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West Ham United 0-1 Cardiff City FT

WEST HAM UNITED v CARDIFF CITY
npower CHAMPIONSHIP
SUNDAY 7 AUGUST 2011
KICK-OFF: 1PM

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Final score - West Ham United 0-1 Cardiff City

93 mins - That's probably the last chance gone as Barrera crosses twice. The first is headed back to the Mexican and the second is low and collected by Marshall. The Bluebirds clear and the final whistle goes. Well, that's not the start anybody was looking for, nor the finish! West Ham will have to collect the 90 points they need to be promoted from 45 games, rather than 46. We'll be back here on Tuesday evening for the visit of Aldershot Town in the Carling Cup first round.

92 mins - A long ball, Cole's flick on and Taylor can't get there. Marshall collects.

91 mins - GOAL! You cannot make this up. Ilunga makes a mistake in trying to clear the ball and is robbed by Gestede. He makes his way into the box and crosses. Miller controls and fires in past Tomkins and Green.

90 mins - Into the final minute of the 90 and Whittingham cuts in from the Cardiff right and shoots left-footed. Green raises his hands as the ball flies well wide of the far post.

89 mins - It's absolutely chucking it down. Mackay calls for the waterproof coat.

88 mins - Oooh! Cardiff work the corner shot and again Gestede is in the right place at the right time, but this time his header is too close to Green, who saves low down. West Ham break and within 30 seconds it's Barrera's turn to work the goalkeeper. He heads the ball towards the net, but Marshall dives to his right to catch.

87 mins - Cole wins it and the ball flies off his head and behind for a corner. Although West Ham clear the initial danger, they don't clear their own half. Cardiff build again and Ilunga has to be alert to head behind for another corner.

86 mins - It's raining, but unfortunately not raining goals. The Cardiff fans are singing away to my left.  Both managers are out on the edge of their respective technical areas as Parker is penalised midway inside his own half. Whittingham to curl the ball over.

84 mins - West Ham's previous 0-0 draw was at Tottenham on 19 March. Their previous goalless draw here was on 13 November 2010, when Blackpool were the visitors.

83 mins - Cole is flagged offside. He shakes his head. He is right to. He wasn't offside.

82 mins - Here comes the CONCACAF Gold Cup winner Pablo Barrera for Sears. Can the Mexican make a difference?

80 mins - Sears and Taylor have swapped wings. Taylor nutmegs a defender and crosses to the far post. Cardiff scramble the ball behind. The corner comes over the Tomkins wins it cleanly, but Whittingham is there to knee the ball off the line. Appeals from some of the home players, but replays show it wasn't in.

78 mins - The two substitutes are involved straight away as Collison clears his lines to Cole on halfway. He turns away from Gerrard and goes down. Mr Webb stops play and books the No6. Taylor's delivery is cut out just inside the box. Collison flicks the ball back in, but it bounces away from Tomkins and drops into the hands of Marshall.

75 mins - Two changes from West Ham - Collison and Cole on for Noble and Piquionne. Cardiff replace Conway with Joe Mason. I think Robert Green also changed his boots during the break in play.

74 mins - Ilunga's poor pass sends Cardiff on their way. Green initially clears with his head, but the visitors take the throw quickly and Miller has a shooting chance. He blazes over.

72 mins - The chances are starting to come. First Noble slaloms his way past two tackles before being challenged, then Piquionne's header nearly falls to Sears, but Marshall is out quickly to tackle the forward.

71 mins - Ilunga and Taylor have linked up well at times and they do so again here, with the No14 winning a corner. It's headed clear, but Ilunga retrieves the situation and the ball is pumped back into the box. Piquionne makes a nuisance of himself and the ball flies up for Tomkins' whose diving header is tipped behind. The corner is cleared.

69 mins - Gestede could have made himself a hero then, too. A cross from the right comes over from Cowie and the Frenchman gets there first, but his glancing header flashes wide. Hands on head from manager Mackay.

68 mins - Gestede comes off for Cardiff hero Earnshaw. The away fans give both players a clap. No sign of any changes from Big Sam yet, but he is deep in conversation with Neil McDonald and Wally Downes, so maybe something is brewing.

67 mins - Three-quarters of the way through and Cardiff are readying forward Rudy Gestede.

65 mins - This is opening up a bit. First, Sears gets in behind Taylor, but his cross is too short and Cardiff clear. Cardiff break and Earnshaw is in space on the left. He cuts inside, but his low shot does not trouble Green.

