WEST HAM UNITED v BARNSLEY
SATURDAY 17 DECEMBER 2011
Full-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Barnsley
95 mins - The corner comes into the near post and is headed harmlessly wide. The full-time whistle is blown. Three vital points for the Hammers and they will go into Christmas second in the table - unless Southampton are thrashed by Portsmouth tomorrow! Superb debut from Potts, while Diop and Cole were impressive, too. Potts gets a great round of applause as his name is announced as he goes down the tunnel.
94 mins - You won't believe this but Barnsley have a last-gasp corner. Steele is forward...
92 mins - Potts steps in after McCartney wins the ball and he smashes it upfield. Anywhere will do for the Hammers with so little time remaining. Noble gets possession and drives forward before finding Sears. He runs to the corner flag and wins a throw.
91 mins - We are going to have at least four more minutes...
90 mins - The sponsors' man of the match is Kevin Nolan.
88 mins - Outstanding again from Diop. Tomkins is dragged out of the middle and Haynes beats him to the ball and crosses towards Davies inside the box. It looks so dangerous until Diop sticks out a long leg and cuts out the cross. Superb.
87 mins - Diop does superbly to nick the ball off Davies and then hold off the Barnsley striker. He is then fouled and Davies is booked. Diop has been an absolute tower of strength in midfield today.
85 mins - Big Sam is in with the fans at the bottom of the Alpari Stand. Neil McDonald has taken his place in the technical area. Meanwhile, Nolan gets free inside the box, but he rushes his flick and the visitors clear through Edwards.
83 mins - After some fun and games inside the centre circle, Barnsley break down their right through O'Brien. He wins a contentious corner off Potts. The corner comes to nothing as Tomkins and Noble clean up. Noble then finds Sears and he streaks 40 yards into the Barnsley box before going to ground. The penalty is again not given. Big Sam does not like the decision and kicks over a set of plastic bottles on the edge of his technical area. After a chat between the referee and his fourth official, the manager is sent to the stand.
80 mins - Lansbury does well to beat his man and pull the ball back from the byline. The ball rolls all the way back to Potts about 40 yards out. He shoots and it is blocked. Potts then chases down the defender and the ball breaks back to him. He crosses and Steele grabs the high ball.
79 mins - McCartney launches the free-kick forward and West Ham win a corner. Noble smashes it across again and it flicks off a Barnsley head and bounces out for a throw on the near side.
78 mins - That's a painful one for Potts, who takes a whack in the unmentionables from substitute O'Brien. To be fair to the Barnsley No8, it was accidental and he went straight over to the youngster to check on his well-being! After a quick check-up, Potts is back on.
77 mins - Oooh! The ball is chested down by Cole on the edge of the box and Noble shapes to volley. He just cannot quite get his head over the ball, however, and it flies a yard over the top.
75 mins - Good awareness by Green. A through ball from Butterfield seeks out the run of Haynes but the goalkeeper is out quickly to claim on the slide.
73 mins - The attendance is announced as 34,749 - the highest of the season by more than 1,000 over the visit of Portsmouth in September, which was the second highest at 33,465.
70 mins - Nolan does well to get to the byline. He hangs a cross that is headed into the air by Edwards. Cole jostles for it and handles. Sears is not to know and he tests Steele with a rasping deflected volley. Mr Mathieson spotted the infringement by Cole, however, and Barnsley have the free-kick.
68 mins - Lansbury is on for Faubert. That must be an injury as Faubert has played well again today. Lansbury will play at right-back. He gets a loud cheer on his return to action.
67 mins - Double change from Hill. O'Brien and Haynes are on for Vaz Te and Ranger. Ranger needs to be helped off by two Barnsley physios.
65 mins - Ranger goes down clutching his thigh. He's a loan Ranger, it's just been pointed out to me. Very droll!
64 mins - Noble wins and takes a free-kick. He lofts it in for Nolan, who holds off his marker and wins a corner. Noble takes and drills the ball across, but it's too close to Steele.
62 mins - Piquionne collects from Nolan and shoots from the angle from 30 yards. The ball lands on the byline where it meets the penalty area line. Not the best.
