BARNSLEY v WEST HAM UNITED
FRIDAY 6 APRIL 2012
Final score - Barnsley 0-4 West Ham United
94 mins - That's it. West Ham have won. Don't forget to log on to West Ham TV for exclusive post-match reaction and extended highlights. Until Monday, have a happy Easter!
93 mins - Into the final minute and Barnsley ran out of ideas long ago. Thoroughly professional performance from the Hammers and they move on to Monday's tea-time visit of Birmingham still with a chance of hunting down Southampton and Reading and gaining an automatic promotion place.
92 mins - Winston Reid wins another header. He has been imperious today. When players return and play like he has today, you realise how much of a difference they could have made if they hadn't got injured. Reid, of course, was hurt about a month ago on international duty with New Zealand.
91 mins - We shall have at least three added minutes. Vaz Te tries to celebrate that fact with a spectacular volley that flies sideways and out for a throw. Nice.
90 mins - The only downside from today's game is that it is a 200-mile drive home!
89 mins - Fair play to Nicky Maynard today. He has taken his chance well and got a goal to boot. He has led the line well and could easily have had two or three goals to his name. He may not start on Monday, but the No8 can be happy with his contribution this evening.
87 mins - O'Brien nearly spoils the party with a long-range shot from 30 yards which Green turns aside. Barnsley centre-back Stephen Foster is voted Man of the Match, a prize for which he receives acclaim from the away fans!
86 mins - The West Ham fans with the old 'Is there a fire drill?' song as the home fans file out early. It can't have been much fun for the Barnsley faithful. What a difference a week makes! This has been a very decent performance - a club-record setting performance. Let's enjoy it and move on to the next one on Monday.
84 mins - O'Brien has been lively since he came on. His cross is low and Reid is there to clear for a corner. It is cleared easily enough.
83 mins - West Ham's first-half display has meant the second half has been a bit of a procession, if not a little predictable. West Ham could easily have added to their comprehensive lead.
82 mins - Diop concedes a free-kick wide on the Barnsley left. Cotterill curls the free-kick into the box and the unmarked Higginbotham flicks a header that loops a yard wide of the far post.
80 mins - Maynard has the ball in the net, but he's flagged for offside. Before the free-kick can be taken, Noble is replaced by Diop. Good to see the big man back in action.
79 mins - Come on West Ham, let's have a fifth goal to put the cherry on the icing on the cake.
78 mins - Another shot. Vaz Te has a go from 25 yards, but it rolls into the arms of Button.
77 mins - Noble does well initially, holding off Perkins and getting a cross in, but it's too high. Collins collects and finds Nolan. Lansbury switches play right again to Noble, whose cross is cleared to Tomkins. He comes forward and shoots, but drags his effort wide of the left-hand post. Papa Bouba Diop is ready to come on.
75 mins - The ball breaks to Nolan in midfield, He ignores the run of Maynard and instead plays the ball square for Lansbury. The England Under-21 captain shoots first-time, hard but straight at Button. The goalkeeper holds on well.
74 mins - O'Brien gets down the right and crosses, but Collins makes a strong challenge to block the ball behind for a corner. Green catches the corner, again!
72 mins - Good interplay between Nolan, Collins and Reid and the left-back delivers early after scampering down the left. A corner results, but Taylor''s cross is too high.
71 mins - The last time West Ham scored five goals away from home was on 10 November 2007, when they won 5-0 at Derby County in the Premier League.
70 mins - O'Neil is replaced by Lansbury. Another good performance from the No32.
68 mins - That's schoolboy. The corner curls out and back in again from Cotterill. Lansbury will be on soon.
67 mins - Barnsley break after Reid loses possession on halfway and they have men over. Dawson has time and the ball at his feet before being brought down from behind by Nolan. That is a booking. No complaints from the skipper. The free-kick comes over and McCartney heads behind for a corner.
65 mins - The first-time pass from Nolan finds Maynard in space goalside of Foster. He elects to shoot first-time, but slices his effort well off-target. That was a tough chance.
64 mins - Barnsley clear their bench. Perkins is on for Smith and Davies is replaced by Jim O'Brien. Michael Tonge, who helped Sheffield United beat West Ham way back in spring 2007, will remain unused.
62 mins - Green touches it! Collins curls a cross in right-footed and it is on target. Green collects and grabs the ball to his chest. West Ham break and win a corner. Vaz Te collects the ball but loses his footing as he tries a few tricks on his way into the box.
61 mins - This could be anything. Taylor goes down the right and plays a one-two with O'Neil before crossing low. Maynard gets there, but his shot dribbles wide. Barnsley replace Golbourne with Lee Collins at left-back. First they copy the dance moves, now they copy the substitution and bring on a defender called Collins at left-back!
59 mins - Demel gets a rest, with Danny Collins coming on. He goes to left-back, with McCartney swapping flanks. Behind the goal to my left, at least 100 Hammers fans are doing the Conga! At the other end, the Barnsley fans are doing likewise!
58 mins - Argh! Maynard smashes a shot in from all of 30 yards. It swerves and dips and cannons back off the crossbar and bounces away to safety. So close to No5.
56 mins - Demel shows his awareness there, getting back inside his own six-yard box to clear Davies' low cross with his left foot. The attendance today is 11,151, with 2,428 from West Ham.
