MIDDLESBROUGH v WEST HAM UNITED
TUESDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2011
Full-time score - Middlesbrough 0-2 West Ham United
95 mins - That goal cued wild celebrations, as did the final whistle seconds later! That is Middlesbrough's first home defeat since February - a span of 16 games. We will have exclusive post-match reaction and highlights on West Ham TV, plus a behind-the-scenes look at what the team do for an away fixture. That's seven wins in ten away league games this season - the Hammers won seven league games in the whole of last season!
94 mins - GOAL! Cole! Bates makes a complete hash of McCartney's clearance down the line and Cole benefits. He chases and picks up the loose ball goalside of Bates before making his way into the penalty area, rounding Steele and finishing calmly past Bates and another defender on the line. Game over!
94 mins - Into the final minute and the home side have a goal kick.
93 mins - The corner comes to nothing but the clearance only gets as far as Diop. He smashes the ball high into the stand to waste time.
92 mins - Nolan, Cole and Noble combine before Noble stabs a ball over McMahon for Cole to chase. The forward is fouled. Great stuff! The free-kick is taken short, but West Ham somehow work an opening inside the box for Taylor. His shot hits a defender and flies wide. Head in hands from the No14.
91 mins - Into the first of four added minutes and Emnes crosses from the left. The clearing header falls to left-back Bennett, who volleys from 30 yards-plus. It's over the top.
90 mins - Boro are still attacking. Bates comes forward and lets fly from 30 yards. Tomkins is there again to block inside the box, but I think that might have been going wide.
89 mins - McMahon works a crossing opportunity but Faye heads clear. The cross comes back in from deep and McDonald flings his leg at the ball but cannot connect. Goal kick.
88 mins - A long punt forward for McDonald to chase but O'Brien shows a good turn of pace to get there first. He concedes a throw. Boro then win a free-kick which is taken quickly, but Diop clears for a throw.
87 mins - Noble and Big Sam are both upset by another decision as the midfielder is ruled to have conceded a throw. It looked like a Hammers ball from here...
86 mins - Leicester now lead 2-0, while Millwall are 3-2 up at home to Doncaster.
84 mins - Boro replace Williams with Alex Nimely.
84 mins - Argh! Nolan should at least hit the target there as Taylor's cross is controlled by Cole into his path. He is 16 yards out and unmarked, but lashes his left-foot volley over the top.
83 mins - From the throw, Noble gets into the box and goes down. He is adamant that is a penalty, but nothing is given. Moments later, when the Hammers concede a free-kick, Noble belts the ball away in frustration. He is booked.
82 mins - Noble plays a pass along the inside-left channel for Cole. Steele rushes out to clear.
81 mins - Burnley will be full of confidence on Saturday - they're 4-0 up against Ipswich. That's seven goals without reply scored by the Clarets.
80 mins - O'Brien is involved straight away - substitutes always are, aren't they! He crosses low and the ball is stabbed out for a throw. Boro threaten to clear, then give the ball away. Cole gets it on the edge of the box but his square pass for Taylor is under-hit.
79 mins - Tomkins wins a commanding header and the ball breaks to Noble. He turns and beats McMahon before being hauled back. The free-kick enables Big Sam to replace debutant Demel with Joey O'Brien.
78 mins - Faye tries his best to head McMahon's third delivery behind for another corner, but Taylor gets there to head out for a throw.
78 mins - Two corners are headed behind again...
77 mins - West Ham have a succession of crossing chances but neither Demel nor Faubert can pick anyone out. Ogbeche holds the ball up well and Boro break before Emnes wins a corner off Taylor.
75 mins - West Ham break through Faubert following more good work from Tomkins at the back. Faubert runs 40 yards before sliding a pass in for Cole, whose first-time shot is blocked behind for a corner. Noble takes and Tomkins wins it, but Boro scramble the ball clear for a throw.
74 mins - Much-travelled Nigeria international Bart Ogbeche is on for Bailey. The new man's nickname is 'The Bartman'.
