Reading 3-0 West Ham United FT

READING v WEST HAM UNITED
npower CHAMPIONSHIP
SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 2011
KICK-OFF: 3PM

FULL AUDIO COVERAGE - WEST HAM TV

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Final score - Reading 3-0 West Ham United

95 mins - That's it. A forgettable afternoon is over. Reaction from today's game will appear on whufc.com and West Ham TV.

94 mins - For a second it looks like McCartney could also be sent-off. He has already been booked before fouling Robson-Kanu. The referee calls him over, but the full-back escapes with a final warning. Reading attack from the set piece, but Robson-Kanu's shot is easy for Green.

93 mins - There cannot be long left now as Carew wins a throw deep in the Reading half. McCartney comes forward but cannot keep the ball in play.

92 mins - Another worry for Big Sam is that both O'Brien and Collison will now be suspended. He could do with Matt Taylor and Henri Lansbury back as quickly as possible, therefore. Of course, Demel is also injured, so it may well be Faubert at right-back next weekend.

91 mins - Into added time and Reading are playing out time against the nine men. A long ball forward seeks out Church and Faye can only head behind for another corner.

90 mins - The stadium is rapidly emptying for vastly differing reasons. Reading fans will want to beat the traffic. West Ham fans will simply want to get home and forget about this afternoon as quickly as possible.

89 mins - Kebe is replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu. Amazingly, Church has a half-chance to complete his hat-trick, but his touch lets him down and Tomkins can clear.

88 mins - West Ham will record back-to-back defeats for the first time under Big Sam. The challenge is to get back to winning ways when Barnsley visit next Saturday. With two away games over Christmas, it's imperative the Hammers regain their form as soon as possible.

86 mins - GOAL! From worse to dreadful. The resulting free-kick is curled over by Harte and Church glances the header into the far corner. A three-goal win would have taken the Hammers top. A three-goal defeat would dent their promotion hopes.

84 mins - West Ham are down to nine men! Kebe has the ball at his feet before stopping and pulling up his socks to mock his opponents. Collison flattens the winger. Red card for Collison. West Ham's day goes from bad to worse.

83 mins - Noble's free-kick hits the wall. The ball bounces back to the midfielder and his second attempt is straight into the hands of Federici. Reading break upfield and we have some trouble here.

83 mins - Cole is fouled on the edge of the Reading box by Gorkss. Noble wants to take it...

80 mins - GOAL! Game over. Faye's free-kick from halfway is easily headed clear over Carew. Reading break at pace down their right and a one-two between Kebe and Le Fondre ends with a cross being clipped to the far post that loops over Green and is thumped into the net from a yard by Church.

78 mins - Reading win another corner. Harte takes it and two unmarked Reading players attack the ball. Gorkss gets there and powers a header over the top.

77 mins - Cole initially does well to turn away from his marker before a slide tackle halts his run. Noble tries to win the ball back, fails and brings down Kebe. A bit of frustration in that challenge, I fancy.

76 mins - Derby now lead 2-1 at home to Bristol City. At the Madejski Stadium, it's still all Reading to be honest. The Royals win another corner which is taken short and the attack is broken up by Collison.

74 mins - The clock seems to be ticking twice as fast since the Reading goal. The home fans are certainly enjoying their lead at the moment. The travelling Irons are trying to muster up some noise of their own.

72 mins - To be honest, Reading are looking far more likely to add to their lead than West Ham are eradicating it. A corner conceded by McCartney is cleared by Piquionne but Collison is muscled out of it on halfway. Carew comes on for Piquionne.

69 mins - What does Big Sam do? He needs a goal from somewhere, but with ten men, he cannot commit too many men forward. To be honest, Reading should be two goals up as Church slams a shot a yard wide. He should have done better from there.

67 mins - West Ham have gone 4-4-1 with Cole up front on his own. Collison is wide on the right with Faubert at right-back.

66 mins - GOAL! Reading don't take long to make the man advantage count. McAnuff is allowed to get into the box and has an age to pull the ball back to Alex Pearce, who stabs in from ten yards.

65 mins - West Ham's task has just got a lot harder. O'Brien is sent-off for bringing down McAnuff wide on the left. No argument from the Irishman.

64 mins - Reading make a change as Hunt is replaced by Simon Church. Today's crowd is 24,026, with 4,339 of them supporting the Hammers.

63 mins - McCartney collects from Piquionne's knockdown but his cross is high and hanging and an easy catch for Federici. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace lead at Nottingham Forest and Derby have equalised against Bristol City.

