SOUTHAMPTON v WEST HAM UNITED
TUESDAY 18 OCTOBER 2011
Final score - Southampton 1-0 West Ham United
95 mins - A last chance as Nolan flicks the ball into the box. Davis almost over-runs it with Baldock threatening, but recovers to grab the ball on the turf. Davis clears upfield and the final whistle goes. A third defeat of the season for the Hammers, who also lose their unbeaten away record. Southampton, meanwhile, march on and are five points clear at the top. If results stay as they are, West Ham will stay second.
95 mins - We're into the final minute and the ball is inside the West Ham half... Almunia's long clearance almost bounces to Reid, but the Saints clear.
94 mins - It's not happening. West Ham twice belt high balls out for throws.
92 mins - Controversy! Reid commits a foul on the edge of the box as the ball is played through to De Ridder. The referee blows his whistle, but De Ridder pokes the ball past Almunia and thinks he has sealed it. Instead, Mr Deadman books Reid and Lambert''s free-kick is safely collected by Almunia.
91 mins - Southampton are keeping possession inside the West Ham half before McCartney needlessly knocks the ball out for a throw on halfway.
90 mins - De Ridder is booked for a challenge on Reid. We're going to have at least FIVE more minutes...
89 mins - Time is running out here. West Ham have come on strong in the final stages, but unless they can fashion something, Southampton's ridiculous home winning streak will be stretched to 17 matches in all competitions.
87 mins - That was so close! Now it's Southampton theatening on the break as the ball bounces for De Ridder and he forces Almunia into an acrobatic save with a lob. Corner to the Saints and a chance to run down the clock.
86 mins - Argh again! Noble takes and Davis dives to tip the ball over on to the roof of the net. The corner is cleared but worked back to Noble, who beats his man and puts in a superb cross. It flicks off the head of a defender and bounces past Davis and back off the face of the far post!
85 mins - McCartney does well. First his cross is punched clear by Davis, but Southampton contrive to give the ball back to the left-back, who is fouled about five yards outside the penalty area near the left corner. Guly is replaced by Steve De Ridder before the free-kick.
84 mins - Southampton look like they've settled for trying to play this game out. Can West Ham take advantage? Faubert has gone further forward and O'Brien is at right-back.
81 mins - Jack Cork comes on for Connolly.
79 mins - O'Brien is involved straight away, combining with Faubert before the latter's deep cross finds Lansbury. He picks out McCartney's run and the left-back wins a corner. Lansbury's corner drops inside the area, but Southampton again scramble the ball away. West Ham keep up the pressure but a long ball to the edge of the area finds a Hammers player offside. Frustrating...
78 mins - O'Brien replaces Carew, but not before the fourth official has some fun and games with the electric number board thing.
76 mins - A West Ham free-kick nearly turns into a Southampton goal as a hopeful punt forward is made a horrible mess of by McCartney and Noble. The ball drops to Lambert, who plays in Guly. He has time and space to pick his spot, but Almunia is out like lightning to block the ball behind. Corner. It's cleared by Faye and the follow-up shot flies wide.
75 mins - A yellow card for Chaplow for a lunging challenge on Lansbury on the edge of the centre circle. Into the final 15 minutes and West Ham have plenty of firepower on the pitch. Can they fashion an equaliser? Chaplow is immediately replaced by full-back Dan Harding.
74 mins - The game has opened up even more since Noble replaced Diop. The No16 tries to pick out the run of Piquionne, but his pass is cut out. Southampton break and Reid is momentarily wrong-footed, but Faye is there to cut out the cross.
71 mins - The big man Guly is a decent player. He shows his talent again with a first-time curler from the edge of the box that curls a couple of yards wide of the far post.
69 mins - Chaplow gets away slightly to the right of centre and shoots from the corner of the box. It's well-struck, but the ball flies just past the angle with Almunia putting in the dive just in case.
67 mins - Noble is involved for the first time but Faubert wastes his pass but over-hitting his cross. Meanwhile, the PA man announces the crowd as 32,150 - that's a stadium record for St Mary's! The West Ham fans respond with a chorus of 'You're only here for the West Ham'.
66 mins - Noble replaced Diop.
65 mins - West Ham are going to make a second change. Mark Noble is being readied on the touchline. Before he can enter the fray, however, Connolly is so close to being put through by Guly, but Faye is in the right place to make the interception.
64 mins - A Southampton corner is headed powerfully clear from inside the six-yard box. It is still end-to-end stuff here at St Mary's.
62 mins - A change in shape as Baldock goes up front and Carew comes wide left. It almost pays dividends straight away as a long clearance bounces up for Baldock. He can't beat Fonte in a physical battle, but Piquionne nips in and wins a corner. Carew wins the header, but it goes well wide. Before the goal kick can be taken Hooiveld is booked for what I can only imagine is dissent.