60 mins - McCartney gets too tight to Davies and pulls him down as he turns. Yellow card for the No3. Free-kick 30 yards from goal for the visitors. Vaz Te takes and smashes the ball over the top.
59 mins - The atmosphere is warming up as the temperature goes down. It's still on a knife-edge is this game at 1-0.
57 mins - Sears is straight into the action - they always are, substitutes! He wins the ball in midfield and then breaks forward to try to get on the end of Cole's pass. A throw-in is won, but it comes to nothing.
56 mins - Carew is replaced by Sears. The Norwegian nearly went off in the first half with a back problem, but stayed on. He gets some high-fives on the way off, does Carew.
55 mins - Barnsley have come close from set pieces and they have another as Davies crosses and the ball goes behind off McCartney. Not this time, though, as Green makes the catch.
53 mins - Potts launches a fine ball over the Barnsley back four for Cole. He tries to flick it down for either Nolan or Carew, but instead finds neither and the visitors clear their lines.
49 mins - All action at the start of the second half as McCartney brings down a Barnsley player. The free-kick is swung over and the ball is headed over the top by McNulty. Green is not happy about the marking at all.
48 mins - Cole cuts in from the left corner of the box and works Steele with a low shot that takes a deflection.
47 mins - The free-kick is bent over by Vaz Te and Edwards wins it. Green makes a fine save. The corner gets lifted over and Ranger heads high and wide.
46 mins - Barnsley get the second half underway. West Ham need a second goal to calm the nerves. Barnsley start on the front foot and Diop is penalised for a push. Before the kick can be taken, a cat storms out from the gap between the East and Bobby Moore Stands and streaks 100 yards across and then along the pitch before jumping over the boards and off down a gangway!
Half-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Barnsley
48 mins - That's half-time. So far, so good for the Hammers.
46 mins - Noble lays back to Potts, who picks out Carew with a peach of a first-time pass. He controls and finds Cole, who then tries to play in Piquionne. McEveley gets a touch and the ball rolls back to Steele.
46 mins - We shall have at least two added minutes...
44 mins - Faubert anticipates well and nips in ahead of Perkins. He makes 20 yards before crossing for Carew, but Steele leaps to make the high catch.
43 mins - Much, much better stuff from the hosts. Piquionne nutmegs one and beats another before finding Faubert. He lays inside to Noble in space. Carew and Cole take the defenders away and Noble strides forward before belting a shot a couple of yards over the top from 25. Good stuff.
40 mins - Faubert bounds down the right and collects a nice reverse pass from Noble. His cut-back is cut out. Moments later, Carew heads down and then receives the return pass before crossing for Piquionne eight yards out. Surely he should take it first-time, but he takes a touch and allows Addison to challenge him.
38 mins - Better football from the Hammers as Potts again romps down the left and delivers a fine cross. It is headed clear by Edwards to Piquionne, who is tackled on the edge of the box as he tries to make space for a shot. Unlucky.
37 mins - Davies again, cutting inside Faubert and shooting low to the near post. Green makes a smart save and holds on well.
36 mins - Good possession by Barnsley has the crowd a bit anxious. Eventually, the ball breaks to Davies 20 yards out, but his hurried effort flies well over the crossbar. Meanwhile, Vaz Te and Ranger have switched flanks.
34 mins - Barnsley have a free-kick about 35 yards out. The ball is rolled square to Vaz Te, who hits it low and well wide. Green tries to send Cole away with a quick clearance, but Steele is out quickly to head clear.
32 mins - Potts follows in a cleared free-kick and heads the ball over the Barnsley defence. Cole diverts it and Steele makes a fine save. He was offside, however, was Cole. Piqiuionne plays on and Steele makes a stupendous save to deny the Frenchman. It wouldn't have counted, but that was some stop.
31 mins - Oh Coley! He makes a superb run to get on to a pass from Noble and holds off two defenders before rounding Steele. He is forced wide on to his left foot and cannot wrap his boot around the ball enough to find the target. Great run and strength, just such a shame about the finish.
29 mins - To be fair to Barnsley, they are giving as good as they are getting here. Vaz Te crosses from the left but it's too deep and Potts ushers the ball out for a goal kick.