73 mins - Tomkins gets a foot in on McDonald and finds Nolan. Faubert steams unmarked through the middle, but the skipper cannot quite get enough on his pass, allowing Williams to cut it out. Unlucky.
72 mins - Elsewhere Leeds are now 4-0 up at Forest, Watford are 2-2 with Bristol City and Burnley are 3-0 up at home to Ipswich. Back here, Boro build patiently before Bailey shoots low and wide from 25 yards. Nolan put the midfielder under pressure there.
71 mins - Taylor lifts the free-kick over, but it's too high for Tomkins at the far post. Goal kick.
70 mins - Controversy as Steele is penalised for handling outside his area. He escapes without further censure. Cole was the man who put the goalkeeper under pressure. Great angle for Taylor to deliver from wide on the right.
69 mins - Faubert works hard to chase Noble's pass down the right touchline. He is challenged by Bennett before going in for a second challenge and the ball spins behind for a goal kick. Piquionne is the man to be replaced by Cole. The away fans singing Piquionne's name as he goes off.
68 mins - Carlton Cole will be on at the next break in play.
66 mins - McCartney makes an error by slicing his clearance high into the air. He then compounds it by holding Emnes. McMahon takes the free-kick and Tomkins heads clear to Zemmana. He shoots first-time from 25 yards and Tomkins blocks.
65 mins - Emnes gets a bit fortunate in a 50/50 with Tomkins. The ball rolls the Dutchman's way, but his shot is weak and rolls well wide again. Goal kick.
64 mins - Faubert wins a header then forces a loose clearance which Demel picks up. The ball is passed around before Diop crosses from deep, but it's a bit aimless.
61 mins - Good tracking by Taylor as Bailey tries to pick out the late run of McMahon. The winger heads the ball behind for a corner. McMahon takes and Haroun rises high at the far post and heads wide. Half-chance for the hosts.
59 mins - Tomkins starts an attack by dribbling past two players before winning a tackle. The Hammers keep up the pressure and possession, leaving the home fans mocking their team's efforts. Diop gets in behind Bates and beats one man. He is in. He pokes the ball wide of the far post when a square pass to Nolan would surely have meant 2-0. That would have been a superb goal, too.
58 mins - Southampton now lead against Hull...
56 mins - The 1,243 want a penalty as Noble checks and goes down inside the Boro penalty area. The referee gives nothing. To be honest, I couldn't see if he was clipped or not, or if the defender got the ball.
56 mins - Tonight's crowd is 18,457, with 1,243 making the trip up from east London.
55 mins - Noble wrong-foots Taylor with a pass and Boro can break. It's Haroun who makes his way to the right corner of the box before shooting, but his effort is low and rolls harmlessly wide of the far post.
54 mins - Neat feet from Diop as he collects a pass from McCartney and beats his man in midfield. The Senegalese takes another touch before sending a low shot wide of the left post from 30 yards. Steele dives, but it's more for effect than need.
52 mins - Very cool play from the captain. The cross from the Boro left is headed half-clear by Tomkins. Nolan knows what he is doing, though, as he heads the ball back over two defenders into the arms of Green.
51 mins - Tomkins is back on again. He is greeted by boos from the home fans.
50 mins - Southampton have equalised. Meanwhile, Tomkins has his boot off as he hobbles to the touchline.
50 mins - The physio is on to tend to Tomkins. It might be his foot or ankle that took the whack, actually. Joey O'Brien has been sent out to warm up.
49 mins - A second Boro players is booked as McDonald slides in on Tomkins. The centre-back is grabbing his shin and looks in some pain. The home crowd don't like it, but referee Mr Dean is in no doubt.
47 mins - Faye's long ball is knocked down and drops via Nolan into the path of Faubert. He lets the ball drop and volleys first-time from 25 yards. The ball flies ten yards wide.
46 mins - West Ham kick-off. Piquionne misses the ball but Taylor chases it down. However, he cannot prevent a goal kick.