61 mins - And now Doncaster are ahead at Birmingham City... Back here, Hunt and O'Brien are booked after an off-the-ball altercation on the touchline.

60 mins - Hull, Bristol City and Leicester have all taken the lead.

59 mins - Faubert wins the ball from O'Brien's long punt and it drops to Piquionne. He finds Cole at the second attempt, who cuts outside Harte before finding Collison. His shot is not the best and is going wide before hitting an offside Piquionne.

58 mins - Piquionne has gone wide left of the front three and Collison has dropped into midfield.

57 mins - Now it's Piquionne who squanders an opportunity as he gets goalside of Gorkss and Pearce. He claims he is pulled back, but referee Mr Swarbrick sees nothing wrong with the challenge as Federici collects. Reading win a throw from Faubert and the break in play sees Cole replace Diop.

56 mins - That's a great chance for Hunt as he escapes Faye and is clean through. Tomkins tries to get across and Hunt's touch takes him a touch wide on his left foot. He shoots low and makes it far too easy for Green low to his left. That was a fantastic chance.

54 mins - Reading are getting up a head of steam as Kebe cuts inside O'Brien and shoots, but the ball flies miles away and nearly out for a throw on the far side. The away fans are making a right din with some 'We are West Ham's claret and blue army'.

52 mins - Faubert is found by Nolan but wastes a great position when his cross hits Harte and bounces to a Reading shirt. Kebe thunders off down the middle of the pitch before being unceremoniously halted by a combination of Diop and McCartney. McCartney is booked. Harte curls the free-kick over the wall from 30 yards out, but Green allows it to bounce a yard wide. Good judgement.

50 mins - The fans have decided that they want to see Carlton Cole on the pitch. They are singing his name but, for now, no West Ham substitutes are warming up.

49 mins - Reading have a corner as Hunt thumps the ball off Tomkins. Harte takes and O'Brien heads clear at the near post.

47 mins - Noble lofts the free-kick to the far post, aiming for Tomkins. Pearce does enough to block him off and the ball skips behind for a goal kick.

46 mins - The second half is underway. No changes from either manager. Green's long clearance sees Nolan fouled by Gorkss about 40 yards out.

Here comes Kevin Nolan and his Hammers, followed by the referee. Reading will kick-off the second half through Leigertwood and Hunt.

Reading are first to emerge from the tunnel for the second half. It's going to be a late finish here at the Madejski Stadium after Demel's first-half injury.

Half-time score - Reading 0-0 West Ham United

49 mins - That's half-time. Join us again in 15 minutes for the second period. West Ham will have to be careful after the break - Reading have scored all but two of their 23 league goals in the second half.

48 mins - This has been a hugely frustrating half. To be honest, I think both managers will want an improvement from their players.

46 mins - Into the first of three added minutes and Kebe, who is now on the left, curls a cross in that the unmarked Le Fondre dives and tries to divert into the far corner with his head. Luckily for the Hammers, it goes a couple of yards wide.

44 mins - Hunt gets in behind and it's two-on-two again. He cuts the ball back and tries to pick out Le Fondre, but Tomkins slides in to concede the corner at the near post. McAnuff's delivery is smashed away by Piquionne.

43 mins - West Ham just haven't quite clicked in the final third. Faubert again does well to get away from Harte before his pass for Noble is half cut out. Noble collects near the byline and lays off for McCartney, who picks out Piquionne. The No30's header is harmless and Federici collects.

40 mins - It's livening up. First, Faubert loses three players with some neat footwork before feeding O'Brien. He lays the ball back to Noble, whose cross finds Collison, but Piquionne cannot benefit from the No10's header. Reading break and suddenly have two-on-two. Tomkins slows down Le Fondre and allows Noble to come back and win a slide challenge to end the threat. It was looking dicey for a moment though.

37 mins - West Ham should lead. Noble's corner is powerfully headed back across goal by Tomkins and Diop is there five yards out, but cannot force the ball over the line. He then tries to keep the chance alive with an overhead kick and gives away a free-kick.

36 mins - Out of nothing, Piquionne knocks the ball down and Faubert feeds Collison in space in the inside-left channel. He cuts on to his right foot, shoots and the ball loops over the crossbar.

35 mins - A lack of goalmouth action so far, to be honest. But it seems that's the case everywhere in the Championship so far. Ten matches, two goals!

33 mins - Watford lead 1-0 at home to Leeds through Wolves loanee Michael Kightly.

