West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Barclays Premier League
Tuesday 23 March 2010
Referee: Phil Dowd
Full-time score - West Ham United 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
95 mins - That is it. McCarthy and Zola share a handshake. We'll be back on Saturday, when three points are top of the agenda against Stoke City.
93 mins - GOAL! I am afraid that it has come way, way too late, but Franco has been bright since he appeared off the bench. He latches on to Behrami's through-ball before clipping the ball over the advancing Hahnemann. Taken in isolation, it was a good goal, but the celebrations are muted to say the least. The No10 retrieves the ball and it is rushed back to the centre-spot.
92 mins - Cole gets free inside the box and his cross is blocked. Behrami shoots but his effort is blocked.
90 mins - Phil Dowd must be in a rush to get home. He is letting everything go here. We're going to have at least another four minutes. Diamanti shoots again, but his effort flies wide of the right-hand post.
88 mins - The Wolves fans believe this result is going to be enough to keep them up. They will go seven points clear of the bottom three with this win. For West Ham, Saturday's game against Stoke City now becomes even more important. The Hammers have seven games to play - four of them here at the Boleyn Ground.
86 mins - A third change for Wolves. Mancienne goes off and Guedioura comes on for the final few moments.
85 mins - Franco gets away from Mancienne, who brings him down unceremoniously. I'm a little surprised that wasn't a booking. The free-kick flies out to Diamanti, who slams a shot in from 30-plus yards that Hahnemann does well to push aside.
84 mins - Franco does well twice, winning a corner from Halford. Wolves clear the ball to Behrami, and it is crossed back into the box, where Cole heads it over the top.
83 mins - It's all gone a bit quiet here at the Boleyn Ground as we enter the final few minutes.
81 mins - Behrami slips over before making 30 yards back to win the ball from Jones. The Wolves man wanted a foul, but referee Dowd waved away his protests.
80 mins - Wolves bring on Greg Halford for Zubar. The ex-Marseille man gets a good reception from the away fans.
78 mins - You know it's not your night when those don't' go in. Diamanti and Stanislas combine well to release Franco, who cuts past two challenges before seeing his well-struck shot palmed aside by Hahnemann. The corner is cleared. Diamanti retrieves it and finds Stanislas with a 50-yard pass. He lays it on to Franco, but the Mexican's shot is high and wide.
76 mins - Parker drives forward again and is felled by Zubar midway inside the Wolves half. Diamanti goes across to take the set piece. Wolves' defenders all come out en masse and Hahnemann claims the high ball unopposed.
75 mins - It's certainly not happening for Cole, who loses control after latching on to the ball inside the Wolves penalty area. Stanislas and Parker had done well to create the chance.
74 mins - Faubert gets past Elokobi. His cross falls to Franco, but his shot flies miles wide of the target.
72 mins - The second corner is headed out for a goal kick. It is just not happening at all for the hosts.
71 mins - Cole finds Diamanti with a fine cross-field pass. The Italian tries to find Faubert, but Doyle tracks all the way back to tackle and concede a corner. Two substitutions before the re-start. Ward for Jarvis for Wolves and Franco for McCarthy for West Ham. Nothing comes from the corner until Behrami forces Henry to concede another one.
69 mins - Just over 20 minutes to go and West Ham need a miracle. Diamanti finds Parker at the back post. He lobs the ball into the net, but not before the assistant referee has flagged for offside.
66 mins - The free-kick is curled into the far post and flicks off a home defender and out for a corner. After a cross, a foul is given and West Ham are able to clear.
65 mins - Diamanti leaves Doyle in a heap on the left touchline. It's a foul, no doubt about it.
63 mins - Cole tries to get past Mancienne but appears to be fouled. Nothing is given and Wolves clear easily.
61 mins - GOAL! Jarvis latches on to Doyle's pass and runs straight through the middle of the West Ham defence before slotting confidently past Green.
58 mins - GOAL! I do not believe this. Upson loses possession and the ball is worked wide to the rampaging Zubar, whose shot hits the sliding Daprela before nestling in the far corner.
55 mins - Parker drives forward again and gets as far as the byline before clipping the ball back. It hits a defender on the head and loops over Diamanti. He retrieves the ball, but his cross is headed straight into Hahnemann's hands by Cole.
54 mins - Diamanti holds off Mancienne and cuts on to his favoured left foot, but his shot from 25-plus yards is too weak to severely test Hahnemann, who dives on the ball with ease.
53 mins - Diamanti clips the ball into the box with the outside of his left foot. McCarthy challenges, but is penalised by referee Dowd. He's not happy with the decision, but the man in black is not going to change his mind.