61 mins - Argh! So close. Nolan intercepts on the edge of his own box and sends Taylor away. He runs at and beats Gunnarsson before crossing low to the near post, where Piquionne goes in with two Cardiff defenders. The No30 wins it and the ball thuds against the outside of the post and goes behind.

59 mins - Better! Parker drives forward down the inside-right channel and passes to Taylor, who cuts inside on to his left foot and forces Marshall into a diving save low to his right. Sears' corner is headed clear. West Ham come again and Piquionne shoots, but Gerrard is there again with a vital block.

57 mins - West Ham move the ball at pace and it creates a couple of openings. First a cross from the right from O'Brien is headed away by Gerrard, then Noble's delivery from the left is headed by Piquionne, but loops harmlessly into the hands of Marshall.

53 mins - Cowie has plenty of space down the left and he crosses for Earnshaw, but the little striker cannot direct his header from distance anywhere near the target.

51 mins - The start of the second 45 minutes has been uneventful until now, as Piquionne uses his strength and pace to outmuscle Hudson on the edge of the penalty area. The assistant referee flags, but I don't think anybody thought it was a foul. Even Hudson got straight back up and carried on playing.

47 mins - Tomkins smashes the free-kick towards the Cardiff box, but that's enough for Mr Webb. Half-time.

46 mins - Into the one minute of added-time and the Hammers have a throw inside the Cardiff half, but O'Brien and Parker make a mess of it. Cardiff try a long ball over the top, but Miller is offside.

45 mins - There is a lot of endeavour out there, but the quality is lacking a bit in the final third. We've only got a few seconds until half-time. There have been next to no stoppages and we haven't seen a physio.

43 mins - Ilunga gets forward again, Parker finds Taylor, who wins a corner. Noble floats the ball over and Marshall makes an easy catch.

42 mins - Nolan feeds Taylor wide left. He tries to fashion a cross for Sears, but it hits a defender and loops high through to Marshall.

40 mins - After an age setting up the wall and what have you, Whittingham strikes left-footed and Green pushes the ball around the post. Ilunga heads clear.

38 mins - Tomkins is harshly penalished for a high foot. He clearly won the ball... Free-kick to Cardiff 25 yards from goal. The ball is teed-up for Earnshaw, whose strike hits Parker on the arm as he rushes to charge it down. It's outside the box, but Webb gives another free-kick.

37 mins - The manager controls a high ball and gets a cheer. He turns and takes a bow to the crown. Good work. West Ham attack again and Parker finds Piquionne. The No30 drops his shoulder, but his shot is weak and straight into the arms of Marshall.

37 mins - The early morning sunshine has been replaced by good old-fashioned English rain. It's coming down quite hard. Big Sam dons a rain jacket over his grey suit.

35 mins - Taylor's second delivery is better, but Piquionne's header flies into the air and Cardiff clear their lines. A counter-attack looks promising before Parker gets his foot in in typical fashion.

34 mins - That's better. Noble finds Piquionne before Ilunga and Taylor combine well down the left. The full-back's cross is blocked but he wins a throw. From there, the deep cross is scrambled behind. The first corner is headed out again by Cowie at the near post.

33 mins - More than half-an-hour gone and it's not been a great game, in all honesty. West Ham have had the best opportunity through Sears' shot, but Allardyce will want more from his side.

32 mins - Cardiff win a corner off Sears. It's wasted.

31 mins - Close. Sears and Parker swap passes on the right corner of the Cardiff box before the former pulls the ball back for Nolan. He shoots, but the ball ricochets off a West Ham player and out for a goal kick.

30 mins - Reid is called into action again, but he easily holds off Earnshaw and the ball rolls behind for a goal kick. The Kiwi gets a high-five from Tomkins.

28 mins - A slight flashpoint as Miller catches Reid as he clears to touch. Referee Howard Webb trots over and has a word with the Scot. West Ham build from the resulting free-kick and Piquionne and Taylor combine well. The Frenchman crosses, but when Sears dummies, there is nobody there to take advantage.

26 mins - Quick feet again from O'Brien, who spins away from Whittingham and is brought down level with the edge of the Cardiff box. Free-kick. Taylor curls the ball over, but Nolan can't reach it. Cardiff scramble the ball clear.

24 mins - West Ham waste a couple of opportunities to get the ball into the Cardiff box. First, Parker's control lets him down from Noble's diagonal pass, then Ilunga's low cross is easily cut out. Cardiff come forward again and Ilunga is slightly fortunate to clear with his weaker right foot.