27 mins - The third corner drops to Addison, but he shoots over the top. Goal kick.
26 mins - McCartney concedes a throw but thinks he is fouled by Ranger. Throw given. Potts challenges Davies and a corner is give, Butterfield's first delivery falls to a Barnsley player and Diop makes a great block. The second corner is also won by a Tykes head, Addison, but again Diop is there to deflect the ball behind.
25 mins - Faubert is fouled before he takes the free-kick himself from halfway. Carew challenges and the ball drops to Cole. He takes a touch and turns on the edge of the box before shooting low. Steele gets in behind it.
22 mins - Close! Davies rolls Tomkins and is through. McCartney gets across just in time to deflect the Welshman's shot a yard wide. The corner is won by Tomkins but the ball goes up in the air rather than away. Faubert tussles with Perkins and a foul is given against the Barnsley man.
22 mins - You don't see that every day! A foul throw by Vaz Te! Sunday morning stuff.
19 mins - Controversy as Piquionne bursts into the box and collects a Cole lay-off before going down under a challenge. The West Ham players all claim a penalty but referee Mr Mathieson stands motionless. Nothing given.
17 mins - West Ham have another corner as Potts latches on to Carew's flick before delivering a fine cross. Cole goes for it but Edwards heads behind. The initial corner is cleared to Piquionne. He finds Faubert, whose deep cross lands at the feet of Noble. He lays back to Potts, whose cross is teasing but headed over the top by Tomkins from eight yards.
15 mins - More good play from Potts. Ranger runs at him but he forces the on-loan Newcastle man wide before winning the ball from the Barnsley No40. Cole then gives the ball away, but it is not costly.
14 mins - Faubert is hurt leaping for a header. He grabs his ankle, but he is a tough cookie and won't need the physio on.
12 mins - Meanwhile, back here, Vaz Te cuts in from the left and shoots. The net billows, but it is because the ball has hit the side-netting.
12 mins - How about this for a stat! Papa Bouba Diop's goal is his first in English football in EXACTLY six years. His previous strike came against Blackburn Rovers for Fulham in the Premier League on 17 December 2005. Incidentally, Fulham's other goal that season was scored by future Hammer Luis Boa Morte.
9 mins - Faubert launches a long free-kick into the box, aiming for Carew. The ball is headed straight to Nolan on the edge of the box. It's an almost identical position to where he scored from against Derby County, but this one is more difficult and the skipper volleys over the top.
8 mins - That goal will settle West Ham down. Barnsley attack from their kick-off, but Faubert does well to put pressure on Butterfield inside the box and the ball flies well over the top. Goal kick.
6 mins - GOAL! That'll do! Diop! Noble's corner has pace on it and the ball picks out Diop right in the centre of the six-yard box. He simply nods his head and powers the ball past Steele. The Senegalese runs away tapping his forehead. That, you will all know, is his first goal for the club.
5 mins - Nolan finds Cole on the left and he takes on Wiseman. The full-back sticks to him but is forced to concede a corner.
5 mins - Ranger tests Potts and gets past the youngster. Nolan gets back to challenge, but Ranger beats him before backheeling to Wiseman. The right-back crosses, but it's a poor one and floats harmlessly over the crossbar.
4 mins - Tomkins goes in on Davies wide on the Barnsley left and commits a foul. Thankfully, Barnsley waste possession and Faubert clears.
3 mins - Left-back McEveley gets forward down the wing and to the byline. He crosses low and the ball hits Tomkins and rolls behind for a corner. Butterfield takes and Ranger wins it, but his header flies safely into the hands of Green.
2 mins - Noble shoots low through the wall and Steele dives to his right and makes the catch. Decent save.
1 mins - Potts gets in a great early challenge on Ranger and gets a loud cheer from the home fans. He then lofts a pass forward to Cole, who is fouled about 35 yards from goal.
3.02pm - West Ham will kick-off shooting towards the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.
3pm - We're going to kick-off slightly late here this afternoon. Carlton Cole puts his arm around Potts' shoulder and gives him some words of encouragement. That's good to see. Potts is very popular around the place and everyone will be willing him to do well today.
