West Ham United 3-0 Stoke City FT

WEST HAM UNITED v STOKE CITY
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2011
KICK-OFF: 3PM

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Final score - West Ham United 3-0 Stoke City

94 mins - Sure enough, Gabbidon is on the field for about 30 seconds before referee Marriner blows for full-time. West Ham are up to 17th and will end the weekend outside the bottom three unless Wolves beat Tottenham by four goals. That's 14 goals in four games and 20 in seven in all competitions. Keep an eye on whufc.com and West Ham TV for exclusive post-match reaction soon.

93 mins - Into the final minute and West Ham attack until Piquionne is flagged for offside. Before Begovic can take the free-kick, London City Metals Man of the Match Scott Parker is replaced by Danny Gabbidon. Surely the Welshman will not even get a touch!

91 mins - We're going to have three added minutes. Whelan sends in a cross and Green collects.

90 mins - This will be West Ham's first back-to-back win since February 2010, when the Hammers defeated Birmingham City and Hull City on their way to staying up.

89 mins - Tomkins and O'Neil work to win a throw deep in the Stoke half before Obinna controls and Huth stabs behind. Hitzlsperger's corner is won by Tomkins but Begovic can catch that with ease.

86 mins - Cripes! The ball drops to Fuller inside the box and he sends a rasping shot that bends just wide of the far post. During the break in play, Cole is replaced by Victor Obinna.

83 mins - GOAL! Der Hammer! That's a fantastic goal again. Noble waits before releasing Parker, who bursts past Whelan and pulls the ball back for Piquionne. His shot is blocked and rolls into the path of Hitzlsperger, who belts a rocket shot into the roof of the net.

82 mins - Demba Ba gets a great ovation as he is replaced by Gary O'Neil. The Senegal striker responds by clapping all corners of the ground with his West Ham-gloved hands.

81 mins - Hitzlsperger's right-foot shot bounces out to Tomkins who slaloms across the edge of the area before finding Cole. He shoots first-time with his left foot and the ball flashes inches wide of the far post.

80 mins - A chance for Walters inside the penalty area, but Da Costa blocks.

79 mins - West Ham have rediscovered their touch in the last few moments. Hitzlsperger and Bridge combine before Noble uses his body well to shield the ball and find Piquionne on the right of the penalty area. He wins a corner. Hitzlsperger crosses and Tomkins wins the header, but it lacks the power to beat Begovic.

77 mins - Hitzlsperger tries to play in Cole, but the striker is a yard offside.

75 mins - I'm not sure there was too much in that. Upson and Jones come together on the edge of the penalty area and Stoke have a free-kick. It's about 25 yards out and in the centre of the pitch. Wilson takes and the ball hits Da Costa. Bridge tries to find Ba on the counter, but his pass is too strong.

72 mins - West Ham have gone to sleep a bit here. Noble's header drops to a Stoke player and Walters works some space for a shot. It's too close to Green and the goalkeeper falls on the ball diving to his right.

70 mins - The striker should score with his first touch. Parker's clearance is a bit aimless and Stoke take advantage. Etherington delivers left-footed and Jones wins the header ahead of Da Costa, but it flashes wide of the far post with Green watching.

69 mins - Jones is on for Delap.

68 mins - So nearly another calamitous error from the Stoke defence as Shawcross heads the ball past Begovic. Cole gets there first and shoots, but the Bosnian dives back to divert the ball behind. The corner glances off the head of Da Costa and flies wide for a goal kick.

67 mins - The home fans burst into a chorus of 'Bubbles'. Pulis is chatting to Kenwyne Jones now, so we can expect to see the former Sunderland man soon, too.

65 mins - A second change from Pulis, who brings on Fuller for Carew. The game is just meandering a bit at the moment. At 2-0, Stoke are still in it. A third goal from the Hammers and surely that would be that.

62 mins - Stoke are readying Ricardo Fuller as Delap winds up for another long throw. The ball is cleared but West Ham can't retain possession. Stoke come again and Etherington's cross threatens to drop to Walters until Piquionne hacks clear. What was he doing back there?!