Middlesbrough are out first after the break, followed about a minute later by the Hammers. Big Sam will have warned his players of the danger of letting McDonald get in behind the defence. Emnes has also been lively. That said, West Ham have had more than enough possession and they do lead!
Half-time score - Middlesbrough 0-1 West Ham United
A few more goals to report as Millwall now lead Doncaster 2-1, Leeds are 2-0 up at Nottingham Forest and Reading have equalised against Peterborough. Watford are 2-1 up at home to Bristol City.
47 mins - Piquionne wants a corner, but the assistant awards a goal kick. Steele belts the ball upfield and that's half-time.
46 mins - The fourth official tells us we'll have at least one more minute. Meanwhile, Hull City lead at Southampton. Noble crosses and the ball hits a defender and rolls out for a throw on the near side.
45 mins - Don't look at the 'As it stands' league table...
44 mins - Boro threaten again down their right before McDonald cuts inside and releases Emnes. He chops and shoots low through Tomkins' legs. The ball must take a nick off the defender before hitting the side-netting as a corner is awarded. West Ham clear.
42 mins - McDonald gets into the box and collects Haroun's pass. However, the assistant raises his flag for offside before he crosses and Green collects. West Ham are doing enough to keep their lead, but Big Sam will want them to do more with the ball.
41 mins - This is a chance for Middlesbrough to get the ball in again as Tomkins is penalised for blocking off McDonald. The cross is high to the far stick and Demel heads clear.
39 mins - Leicester City and Peterborough United have take the lead against Blackpool and Reading respectively.
38 mins - Big Sam and Wally Downes are incensed as Zemmana takes the ball out but is awarded a throw. Boro attack down their right through Bates, but his cross is headed clear by Tomkins. Moments later, the home side attack again, but Haroun's shot is way over the top from 25 yards.
36 mins - Saturday's opponents Burnley are now 1-0 up against Ipswich Town through Wales striker Sam Vokes. Back here, Faubert is given an age and crosses dangerously towards Nolan. McManus concedes the corner. It's taken short to Taylor, whose cross is blocked behind again.
33 mins - The corner comes over and West Ham half-clear. The second cross is also dangerous but the Hammers deal with it before Taylor is fouled as he brings the ball clear.
32 mins - Noble takes and Faye's header flies to the edge of the box where Taylor shoots wide. Steele takes the goal kick quickly and McDonald gets in behind again and shoots. Green makes another good save before Tomkins stabs the ball behind for a corner - Boro's first and the second of the game!
31 mins - Taylor will fancy this one. Noble is brought down 30 yards out and McManus is booked. After the yellow card, West Ham have a free-kick just right of centre... Taylor shoots and the ball flicks off the wall and behind for a corner - the first of the game.
30 mins - Good defending twice by the Hammers. First, Tomkins tracks Emnes' run across the face of the box before blocking the Dutchman's shot. The ball spins wide left to Zemmana, whose cross floats wide of the far post.
29 mins - Millwall and Waford lead at home against Doncaster Rovers and Bristol City respectively.
27 mins - Better from the Hammers as Demel gets down the right and works a shooting chance for Faubert. He lets fly left-footed, but McManus is there to make the block.
26 mins - Boro have some pressure. Faye and Diop head the first cross clear but the hosts work the ball back to Emnes. He gets into the box and crosses left-footed towards Zemmana. The midfielder shoots but Green is there to make the save to his left.
25 mins - West Ham win another throw down their right but Diop's cross is too high for Piquionne. Goal kick.
24 mins - Faubert loses possession trying to play in Piquionne. Credit to the Frenchman as he gets back at Zemmana before Noble completes the job. He is then fouled. The long ball into the box finds Nolan in behind, but his touch takes him wide. He backheels into the six-yard box, where Bates hacks clear for a throw.
23 mins - Elsewhere, Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United are both winning away from home.