30 mins - Aargh! Faubert initially does superbly to chest Collison's diagonal pass into his own path and get in behind Harte. He can pick out the unmarked Nolan inside, but overhits the pass, which fortunately rolls along the face of the box to Piquionne. Piquionne shoots first time and hits Nolan! Moments later, the skipper is caught offside.

27 mins - Diop gives the ball away again and Tomkins is caught out by Hunt. Hunt finds Kebe one-on-one with McCartney, but the full-back makes a superb block behind for a corner. Nolan heads half-away before Faubert clears the area. Reading regain possession and work the ball back over to their right, where Karacan cuts inside and curls a left-footed effort wide of the far post.

26 mins - As Faye's diagonal ball for McCartney bounces behind for a goal kick, Middlesbrough register the Championship's first goal, taking the lead at home to Brighton.

23 mins - A couple of crosses into the box are dealt with by Faye's head. West Ham then threaten themselves through Nolan, but his attempted curler is blocked. The ball breaks back to the skipper, who feeds the overlapping McCartney. His cross is too deep for Faubert.

21 mins - Nearly a quarter of the way through and no goals anywhere in the Championship as yet. Nolan finds McCartney, but he has only Piquionne to aim for. The cross is headed back to Federici by Harte. The Australian belts the ball upfield and Green comes out to head clear. He only succeeds in heading the ball straight to Kebe 40 yards out, but the winger's first-time effort flies miles off-target for a goal kick.

19 mins - Big Sam won't be impressed as two West Ham players allow a Green clearance to bounce to a Reading player. Leigertwood finds Kebe, who streaks away from McCartney. Tomkins comes across the the delivery loops high enough for Green to collect.

18 mins - Harte takes the free-kick and Piquionne heads clear from inside the penalty area. Nolan thumps the ball upfield and Collison chases Pearce into his own half before fouling the defender.

17 mins - Faye goes into the referee's notebook for a foul on Hunt wide on the Reading left. That all came from a counter-attack from the West Ham corner. Faye's third yellow card of the season.

16 mins - Pearce slices a Noble pass behind for a corner. Noble himself takes, but Reading are able to clear from inside their own six-yard box.

15 mins - Harte's corner is not worth the wait. Whether it is deliberate, I don't know, but he scuffs the ball low and it rolls harmlessly into the side-netting at the near post.

14 mins - Diop is caught in possession and Reading can break. They have players forward as McAnuff checks and crosses from the left. O'Brien flicks a header and Collison cannot pevent the corner. Before it is taken, Nolan tells Diop to be more careful and referee Mr Swarbrick wants to talk to some players.

12 mins - Noble swings the corner to the far post. Tomkins wins it and heads back across the face of the six-yard box. Nolan is there, but cannot get the power on his downward header, allowing Pearce to clear upfield on the half-volley. Encouraging signs.

11 mins - Superb possession football from West Ham to get out of a tight spot on the right wing. Piquionne spreads play to McCartney, who plays a one-two before lifting a diagonal pass to Piquionne on the edge of the box. He chests down to Nolan, who volleys a through ball for Faubert. It's just too strong and the winger cannot wrap his foot around it. However, the Reading defender makes a hash and concedes a needless corner.

10 mins - Faubert and Collison have switched flanks already. Collison now on the right.

9 mins - Collison and Nolan get themselves in a bit of a tangle and Nolan loses the ball to Hunt wide on the West Ham left before fouling the Irishman. A chance for Harte to deliver from level with the edge of the penalty area. He does, but Green jumps to catch in front of his face.

7 mins - Reading threaten for the first time. Harte uses his fine left foot to lift a pass over O'Brien for Hunt. The striker pulls wide and thuds a cross to the near post. Le Fondre stretches but the ball is a yard too strong and Green collects. 'Ooohs' from the home fans.

6 mins - Diop helps the ball forward and Collison forces right-back Cummings to concede a corner. Noble floats the ball over but Tomkins cannot win the header. After missing his kick, Faubert finds Diop, but his left-foot effort is wayward. Goal kick.

5 mins - To be fair to both sets of fans, they clap as Demel is driven away. O'Brien is on. Reading re-start by kicking the ball back to Green. Very sporting.

3 mins - The golf cart is rumbling along the touchline as Demel receives treatment. It was his right leg, I think. Joey O'Brien is warming up on the touchline as Demel is picked up and put on the stretcher before being put on the back of the cart.

2 mins - Demel won't be at right-back much longer as he goes down after literally his second touch of the ball. His third sends the ball into the stand and he goes down to the turf. A stretcher is called for...