61 mins - I'm not sure if that's a cross or a shot from Schneiderlin, but the ball floats just past the far post and out for a goal kick. Whatever it was, Almunia was watching the ball like a hawk.
60 mins - Argh! Nolan is fouled about 40 yards out. The free-kick is worked along the ground to the same player inside the penalty area. He rolls his marker and shoots, but Davis makes another fine save.
59 mins - Baldock has space on the left edge of the Saints penalty area to pick out a cross, but his centre is low and Southampton are able to clear their lines. It's been a relentless 15 minutes since half-time in which either side could have scored.
57 mins - Connolly again, shooting on the turn in the centre of the penalty area, but again his effort flies off-target.
56 mins - A slip in midfield from Diop and Southampton have numbers forward. Connolly gets free in space down the inside-right channel but curls his shot past the angle of crossbar and far post.
55 mins - Yet another shooting chance as Carew's knockdown from Faubert's free-kick falls to Diop. He takes a touch before scooping the ball well over from 20 yards.
53 mins - The corner is cleared by McCartney and, following a slip by Fonte, Baldock is one on one against Hooiveld. He cuts inside on to his right foot and measures his effort, but it curls just past the far post. So close...
51 mins - Nolan commits a foul about 35 yards out on Hammond. Despite the captain's protests, he is booked. Before the kick can be taken, Baldock is also shown a yellow card for encroachment. When the kick is finally taken, Lambert's effort hits a defender and flies past the far post.
50 mins - Piquionne wins a third corner of the half and the West Ham fans behind the goal ratchet up the noise level. The ball is delivered by Lansbury and it flicks off a head before dropping to Reid. It's on his weaker left foot and the angle is tight. The Kiwi thrashes his volley high into the stand.
49 mins - It has been better from the Hammers since the break, but a second corner of the half also goes to waste as the ball skims off the head of Faye and out for a throw.
46 mins - Southampton get us back under way. The Hammers go straight on the attack and win a corner. Lansbury takes but it is too long and it sails harmlessly behind.
Half-time score - Southampton 1-0 West Ham United
47 mins - Faubert's high cross is dropped by Davis under pressure from Nolan and defender Fonte, but he recovers to grasp the bouncing ball. With that, the half-time whistle is blown. West Ham have it all to do after the break.
46 mins - Close to an equaliser straight away. First a knockdown is just too strong for Baldock, but he retains possession and finds Piquionne. His hanging cross picks out Carew at the far post, but the No11's downward header bounces wide of the upright. Goal kick.
46 mins - We're going to have at least two added minutes...
45 mins - GOAL! Fox's right-wing corner is into the six-yard box and the towering Hooiveld rises highest to power his header into the net. A defender got a touch on the line, but could not keep it out.
45 mins - Saints come again and this time it's only a last-ditch block from Diop that keeps Chaplow's shot from hitting the target. Corner.
43 mins - That, ladies and gents, should be 1-0 to Southampton. Faubert's header is towards Almunia but short of pace. Connolly is there to take advantage but goes for a first-time volley from a difficult angle, rather than trying to bring the ball down. It is a weak effort and Almunia collects. I'd have to see it again, but surely the Irishman could have taken a touch there?
41 mins - Half-time is approaching and it is Southampton who are perhaps carrying the greater threat again. Well, they were until Reid sticks a big boot in and Diop is fouled near halfway.
38 mins - Southampton come forward down their right and Guly does well. A cross comes in from Richardson, but Lambert is offside before poking the ball goalwards. Almunia dives to his right and makes the low catch anyway.
36 mins - From the goal kick, West Ham keep possession and Nolan finds Faubert with a neat square ball. The full-back sends in a fine cross and Piquionne leaps high. His header drops to Baldock, whose hooked shot from eight yards is blocked by the legs of Davis. That was lucky for the Saints. Nolan holds the ball up again and Diop finds Faubert wide right for a second time, but his cross is low and easily cleared.
36 mins - Reid shows strength not once but twice in the space of 30 seconds. The second time, he jockeys Richardson before the full-back tries to go round the outside of him. No chance. Reid holds his space and ushers the ball behind for a goal kick.
34 mins - West Ham have weathered the storm for now and are keeping Southampton inside their own half in the main. However, the latest Hammers foray ends when Piquionne handles a clearance.
31 mins - That's better. Faubert's clearance is controlled well by Piquionne. He sends Carew away down the left. The Norwegian gets to the byline, checks and looks up before threading the ball along the turf to Nolan 22 yards out in the middle of the pitch. He takes a touch but his curler goes past the angle of post and crossbar.