22 mins - Good save Robert Green. Ilunga gives the ball away in midfield and Cardiff break. A cross from the left is flicked on by Miller and Cowie heads downwards. The ball flicks off a defender and Green plunges to his left to push the ball around the post. The corner is header harmlessly over the top.

22 mins - Noble challenges Earnshaw and Cardiff have a throw. Gunnarsson comes across to take a long one but he gets it all wrong, hurling the ball into the side-netting. Cue loud cheers from the home fans.

21 mins - Ilunga gets forward down the left again. The DR Congo man has looked like his old self so far, continually supporting the attacks down his flank.

19 mins - The Hammers are playing some neat stuff here. Taylor and Parker swap passes along the touchline with some superb one-touch stuff before Hudson heads out for a throw. Cole applauds from the touchline.

18 mins - Collison and Cole are out warming up along the touchline. Both get a decent reception. Indeed, the 'Always believe in your Cole!' tune rings out.

16 mins - That should be 1-0. O'Brien and Noble combine superbly, the Irishman bursts into the box and cuts the ball back for Sears, but the youngster leans back and his shot flies well over the top. He was only 12 yards out and maybe should have done better there.

15 mins - Sears bursts down the right and is brought down by Cardiff left-back Taylor. The other Taylor, West Ham's Matt, tests Marshall with a dipping left-foot free-kick. The goalkeeper parries the ball over the top. The corner is cleared but West Ham build again through Ilunga. Parker and Tomkins combine before the former stabs the ball to the near post and Nolan flicks a header too high. Good move.

13 mins - The internet connection has been a bit dodgy here, so apologies if you haven't been getting the updates as quickly as you should be.

9 mins - Parker bursts through the middle and looks as though he could be in the clear, but Gerrard gets across from left centre-back to make the sliding challenge.

6 mins - Taylor curls the ball over, Marshall punches and Noble drives the ball well wide from 18 yards.

5 mins - So close to an opening goal for the hosts as Piquionne bursts through, jinks past Hudson and forces Marshall to save with his legs. Corner.

4 mins - A long clearance is headed behind by a diving Hudson and West Ham have a corner. It is swung over from the right and is too high.

2 mins - The Bluebirds are first to show after a short stoppage for head injury to Miller. A long ball down the inside right channel sets Earnshaw away. He shoots first-time and the ball dips a couple of yards over the crossbar. Decent effort.

1.02pm - Cardiff get the new season kicked-off shooting towards the Bobby Moore Stand end of the ground.

12.59pm - Big Sam gets a big cheer as he comes out to wave and applaud the fans. That's a proper East End welcome for the new boss.

12.55pm - Here come the two teams, with the Hammers led by captain Kevin Nolan. The noise inside the Boleyn Ground is deafening, even if Cardiff supporters do have the entire Sir Trevor Brooking Stand to themselves. As the teams are read out, Scott Parker gets the loudest cheer of the lot.

12.30pm - It's quite a warm day here in east London. A couple of the players have ditched their tracksuit tops before going through a series of warm-up exercises with fitness coach Eamon Swift. Over by the East Stand, former Cardiff goalkeeper is going through some drills with Robert Green and Ruud Boffin.

12.25pm - About five minutes after their opponents, the Hammers emerge from the tunnel to warm applause from the home fans who have already taken their seats.

12.15pm - The team news is in. Three debutants for the Hammers, with Kevin Nolan captaining the side and Joey O'Brien and Matt Taylor also in the starting XI.

West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, Ilunga, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, Parker, Nolan, Sears, Taylor, Piquionne
Subs: Boffin, Faye, Collison, Barrera and Cole

Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Gerrard, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Cowie, Conway, Miller, Earnshaw
Subs: Heaton, Quinn, Parkin, Mason, Gestede

Here we go again!

Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for this afternoon's season-opening npower Championship fixture against Cardiff City.

Sam Allardyce will take charge of his first competitive match since being appointed as West Ham United's 14th full-time manager and will immediately set about leading the Hammers back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Cardiff themselves will also be looking to make up for the double disappointment of losing out in the Play-Offs for the second straight season, while also watching South Wales rivals Swansea City gaining promotion to the top-flight.

Kevin Nolan is set to captain the home side and could be one of four debutants for Allardyce alongside Joey O'Brien, Matt Taylor and Abdoulaye Faye. Cardiff have also been busy in the transfer market, with manager and former West Ham centre-back Malky Mackay bringing in nine new players.

The team news should be out very soon. Stay tuned to whufc.com and www.twitter.com/whufc_official for details shortly...

We will have live text updates throughout the Boleyn Ground from around 12.30pm and throughout the game, so don't go away!