1 min - Is as you would expect tactically from West Ham. Collison and Faubert are flanking Piquionne. Demel is at right-back.

3.01pm - Noble and Faubert get things started and West Ham attack down their left flank. Collison heads the ball on, but it's behind Piquionne and Reading can clear.

3pm - West Ham will kick-off, but not before the Reading players have finished going through their huddle.

2.59pm - Referee Neil Swarbrick blows his whistle to call the captains and mascots together for the coin toss and pre-match photocall. The Reading mascot Kingsley the Lion is wearing a fetching Santa hat. Very festive!

2.57pm - Reading are in all-white with blue hoops on their shirts, while West Ham are in claret and blue shirts, sky blue shorts and sky blue socks. Rob Green is wearing lime green!

2.56pm - So, a three-goal win this afternoon would take the Hammers top of the Championship for the first time this season. Here come the teams, led by captains Nolan and McAnuff. The famous Reading drummer is doing his thing - thankfully far away in the opposite corner of the stadium!

2.53pm - The guard of honour of youngsters waving flags has formed at the mouth of the tunnel. In the stand to my right, the away fans are making plenty of noise with a rendition of 'Come on you Irons!'. I'm told this is Reading's largest home crowd since they were relegated from the Premier League in 2008.

2.45pm - A number of loanees are in action this afternoon - Herita Ilunga starts for Doncaster Rovers at Birmingham City in the npower Championship, while in League Two Callum McNaughton is in AFC Wimbledon's team against Accrington Stanley and Frank Nouble (Gillingham) and Rob Hall (Oxford United) are both on the bench.

2.40pm - Wally Downes is a familiar face in these parts. The first-team coach was part of the staff who guided the Royals to promotion to the Premier League back in 2006.

2.10pm - Don't forget to follow the Hammers on twitter for exclusive competitions, photographs and the very latest West Ham United news.

2.05pm - The teams are in. Big Sam makes three changes to the side that started against Burnley last weekend. Out go O'Brien, Taylor and Cole and in come Demel, Diop and Piquionne.

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Harte, Gorkss, Pearce, McAnuff, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, Le Fondre, Hunt
Subs: Andersen, Antonio, Tabb, Church, Robson-Kanu

West Ham United: Green, Demel, McCartney, Faye, Tomkins, Diop, Noble, Nolan, Faubert, Collison, Piquionne
Subs: Stech, O'Brien, Sears, Cole, Carew
 
1.40pm - The team news will be announced in about 20 minutes. The team coach has safely arrived at the Madejski - five minutes early!

Reading

The calm before the storm in the Away Team dugout

1.35pm - The Under-18s have followed up their midweek FA Youth Cup win at Wolverhampton Wanderers with another good result - a 2-2 FA Premier Academy League draw at Charlton Athletic. Blair Turgott and schoolboy Nana Boakye Yiadom were on target for the Hammers at Sparrows Lane. A full report and reaction from coach Nick Haycock will appear on whufc.com

1.20pm - The kit is laid out in the dressing room and the team should be arriving in about ten minutes.

Reading

The kit is all laid out in the Away Dressing Room

Good afternoon and welcome to a sun-drenched but slightly chilly Madejski Stadium for today's sold-out npower Championship showdown between Reading and West Ham United.

The Hammers will be eager to secure a seventh league victory in nine matches and maintain the pressure on leaders Southampton, who are involved in the lunch-time kick-off at home to Blackpool. Should West Ham win and the Saints lose, Sam Allardyce's side will go top of the table.

However, three points in Berkshire are far from a given as Reading are themselves hunting a Play-Off place, having been defeated by Swansea City in the final at Wembley last season. Royals manager Brian McDermott will also be keen to mark his 100th league game in charge with a success.

Team news-wise, Big Sam will be without Matt Taylor (calf) and Sam Baldock (hamstring), but Henri Lansbury is back in the matchday squad after recovering from a knee ligament problem. A third absentee, Winston Reid, will start light training on Monday as he continues his comeback from a dislocated shoulder.

For Reading, former Hammer Jobi McAnuff is available again after a one-game suspension, while Republic of Ireland forward Noel Hunt is pushing for a re-call after recovering from a concussion. McAnuff is likely to start, while Hunt is expected to be among the substitutes. Iceland international Brynjar Gunnarsson is out with a calf problem.

The team news will be announced at 2pm and will be announced first on the club's official twitter page and whufc.com