60 mins - Piquionne and Cole have swapped wings. Cole is now out on the left. Stoke are a bit more of a threat this half, but Pugh's cross is an easy catch for Green. West Ham need another goal to put this to bed.

59 mins - Cole collects a pass from Hitzlsperger and runs at Pugh. He cuts inside and curls a low shot that Begovic does well to tip around the post. Hitzlsperger's corner is flicked on by Ba but comes to nothing.

57 mins - A Delap throw causes some concern and Stoke keep up the pressure. Green is tested by a swerving shot and beats the ball away. Tomkins completes the clearance.

54 mins - Parker scampers back and concedes a corner. He inadvertantly collides with Upson and flies into the advertising hoardings. After a quick check-up, the No8 is able to continue. Before he comes back on, the corner is cleared.

53 mins - Noble tries to pick out Piquionne with a difficult straight ball but it's too strong and Begovic trots out to collect.

52 mins - Etherington has come on to the left wing, with Walters moving across the field to the right flank.

51 mins - There is a real feeling of expectation here that West Ham could add another goal or two to their tally. Stoke make a change, with Pennant trotting off to be replaced by Etherington. The former Hammer of the Year gets a decent reception as he runs on to the field.

48 mins - Noble keeps an attack alive on the edge of the box and Cole heads on for Ba, but Huth just gets a foot in to knock the ball behind. Hitzlsperger crosses and Tomkins' far-post header hits the outside of the post.

47 mins - Upson smashes the ball upfield and Cole chases Huth down and forces the German to concede a throw. Good pressing from the No9. He has worked hard for the team this afternoon.

46 mins - Stoke get the game back underway. The ball is played back to Begovic and his clearance is blocked by Cole, but the striker used his arm. Free-kick.

Matthew Upson leads the Hammers out for the second half, closely followed by the Potters. West Ham played very well before half-time, but the challenge now is to maintain that standard throughout the second 45 minutes. No sign of any changes from either manager.

Half-time score - West Ham United 2-0 Stoke City

47 mins - That's half-time. A very good 45 minutes or so for the home side. In truth, it could have been even better, but 2-0 is a more than welcome scoreline. I wonder if Tony Pulis is considering throwing on some substitutes at the break. Maybe Matty Etherington or Kenwyne Jones? We shall see.

47 mins - Walters twists and turns wide on the left before crossing, but it's far too strong for Carew and bounces out for a goal kick.

46 mins - The corner is headed clear at the near post. By the way, we're going to have at least two added minutes.

44 mins - Da Costa again does well, winning a beast of a challenge with Carew. The ball is then played to Piquionne, who spins away from Pugh and is brought down. The left-back is booked. The free-kick is launched long to Cole, who lays it off for Hitzlsperger, who unleashes a dipping shot that Begovic can only help over the crossbar.

42 mins - Cole collects a Bridge pass and leaves two Stoke players for dead before clipping a ball over the head of Pugh for Piquionne. The Frenchman tries to collect in his stride, but his touch is a bit strong and Begovic can pick up the loose ball. Unlucky. Fine play from Cole.

40 mins - Da Costa has been immense at the back. Just there he wins three towering headers in the space of about 30 seconds. Pennant comes forward but West Ham's defenders do well to stay on their feet and force the winger wide. Parker wins the ball and Pennant can only stab it out for a goal kick.

35 mins - That really should have been 3-0. Bridge crosses and the ball is headed clear to Ba. His volley ricochets to Piquionne. The No30 is in on goal and completely unmarked. He shoots and the ball hits the side-netting.

34 mins - West Ham are pushing for a third. Cole receives a pass from Noble in the inside-right channel and crosses towards the six-yard box. Ba makes a move but Shawcross is there to head clear.

32 mins - There are a few West Ham players who are really doing well out there. Ba is running his socks off, while Piquionne is giving Pugh a real examination down the left wing.