30 mins - The Hammers have a half-chance as the ball hits Fonte on the legs and falls to Baldock. Davis is off his line, but Baldock instead chooses to roll the ball wide to Carew. His cross is cleared for a throw.
29 mins - A big chance for Chaplow as Connolly checks back on to his left foot and floats a cross to the back post. Lambert outjumps Faubert and the ball drops to Chaplow, but he cannot twist his body enough to direct his volley on target. Goal kick.
27 mins - Reid needs some running repairs to what looks like a bloody nose, so West Ham are down to ten for the moment. Even so, a loose ball drops to McCartney and he wins a free-kick from Guly inside the Southampton half. Reid trots back on, but the delivery from McCartney eludes everyone and goes behind for a goal kick.
24 mins - Southampton are really upping the pressure here as a diagonal ball into the box causes confusion between Reid and Almunia. The ball hits Reid on the head and goes behind for a corner. The initial delivery is somehow scrambled away and when the ball comes back into the box Southampton want a penalty for handball when Guly heads the ball down and Reid dives to head it. Instead, the referee blows for a push on the New Zealand defender.
23 mins - Hammond takes the free-kick and Fonte rises six yards out. Fortunately, he makes no or little contact and the ball skims behind for a goal kick.
22 mins - Taylor's injury means a change to the system. Piquionne goes wide left and Baldock wide right in a 4-3-3. Meanwhile, Southampton are coming forward again and Faubert concedes a free-kick near the corner flag on the Southampton left. This is dangerous...
21 mins - West Ham are forced to make an early change as Taylor is replaced by Frederic Piquionne. One ex-Portsmouth player for another, and the home fans are letting them know it!
20 mins - I wonder if Big Sam might be tempted to change his system? Baldock could fill the wide right berth if he goes 4-3-3. Anyway, the manager knows better than me!
19 mins - That's a half-chance for the Hammers as Davis's clearance falls to Lansbury. He controls on his chest and is in behind Fox. He has two to aim for in the middle, but his cross is low and Hooiveld cuts it out at the near post.
18 mins - Southampton's movement is very good and West Ham are not having much of a look in at present. The two Saints full-backs are pushed right on and are not giving Taylor or Lansbury a moment to breathe, let alone take a touch or two. In the centre, Hammond and Schneiderlin are looking busy.
15 mins - A quarter of an hour into the game and you'd have to say it's been pretty even so far. Southampton have had the upper hand in terms of possession, but they've been restricted to a couple of shots from distance. Taylor has had the best opportunity of the game so far, and that was within the opening 60 seconds.
12 mins - Southampton's two widemen try to combine in the centre of the pitch. Chaplow slides a pass through to Guly on the edge of the penalty area. The Brazilian takes a touch, but it's a poor one and Reid is able to clear his lines.
11 mins - Carew chases a long through ball. He's one against two with the Southampton centre-backs. Hooiveld wins the race and plays a neat one-two with Davis. Good goalkeeping from the big stopper.
9 mins - Hammond again, this time from 25 yards on the angle. Again, it's way too high and Almunia watches the ball sail into the stand.
8 mins - Ooooh! Fonte's backpass is harmless enough but Carew runs towards Davis and his low clearance hits the Norwegian and loops across the penalty area. Unfortunately, the ball falls to a red and white shirt and Southampton clear.
8 mins - Guly crosses from the right and a defensive header bounces away from Nolan into the path of Hammond. He smashes a first-time shot from all of 30 yards, but it's a couple of yards too high. The home fans respond with a chant of 'Deano Deano' in honour of their skipper.
6 mins - West Ham are playing a 4-4-2 with Lansbury wide right and Taylor wide left. Baldock is up front with Carew, but dropping deep when West Ham don't have the ball to support the midfield.
4 mins - Southampton continue to attack and win a throw deep in West Ham territory, but Nolan steps in and nips the attack in the bud. It's all a bit frantic and both sets of fans are really into the action already.
3 mins - A breathless start as Reid's loose header drops to Chaplow on the corner of the penalty area. He lets fly but his volley bounces miles wide of the far post.
2 mins - The second corner is short and easily cleared at the near post. West Ham win the ball back and Lansbury has a shooting chance on his left foot from 25 yards, but slices it well off-target.
1 min - The corner is half-cleared to Lansbury, who finds Taylor. He beats a challenge and shoots low, but Davis is there to block the ball behind for a second corner.
7.46pm - Nolan and Baldock get us underway, Faubert belts the ball forward and Guly concedes a throw. West Ham work it quickly and Carew wins a corner.
7.45pm - Right, the mascot photos have been taken and the captains gather with referee Darren Deadman for the handshakes. West Ham will kick-off...