22 mins - Tomkins slices a clearance and McDonald tries to usher the ball out for a corner. McCartney again prevents the corner and the throw again comes to nothing.
20 mins - West Ham are having some possession inside the Boro half before Demel works the ball back to Green. His long pass drops off a head to Taylor. The No14 tries one of his specials from 35 yards, but the ball dips just too late and lands on the roof of the net. 'Oooohs' from the visiting fans behind the goal.
17 mins - Zemmana wins the argument and promptly plants his shot into the stand. McMahon might take the next one!
16 mins - McCartney and Nolan are involved in a challenge on Haroun that concedes another free-kick in shooting range. Zemmana and McMahon are discussing who should take this one...
14 mins - Take a bow Robert Green! McDonald gets in behind Tomkins and is in on goal. He lets the ball bounce before sending a rasping volley that Green beats aside. McCartney does well to prevent the corner. The throw is cleared. Great save by the England man.
13 mins - That was a quality header from Piquionne - unstoppable. It is also his second goal in consecutive away games after 21 matches without one.
11 mins - There is a break in play as two Middlesbrough players exchange views with Nolan. The skipper is not happy about something. After speaking to his assistant and then two Middlesbrough players - Bennett and Zemmana - we're back underway...
9 mins - GOAL! Piquionne! It's been coming! Nolan breaks forward and swaps passes with Noble before finding Taylor on the left. He looks up, takes a touch and clips an inch-perfect cross towards Piquionne. He leaps and sends a downward header past Steele.
8 mins - McMahon shoots from 30 yards and gets it over the wall, but it's a routine catch for Green.
7 mins - Boro have been nowhere near Green's goal as yet. In fact, they've hardly completed a pass inside the West Ham half. As I type, Faubert cuts inside Bennett and finds Noble. He could turn, but instead tries to pick out Piquionne. The pass is cut out and Boro break. McDonald bursts past Diop and is brought down 30 yards out.
5 mins - Demel's first touch is so nearly an assist for Piquionne! Noble does brilliantly to beat three players before clipping a cross just too high for Piquionne. Demel - in his flourescent yellow boots - takes a touch before cutting a low cross to the near post for the No30. However, the angle is against Piquionne and his flick goes wide.
4 mins - Fantastic start by the Hammers. A quick passing move in midfield leaves Boro standing still before McCartney gets in from Noble's pass and crosses low. McManus is there to clear from inside his own penalty area.
2 mins - Good start by West Ham. Piquionne wins another flick-on before the ball is played to Nolan. He is brought down by Haroun about 30 yards out. Taylor and Noble stand over it... Taylor shoots over the wall and Steele gets something behind it. Luckily for the Boro stopper, the ball loops high enough into the air and to a defender, who clears.
1 min - Green hits it long, Piquionne flicks on and Taylor tries to find Nolan. Instead the ball hits a Boro defender and rolls into the hands of Steele.
7.48pm - Emnes and McDonald kick-off. McDonald hares forward and immediately fouls Tomkins. Free-kick to the Hammers after eleven seconds.
7.47pm - Middlesbrough will kick-off, but not before the teams have changed ends. That means the Hammers will be shooting towards their own supporters in the first half.
7.45pm - The away fans give us a rousing chorus of 'Come on you Irons' and we've not even kicked-off yet! Referee Mike Dean calls the two teams together for a minute's tribute to Gary Speed. Both sets of players and fans break into spontaneous applause and we're also treated to a chorus of 'There's only one Gary Speed'. That's great to hear and see.
7.43pm - Here come the two teams. I must admit the Riverside Stadium is far from full. There are about 1,200 Hammers fans to my right singing their hearts out. Good work! West Ham are in their change strip of all sky blue with claret trim.
7.40pm - Middlesbrough's goalkeeper Jason Steele has had to undergo a late fitness test after picking up a knock in the warm-up. Remember, they don't have a substitute stopper on the bench.