29 mins - GOAL! Fantastic ball in from Hitzlsperger from the resulting free-kick and Da Costa rises high and powers a downward header past Begovic. What another superb goal that is!

29 mins - Shawcross brings down Parker and he too is booked. Parker rubs his leg and gets up.

28 mins - Noble delivers and Da Costa flicks on. The ball bounces to Ba, but his shot is charged down and Stoke scramble the ball clear.

26 mins - The German takes the free-kick but it is straight into the wall. West Ham regain possession and Cole is fouled by Wilson. Yellow card for the right-back.

25 mins - Cole finds Ba, who launches an outstanding 50-yard cross-field pass to Piquionne. He runs at Pugh and is brought down 20 yards out. Chance for Hitzlsperger, maybe?

23 mins - You have to give Ba credit for not giving that up. Begovic should have dealt with it, but he slid and managed to make a complete hash of his clearance. Three Barclays Premier League starts for Ba and four goals.

21 mins - GOAL! Ba! Again! Noble clips a ball over the top for Ba and Begovic comes out and completely misses the ball. Ba chases in and beats Wilson to the ball before stabbing it in from six yards.

19 mins - Ba is looking lively as he collects a pass from Bridge and spins away from WIlson, who tugs him back. The free-kick comes to nothing.

16 mins - West Ham attack down their left and Bridge finds Ba, whose snap-shot deflects wide for a corner. After Marriner talks to a couple of players about barging inside the penalty area, Hitzlsperger curls his delivery into the hands of Begovic.

14 mins - Delap hurls the ball in and Tomkins clears. The ball comes back to the right-back and he clips a ball over the top for Noble to chase. It is a bit too strong and Begovic collects. Stoke win another throw and Tomkins heads clear.

13 mins - Pugh gets in behind Tomkins and his cross hits the No5 and goes behind for another corner. Pennant crosses again and this time it is Ba who heads clear for a throw.

11 mins - Green is forced to help the ball behind as Walters gets in front of his marker and stabs a left-wing cross goalwards. Corner. Pennant crosses and Piquionne heads clear at the near post.

10 mins - Some good possession from the Hammers ends when Piquionne's header down from Noble's pass is handled by Ba on the edge of the penalty area.

9 mins - Ba has had a couple of runs at the Stoke back four already, but both have ended in good challenges from Huth. West Ham are settling down, now.

7 mins - West Ham are working hard to close down any space Stoke create in midfield. Neither team has really found any rhythm as yet, however.

4 mins - Pennant takes on Bridge. His cross gets a small nick off the left-back's boot and Green collects. West Ham break and Parker finds Ba, who tries to beat Huth and is blocked off. Referee Marriner waves his arms and gives nothing.

2 mins - Da Costa finds Parker in acres of space. He tries to bend a ball around Huth for Cole, but it's too strong and Begovic trots out to collect.

1 min - Only nine seconds in as Cole collects on his chest and shoots left-footed from about 30 yards. It's a tame effort though, and bounces harmlessly wide of the post.

3pm - We're underway...

2.59pm - The mascots have their photographs taken with captains Matthew Upson and Ryan Shawcross and the officials before 'Bubbles' plays loudly over the PA system. This is going to be an exciting 90 minutes. West Ham will kick-off towards the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand...

2.55pm - West Brom's win over Birmingham City means the Hammers can climb to 17th with a win today, within a point of the Baggies and a gaggle of other clubs on 32 points, although one of Fulham and Blackburn Rovers will definitely attain more points as the pair face one another at Craven Cottage this afternoon. Here come the two teams...

2.53pm - If you are at a loose end tomorrow afternoon, why not head down to Ship Lane in Thurrock to watch the Ladies take on Colchester United in the FA Women's Cup fourth round? Julia Setford's side have been in superb form all season and are in the running for no fewer than three trophies.

2.50pm - Scott Parker receives his Barclays Premier League and SBOBET Player of the Month awards for February. The No8 has been outstanding of late - even more outstanding than usual, if that is possible!