51 mins - Faubert whips the ball into the near post, where McCarthy flicks it on with his head, but the ball flies wide of the target.
49 mins - McCarthy and Mancienne challenge for Upson's high clearance. Mancienne comes out best as the South African is left on the ground. He looks a bit groggy, and gets a check-up from the physio.
48 mins - Zubar is booked for a lunge on Behrami. Definite foul and no argument from the right-back. Parker picks up possession and tries to play in Cole, but his pass is too strong and Hahnemann is out smartly to gather on the slide.
46 mins - West Ham get the second half underway... Behrami makes a fine tackle on Jarvis, who goes to ground. It should be a West Ham throw, but instead it's a Wolves free-kick, which thankfully comes to nothing.
I don't think it's stretching things too far to say that this is the most important 45 minutes of the season so far. West Ham are going to play them with two new faces - Junior Stanislas and Jonathan Spector are coming on for Kovac and Tomkins. Diamanti is going over to the right-hand side of midfield, with Stanislas on the right,
Half-time score - West Ham United 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
47 mins - The half-time whistle is blown.
46 mins - We're going to have one added minute.
45 mins - Oh for goodness sake! Parker does superbly to break on to the ball and get into the box. He shoots and beats Hahnemann, but the ball hits the inside of the far post. Parker gets on to the loose ball and shoots left-footed, only for Hahnemann to recover and save the ball on the line before it is hacked clear.
43 mins - Kovac tries to play a one-two with McCarthy on the edge of the Wolves box, but it runs away from him.
40 mins - For those of you unsure what a clap-banner is, it is a piece of card that can either be a banner or banged together, making a sound akin to a clap.
37 mins - Wolves keep the ball with some superb football before Jones's shot flicks off Tomkins and rolls wide of the target with Green scrambling. Jarvis comes across to take the corner. Elokobi pushes Kovac and a foul is given.
35 mins - Hmmm... Jones goes down in the box under a clumsy challenge from Kovac. Nothing is given, but replays showed the Czech got nowhere near the ball.
32 mins - A shooting chance for Cole. Behrami and McCarthy make the opening for the big forward, but his effort is straight at Hahnemann from 18 yards. Wolves go up the other end and win a corner. Kovac heads it out for a throw. Jarvis crosses and the ball hits Upson before looping out for another flag-kick.
31 mins - Cole wins a corner. Diamanti crosses, Upson wins it and the ball loops harmlessly into the arms of Hahnemann.
29 mins - Mancienne is booked for a foul on McCarthy. Nothing comes of the free-kick.
28 mins - GOAL! Oh no! Tomkins takes a routine clearance from Berra before turning and trying to pass the ball back to Green, but his effort is woefully short. Doyle latches on to the ball and makes his way into the box before finishing superbly into Green's far corner.
27 mins - Faubert's cross is high towards the back post. Hahnemann goes up and drops the ball, but he was being impeded by McCarthy.
25 mins - Karl Henry gets a stern telling-off from referee Dowd after leaving Diamanti in a heap inside the centre circle. No card is shown, though. The free-kick into the box is again won by Tomkins, but it comes to nothing and Wolves clear.
24 mins - Good play from Parker and Cole releases Faubert down the right, but his cross hits Elokobi. Replays show the ball did hit the left-back's arm, but I'm not convinced it was deliberate.
22 mins - Wolves have come into things a bit here, but West Ham hold firm.
20 mins - Parker plays a neat pass to McCarthy, who sends Cole clear. His first touch isn't great, however, and his shot is blocked by Craddock before rolling through to Hahnemann.
19 mins - Zubar clears before going down under a challenge from Cole. That was very soft.
17 mins - The corner is taken short to Diamanti, whose cross is blocked.
16 mins - McCarthy is urging his players forward to support Doyle, but it's West Ham who are on the attack. Cole turns well and makes 30 yards before feeding McCarthy, who finds Diamanti wide on the left. His cross is headed behind by Elokobi under pressure from Behrami.
13 mins - Jones is penalised for leading with his arm on McCarthy. Diamanti crosses and Tomkins wins the initial header, but it drops to a Wolves foot. A short time later, Faubert picks up the ball and beats Elokobi with ease. He shoots from 25 yards, but the effort is harmless and rolls wide of the far post.
11 mins - Parker gets in well to win the ball from Mancienne but chooses to shoot instead of passing from 25 yards. His shot is low and an easy claim for Hahnemann.