2.57pm - The MC Hammer has made way for 'Bubbles' and the two teams emerge from the tunnel led by captains Kevin Nolan and Jacob Butterfield. The atmosphere is decent here this afternoon.
2.55pm - We have some late-breaking team news. Abdoulaye Faye has been ruled out, with Dan Potts coming into the side for his debut. Callum Driver is now on the bench.
2.53pm - To the strains of MC Hammer, here is Hammerhead! He's got some nifty moves has the new mascot! After jogging out of the tunnel, he does a bit of breakdancing and is now off on a lap of the pitch! With fireworks going off too, it's quite a sight!
2.47pm - Another recognisable face down in the stadium this afternoon in the shape of Academy product and QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Rangers host Manchester United on Sunday afternoon at Loftus Road, but Ferdinand will miss the game with a hamstring injury.
2.45pm - A big cheer for LCpl Marc Holden, who has completed a 3,456-mile cycle on his exercise bike - the equivalent of cycling from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan back to the Boleyn Ground. LCpl Holden is here today, having completed a six-month tour of duty in Helmand Province. He is raising funds for the Care for Casualties charity, which aids wounded soldiers. To donate or to find out more, click here.
2.35pm - It's just ten minutes away! The arrival of the new West Ham United mascot Hammerhead!
2.30pm - As well as the substitutes, George Moncur, Jordan Brown, Callum Driver and Olly Lee were also included in the 20-man squad for today's game. They are out on the pitch warming up alongside the starting XI and replacements. Good experience for the homegrown quartet. To give you more information about Brian Montenegro, he is a Paraguay Under-20 international forward with good pace, strength and the ability to use both feet. He has looked lively in action for the development squad, scoring four goals in eight appearances. Montenegro has also recently returned from international duty, where he scored for his country in a 5-1 victory over club side Club Atletico de 3 Febrero.
2.25pm - The two managers shared a warm embrace before swapping teamsheets. I'm not sure exactly how Big Sam and Keith Hill know one another, but they're clearly on good terms. The manager also welcomed BBC commentator John Motson into his office for a chat earlier on and I'm told former England midfielder Bryan Robson is attending today's game as his guest. Big names galore at the Boleyn!
2.10pm - Bad news from Little Heath. Despite a goal from Elliot Lee, the Under-18s have fallen to a 4-1 FA Premier Academy League defeat by Fulham.
2.05pm - The teams have been announced. Big Sam makes two enforced changes to his starting XI, with the injured Guy Demel and suspended Jack Collison replaced by strikers Carlton Cole and John Carew.
Subs: Stech, Potts, Lansbury, Sears, Montenegro
Subs: Preece, Hassell, Foster, Haynes, O'Brien
Good afternoon and welcome to a chilly Boleyn Ground for West Ham United's final home game of an unforgettable 2011.
A year that started with a Carling Cup semi-final and was also marred by relegation from the Premier League could end with the Hammers top of the npower Championship. For that to happen, Sam Allardyce's side need to beat Barnsley today.
Today also marks the debut of the club's new mascot - Hammerhead. He will be bounding out of the tunnel for the first time at about 2.45pm and we're promised quite a show!
The Hammers need to bounce back to winning ways after losing their previous two league matches at home to Burnley (1-2) and at Reading (0-3). Barnsley had their own four-match winning streak ended by a 5-3 home defeat by Ipswich Town last weekend.
The omens are good for a home win today, with Barnsley having only one Boleyn Ground league victory to their names in 22 attempts - and that came all the way back in September 1919.
Team news-wise, Big Sam will definitely be without the suspended Jack Collison and Joey O'Brien, as well as the injured Matt Taylor, Winston Reid, Ruud Boffin, David Bentley, Guy Demel, Gary O'Neil and Sam Baldock. The manager could re-call Henri Lansbury after the England Under-21 midfielder's return from a knee ligament injury.
Barnsley will be without Manchester United loanee Danny Drinkwater, who has a torn thigh muscle. ·Scotland left-back Jay McEveley should be fit after recovering from a thigh strain and could return to the starting line-up in place of Scott Wiseman.
The team news will be confirmed at 2pm and will be posted first on the club's official twitter feed.
Subs: Stech, Driver, Montenegro
Subs: Preece, Hassell, Foster