7.43pm - Here they come... Captains Kevin Nolan and Dean Hammond lead their teams out of the tunnel and we're nearly ready to go. The pitch looks absolutely immaculate.
7.41pm - The 3,800-odd West Ham fans are making a right din to my right. The stadium is filling up nicely and I would think the two teams will be out within the next minute or two. This is a proper match, isn't it?
7.37pm - The wonder of twitter! Many thanks to Infostrada Sports, who inform me that should they avoid defeat tonight, West Ham will make their best start away from home in the league since going ten games unbeaten on their travels in 1990/91. That season, of course, saw the Hammers win promotion to Division One as runners-up to Oldham Athletic.
7.25pm - West Ham, of course, are seeking to go top of the table for the first time since Tuesday 22 August 2006, when a 1-1 draw at Watford took the Hammers top of the Premier League for 24 hours. It's a sellout here at St Mary's tonight, so the atmosphere should be outstanding.
7.20pm - A Southampton fan being interviewed on the big screens reckons the home side will win 4-1! Let's hope he's wrong. I am also reliably informed that this is Southampton's best start to a season in 52 years.
7.05pm - Southampton name former Hammers striker David Connolly in their starting XI, while goalkeeper and captain Kelvin Davis spent time on trial at Chadwell Heath at the start of the 2010/11 season.
6.48pm - Two change from Saturday's win over Blackpool, with Abdoulaye Faye and Henri Lansbury in for James Tomkins and Jack Collison.
Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Hammond, Chaplow, Schneiderlin, Guly, Lambert, Connolly
Subs: Bialkowski, Harding, Cork, Martin, De Ridder
West Ham United: Almunia, Faubert, Reid, Faye, McCartney, Lansbury, Bouba Diop, Nolan, Taylor, Baldock, Carew
Subs: Boffin, O'Brien, Noble, Collison, Piquionne
6.10pm - Southampton have not hosted West Ham United at this level since 20 December 1952, when the two clubs were in the old Division Two. That day, Terry Woodgate and Fred Kearns scored in a 2-1 Hammers victory at The Dell in front of a crowd of 12,274. I would suggest there will be more than twice that number of fans here this evening, but a repeat of that result would be most welcome.
6pm - As has been widely reported in the media today, Southampton centre-back Radhi Jaidi is out after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Defender Dan Seaborne is also sidelined. Seaborne has made five appearances this season, but Jaidi has not featured at all.
5.50pm - Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is effusive in his praise for the Hammers in his matchday programme notes. Adkins says: "We are aware of the physical strengths and set play capabilities of tonight's opponents, but we also know that like ourselves they have good players who also want to pass the football, so that adds to the flavour of this evening's contest in what I'm sure will be a fantastic atmosphere."
Good afternoon and welcome to a sunny but slightly chilly St Mary's Stadium for tonight's top-of-the-table npower Championship fixture between Southampton and West Ham United.
The Hammers go into this evening's game knowing that victory will take them above the Saints and into first place. However, the in-form home side will be doing all they can to retain their own position at the summit.
Southampton have won all five of their home league matches so far this term - defeating Leeds United, Millwall, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City and Watford - as well as Carling Cup ties against Torquay United and Preston North End.
In all, the Saints have won their previous 16 home matches in all competitions - a run stretching back to a 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round defeat by Manchester United on 29 January. In the league, Southampton have won their previous 14 home matches, won 16 of their last 17 and not lost since going down 2-0 to Brentford on 11 December 2010.
So, it would be fair to say that West Ham have a big task on their hands this evening. However, the Hammers are unbeaten away from home this season, having won three and drawn two on their travels.
Team news-wise, Sam Allardyce could welcome back the fit-again Joey O'Brien, Henri Lansbury and Carlton Cole, while Abdoulaye Faye and Mark Noble are pushing for starts after being left on the bench for Saturday's 4-0 home win over Blackpool. Paraguay Under-18 forward Brian Montenegro has also been added to the squad for tonight's game after impressing for the development squad in recent weeks.
For the home side, Nigel Adkins could have highly-rated midfielder Adam Lallana available again after he missed Saturday's 1-1 draw at Derby County with a foot injury. However, right-back Frazer Richardson is a doubt after being injured at Pride Park and could be replaced by Danny Butterfield.
The two lineups will be confirmed at 6.45pm and will appear first on the club's twitter feed here.
Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Hammond, Chaplow (Harding 75), Schneiderlin, Guly, Lambert, Connolly (Cork 81)
Subs: Bialkowski, Martin, De Ridder
West Ham United: Almunia, Faubert, Reid, Faye, McCartney, Lansbury, Bouba Diop (Noble 66), Nolan, Taylor (Piquionne 21), Baldock, Carew (O'Brien 78)
Subs not used: Boffin, Collison