10 mins - Green gets up highest to punch the ball to safety. Faubert is back on, but he's still clutching the right side of his head.
9 mins - Faubert is down and writhing around with what looks to be a head injury. After a spell of treatment, he is up and heading for the touchline. Meanwhile, Wolves have a corner.
8 mins - That is a let-off, ladies and gentlemen. Doyle flicks the ball on and Foley gets in behind Daprela before rocking the crossbar with a well-struck shot from an acute angle. Thankfully, the ball bounced to safety.
7 mins - No real cohesion to the game so far. Both teams are struggling to find their passing rhythm as yet. I can report that it is chucking it down with rain, however.
6 mins - Berra has made a couple of elementary mistakes already, mis-kicking twice under no pressure whatsoever. Is he a little bit nervous?
4 mins - A lively start to the game at both ends as Green comes out smartly to claim a bouncing ball off the forehead of Doyle.
3 mins - Faubert lifts a high cross into the Wolves box but it's too close to Hahnemann. West Ham reclaim possession and Parker careers 60 yards down the left touchline before swapping passes with McCarthy, but his attempted pass to Cole is blocked.
2 mins - Jarvis crosses low and Tomkins hacks the ball out for a throw-in. The left-winger has been in decent form and will have to be watched closely tonight.
1 min - Alessandro Diamanti's first touch gets a loud cheer, which is a welcome sound for the Italian after his penalty issues at Arsenal on Saturday. The clap-banners are doing their thing.
8pm - We're off and running...
7.59pm - The Wolves players go into a huddle before kick-off. They've been in decent form away from home, picking up four points from a possible six and drawing 2-2 at Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime. Let's hope that record counts for nothing tonight. Wolves will kick-off, attacking the Bobby Moore Stand end.
7.57pm - Green gets a great reception as he jogs into the goalmouth in front of the Bobby Moore Stand. The noise level is certainly up a few notches on the visit of Bolton Wanderers last time out. The mascots line up for their pre-match photographs with Steve Bacon. Well, not with Steve Bacon, taken by Steve Bacon, the legendary Recorder photographer.
7.56pm - Complete with clap-banner accompaniment, 'Bubbles' rings round the stadium as the two teams enter the arena. There are literally dozens of photographers on hand to greet the players, while the Press Box is full to bursting. Those are both illustrations of just how important this game is to both teams.
7.55pm - With no other Premier League matches scheduled for tonight, the eyes of the world are literally on the Boleyn Ground. Will West Ham rise to the occasion and ease their relegation fears with a much-needed three points?
7.52pm - Robert Green is next on the big screen, telling the fans that everyone knows just how big a game this is. He is right. When England's No1 finishes, the clap-banners go into overdrive. They certainly make for an interesting atmosphere, especially when played alongside P Diddy.
7.47pm - Tony Carr gets a great round of applause as he is introduced to the crowd. He praises his coaching staff for their role in helping to unearth the likes of Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick.
7.45pm - The Boleyn Ground is filling up nicely ahead of kick-off. On the pitchside, announcer Jeremy Nicholas is telling fans how to use their clap-banners, which have been provided to all home fans by principal sponsors SBOBET tonight. Many supporters are using them for their proper purpose, making plenty of noise. On the big screens, a video is playing showcasing the players who have come through the ranks under Academy Director Tony Carr. Carr, of course, has been awarded a Testimonial match in May after serving the club for 37 years.
Good evening and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for what promises to be an enthralling night of Barclays Premier League action between West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves sit just one place and one point above the Hammers in 16th, and victory for the hosts in tonight's live Sky-televised clash would take them above Mick McCarthy's side. A win would also complete West Ham's first league 'double' of the season.
Gianfranco Zola has rung the changes following Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal, restoring Julien Faubert, Scott Parker, Benni McCarthy and Carlton Cole to his starting lineup in place of Jonathan Spector, Junior Stanislas, Mido and Guille Franco.
Wolves boss McCarthy has made changes to his side for the first time in seven matches, replacing Stephen Ward with George Elokobi at left-back and Adlene Guedioura with Michael Mancienne in midfield. Wolves will use a 4-5-1 formation with Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle ploughing a lone furrow up front.
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Daprela, Behrami, Kovac, Parker, Diamanti, Cole, McCarthy
Subs: Stech, Spector, Noble, Stanislas, Ilan, Mido, Franco
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Elokobi, Foley, Mancienne, Henry, D Jones, Jarvis, Doyle
Subs: Hennessey, Ward, Guedioura, Ebanks-Blake, Keogh, Milijas, Iwelumo