7.30pm - So, just 15 minutes until kick-off and let's hope all the preparation the Hammers have put in over the past few days pays off. The manager, his staff and players have left no stone unturned and will be ready for whatever threat Middlesbrough pose this evening.
Neil McDonald puts the players through their paces on the pitch
7.24pm - There will be a minute's applause before kick-off in memory of late Wales manager Gary Speed. Many West Ham players and staff knew Speed well, so it is sure to be a poignant moment for all concerned.
6.59pm - Interestingly, Middlesbrough do not have a substitute goalkeeper on the bench. I am not sure who would go between the sticks but the common answer in the Press Room is Matthew Bates.
6.56pm - West Ham boss Big Sam makes four changes from the side that beat Derby County 3-1 on Saturday. Out go O'Brien, Collison, Baldock and Cole and in come Demel for his debut, Diop, Taylor and Piquionne.
6.54pm - Sorry for the slight delay - it is a bit of a trek to the tunnel from the Press Room high in the stand! Anyway...
Subs: Stech, O'Brien, Collison, Sears, Cole
6.40pm - The team news will be announced in about five minutes.
Abdoulaye Faye was all smiles as he disembarked the team coach
Big Sam met some loyal Hammers supporters on his arrival
The Hammers have arrived safely at the Riverside Stadium
6.35pm - The Hammers have arrived at the Riverside Stadium and are getting ready to go out on to the pitch to warm-up. They'll have to do some thorough exercises as it's a cold evening on Teesside. A small group of West Ham fans greeted the squad on their arrival, with Big Sam signing a few autographs before making his way into the warmth of the dressing room.
Good evening and welcome to the Riverside Stadium for tonight's npower Championship fixture between Middlesbrough and West Ham United.
A minute's tribute will be held ahead of kick-off in memory of the late Wales manager Gary Speed, who died at the weekend. Speed was a close friend of West Ham and Wales goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson and was signed for Bolton Wanderers by Sam Allardyce, where he played alongside Kevin Nolan, Joey O'Brien and Abdoulaye Faye. Speed, of course, also selected Jack Collison for Wales on many occasions.
It is fourth versus second, with the Hammers hoping that a win - combined with Southampton's first home defeat of the season at the hands of Hull City - could see them go top of the table for the first time this season.
Three points would also represent a fourth consecutive home win for Allardyce's side - the first time that feat will have been achieved since Carlos Tevez scored at Manchester United to complete the great escape in May 2007 - and a sixth victory in seven league matches.
Middlesbrough will be no easy nut to crack, however. Tony Mowbray's side have not lost at home in the league this term, winning three and drawing six of their nine league matches at the Riverside Stadium. In all, Boro are unbeaten in 16 home league matches dating back to a 3-0 defeat by Queens Park Rangers on 26 February - a little more than nine months ago.
Tonight's game pitches the division's two tightest defences against one another. Both Boro and West Ham have conceded just 15 goals in 18 league matches.
Team news-wise, Big Sam will be without strikers Sam Baldock (hamstring) and John Carew, who was injured in training on Monday. Centre-back Winston Reid (shoulder), back-up goalkeeper Ruud Boffin (finger) and long-term absentees Gary O'Neil (ankle), Henri Lansbury and David Bentley (both knee) are also out, but Matt Taylor is pushing for his first start in more than a month after returning from a calf problem. Teenage defender Dan Potts has been included in the 17-man travelling party as he continues to gain welcome experience.
Middlesbrough will make a late decision on Scotland midfielder Barry Robson, who has experienced tightness in his thigh. Dutch forward Marvin Emmes (calf) and Australia midfielder Scott McDonald (illness) are also doubts, while Scotland midfielder Kevin Thomson (hamstring) will miss out.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Bennett, Bates, Zemmana, McManus, McDonald, McMahon, Bailey (Ogbeche 74), Williams (Tchuimeni-Nimely 84), Emnes, Haroun
Subs: Hines, Hoyte, Arca
Subs: Stech, Collison, Sears