2.40pm - Unfortunately, the Under-18s went down to a narrow 1-0 FA Premier Academy League defeat at Ipswich Town this lunchtime. Here at the Boleyn Ground, it's an overcast afternoon and the floodlights are on. West Ham's players are playing keep-ball, while Stoke are doing some sprint work over on the far touchline in front of the East Stand.

2pm - The team news is in. Two changes to the side that beat Liverpool 3-1 last Sunday. Manuel da Costa and Carlton Cole come in for Lars Jacobsen and Gary O'Neil.

West Ham United: Green, Tomkins, Da Costa, Upson, Bridge, Noble, Parker, Hitzlsperger, Piquionne, Cole, Ba
Subs: Boffin, Jacobsen, Gabbidon, Spector, O'Neil, Obinna, Hines

Stoke City: Begovic, Wilson, Shawcross, Huth, Pugh, Pennant, Whelan, Delap, Whitehead, Walters, Carew
Subs: Sorensen, Collins, Wilkinson, Diao, Etherington, Jones, Fuller

1.30pm - Welcome to the Scandinavian Hammers, who have travelled over from all over Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to attend this afternoon's fixture.

Scandinavian Hammers

A group of 43 supporters from the Scandinavian Hammers supporters' club are attending today's game. The group, which includes 21 children, have travelled to the Boleyn Ground from their homes all over Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to cheer on their heroes.

Founded in October 1988, the club now has more than 800 members, many of whom make regular visits to home and away matches. Chairman Gjermund Holt said this latest visit will be packed with West Ham United-related activities.

"Our trip is organised especially for the kids, with a few activities for them. On Sunday morning, we are going to the Football in the Community training pitch in Beckton, where the kids will be playing in their West Ham shirts against their parents. Before that we will have a stadium tour and a good, long shopping trip at the Stadium Store!

"On Monday morning, all the kids will be going to Chadwell Heath to see training and meet the players. Last year, the same number of kids where on a similar trip and it was a huge success."

The children who have travelled to today's game are Julia B Holt, Jesper B Holt, Sindre Pettersen Nordby, Johanne Kammerud, Sturla Nordlund, Cecilia B Strandli, Ole Aleksander Berglien, Adrian Oedegaard Hauan, Magnus Berget, Jesper Risa, Jostein Alessandro Rodriguez Fossum, Tobias Leon Rodriguez Fossum, Matias Konrad Lunde, Erlend Tobias Lunde, Leon Kubara, Sander Dahle Fiske, Erik Bugge Forsberg, Magnus Bugge Forsberg, Jonas Hoxbro, Simen Einarsen, and Mikael Rudaa Fossum.

For more information about the Scandianvian Hammers, visit www.westhamunited.no

12.30pm - Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for what promises to be another mouth-watering Barclays Premier League fixture. Stoke City are the visitors, with West Ham United seeking back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.

A victory for the Hammers would lift them out of the bottom three, with 16th-placed Birmingham City facing 17th-placed West Bromwich Albion and 18th-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers not in action until Sunday. Indeed, a draw would be enough to take West Ham out of the relegation zone if West Brom lose at St Andrews.

The omens are good for a home win, with Stoke having lost a club-record five straight away Barclays Premier League matches and not scored on their travels for 410 minutes. The Potters have lost ten of their 14 away league fixtures this season and have not beaten a London-based club this term.

West Ham, meanwhile, have picked up eight points from their previous five matches, losing just once in that span. In all competitions, Avram Grant's side have netted 17 goals in their last six matches.

Today's game is the third meeting between the two sides this season, with the reverse league fixture ending in a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on 18 September 2010 - Scott Parker's opener being cancelled out by Kenwyne Jones. The Hammers also triumphed 3-1 after extra time in the Carling Cup fourth round at the Boleyn Ground. Jones was again on target before Parker equalised and Manuel da Costa and Victor Obinna scored in extra time.

Team news will be available at around 2pm, with whufc.com the first place to discover the two starting lineups and sets of substitutes.