 mins - Hines is clearly bang up for this, charging down a Figueroa clearance.
3 mins - Kovac nips in well to rob Gomez. The Czech finds Hines, who skips past one challenge, but his pass to Stanislas is a bit short and Melchiot is able to clear. No real rhythm to the game as yet, but it's still early days.
1 mins - Wigan are first to show, but Upson is in the right place to head Diame's right-wing cross out for a throw-in, which comes to nothing.
3.01pm - And we're underway...
3pm - Cole grabs a quick swig of Lucozade before referee Alan Wiley calls West Ham forward to kick-off. Hines will do the honours with this strike partner.
2.59pm - Just the four homegrown players in the Hammers lineup this afternoon, with another one on the bench in the shape of Josh Payne. The Academy of Football just keeps producing the goods. Speaking of the Under-18s, they unfortunately went down to a 2-1 defeat by Birmingham City this morning, with Republic of Ireland youth international Danny Purdy on the scoresheet.
2.58pm - I don't want to labour the point, but it really is a smashing day here in Wigan. There is not a cloud in the sky as the two teams enter the pitch for today's Barclays Premier League game. An away win could take West Ham into the top-eight.
2.57pm - The two teams are in the tunnel and ready to enter the pitch here at the DW Stadium. Sadly, there are plenty of empty red and blue seats dotted around. West Ham, as always, have brought a decent following, though.
2.52pm - West Ham fans will remember last season's trip to Wigan fondly. Carlton Cole netted the club's Goal of the Season with a sublime strike to cap a flowing passing move, only to be sent-off a short time later for a harsh second yellow card. Lee Cattermole, who has since left for Sunderland, was also sent-off for Wigan that evening.
2.48pm - Jack Collison's absence is down to a minor calf injury that kept him out of Wales' defeat by Russia on Wednesday night.
2.45pm - Dramatic news from the DW Stadium! Jack Collison is not among the substitutes after all. Josh Payne is named among the replacements instead.
2.43pm - West Ham look to have unearthed a real dead-ball specialist in Alessandro Diamanti. The Italian netted two direct free-kicks against Birmingham in midweek, while his corners and general delivery were both superb. Like Behrami, however, Diamanti is on the bench to start with. The two are good friends from their time in Serie A and Behrami has been looking after the 26-year-old since his arrival in London, acting as Diamanti's taxi driver and translator.
2.40pm - It is keep-ball time on the pitch and, to no great surprise, Valon Behrami is harrying his team-mates left, right and centre. The Switzerland midfielder is a bundle of energy out there. After six months out, he is like a pedigree dog waiting to be let off the lead.
2.35pm - It's an absolute corker of a day here in Wigan. The sun is shining and it's a big day for a couple of West Ham's players. Zavon Hines is making his first start in senior football, having previously appeared only as a substitute for both West Ham and during a loan spell at Coventry City. Meanwhile, Danny Gabbidon is making his first Barclays Premier League start since the 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers on 9 December 2007.
Valon Behrami, Alessandro Diamanti and Manuel Da Costa were all in Gianfranco Zola's matchday squad for the first time this season, while Zavon Hines was handed his full Barclays Premier League debut at Wigan Athletic.
Jamaican Hines, 20, has been in red-hot form, registering a hat-trick in the midweek reserve-team win over Birmingham City, and also notching in last month's Carling Cup victory over Millwall.
Behrami, who returned from six months out with a serious knee ligament injury against Birmingham, was named among the substitutes alongside Diamanti and Da Costa, who have arrived from AS Livorno Calcio and ACF Fiorentina respectively.
Zola made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 at nearby Blackburn Rovers a fortnight ago. At the back, Jonathan Spector and the departed James Collins were replaced by James Tomkins and Danny Gabbidon. Further forward Luis Jimenez, who has a suffered minor muscle injury, and Jack Collison made way for Radoslav Kovac and Hines
Wigan Athletic: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Thomas, Koumas (Scharner 65), Gomez (Sinclair 90), Diame, 'Zogbia, Rodallega (Scotland 72)
Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Cho, King
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Gabbidon, Noble (Nouble 87), Parker, Kovac (Behrami 63), Stanislas (Diamanti 63), Hines, Cole
Subs: Kurucz, Spector, Da Costa, Payne