54 mins - GOAL! He'll enjoy that even more! McCartney does brilliantly again down the left, cutting inside Wiseman and shooting right-footed. Button gets a hand to it, but the ball loops straight to Vaz Te, who volleys in from close range.
54 mins - The West Ham fans are showing their appreciation for Robert Green. I'm sure the goalkeeper is enjoying his serenade because he has had nothing to do!
52 mins - Guy Demel has looked assured on his comeback. The Ivorian has been out since injuring his thigh at Reading in December. He is showing West Ham what they have missed.
50 mins - Another chance. Maynard runs the channel and pulls McNulty out of position. It's two-on-one in the centre as O'Neil crosses, but Nolan goes for goal rather than flicking on for Taylor and the ball bounces away and behind for a goal kick.
48 mins - The Barnsley mascot gets some good-natured abuse from the West Ham fans. The poor bloke - or woman - is only doing their job! In answer to their question, the mascot in question is Toby Tyke.
47 mins - You do get the feeling that a fourth West Ham goal would completely deflate the home players and fans. If that fourth goal can come early in the half, this could get a bit ugly for Barnsley.
46 mins - The West Ham players get a warm welcome from their fans as they come out for the second half. Barnsley kick the game off again and immediately gift the ball to the Hammers. Vaz Te tries to pick out Nolan, but his crossfield ball is too strong.
Half-time score - Barnsley 0-3 West Ham United
48 mins - West Ham keep possession well as the time runs out and referee Mr Bates blows for half-time. The away fans cheer and clap loudly as their side walks down the tunnel. A good 45 minutes.
47 mins - It is going to take something special, very special, from Barnsley to prevent West Ham breaking their club record for away league wins in a season.
46 mins - Into the first of two added minutes and Cotterill dances into the box, but his low cross is again cut out by Reid. The Kiwi has been steady as a rock on his return from injury.
45 mins - Higginbotham springs the offside trap with a diagonal run. His cross hits Reid and bounces back to the winger. He tries again but Green makes a decent catch.
44 mins - McCartney has been a constant threat down the West Ham left. He might not be the most prolific scorer, but for a left-back his technique and awareness in attacking areas is outstanding.
40 mins - Cotterill has been Barnsley's best player so far and he wins another corner off Reid. Cotterill curls it over left-footed and Vaz Te heads clear at the near post. The ball is nodded back in and Noble lofts it away this time.
39 mins - Vaz Te this time, taking on Golbourne. His cross for Nolan takes a deflection and Button just about collects as the skipper sticks out a foot.
37 mins - It could get even better as Taylor flashes a low cross in but it's a yard in front of the sliding Maynard. That's Noble's eighth goal of the season and his first from open play. Moments later, West Ham attack again and McCartney elects to shoot from 25 yards, but it flashes a few yards wide of the left-hand post.
35 mins - GOAL! And now it is! NOBLE! Button tries to beat Maynard but overhits the ball slightly straight to Noble. He has a bit to do, does the No16, but he looks up and curls the ball over the back-tracking goalkeeper and it drops into the net. Superb finish.
35 mins - That should have been 3-0. Vaz Te collects and beats three defenders but instead of shooting he tries to find Maynard but the cross is cut out.
33 mins - West Ham keep possession nicely inside the Barnsley half, much to the approval of the travelling hordes. Barnsley then win it back and their fans start with their own 'Oles'! Love it.
31 mins - McNulty goes route-one for Cotterill and it's a good ball. Cotterill wins the corner off McCartney. Cotterill takes and the header comes in but Green and Vaz Te combine to scamble the ball behind with Davies threatening. The second corner is headed out by Tomkins before Noble volleys upfield.
30 mins - Fair play to Barnsley, they are still trying to play their football out from the back, but they're not getting anywhere doing it.
28 mins - Reading and Southampton may be clear of West Ham in terms of points for now, but goal difference could come into reckoning by 28 April. For that reason, West Ham will want to push on and really put this game to bed before half-time.
26 mins - Tomkins concedes a foul wide right. The ball is swung over by Cotterill but it's too high and Green catches easily enough.
25 mins - A goal and an assist from Nolan so far and a welcome goal from Maynard. That was an inch-perfect finish from the former Bristol City man. So far, so good...
23 mins - GOAL! Nicky Maynard! The striker collects the ball from Nolan about 35 yards out and runs at the centre-backs. They back off and allow the No8 to open up his body and rifle a low shot past Button's left hand and into the bottom corner. Cracking finish!
22 mins - Noble outmuscles Cotterill in midfield and sends McCartney away! He has no support but does well to shoot early and win a corner. Noble takes it and Tomkins gets his head to it. The ball spins away and Demel delivers again. Davies gets there first and clears for a throw.
21 mins - Another foul, this time on Taylor. McCartney launches the free-kick to the edge of the box where Tomkins wins a towering header. Vaz Te tries an acrobatic overhead, but it lacks the power to trouble Button in goal.
19 mins - Dawson becomes the second Barnsley player to be booked for a foul inside the West Ham half. The home fans don't like the decision. The ball is in the West Ham net for some reason. Green trots back to collect it and will take the free-kick himself.
18 mins - Nolan gives the ball away inside the Barnsley half and the Tykes break down their left. The cross comes over from Higginbotham and Reid heads behind for a corner. Cotterill takes it and Tomkins heads clear.
17 mins - It's been attractive, open game so far. West Ham are pressing high up the pitch and it is coming close to paying dividends as Barnsley look a tad nervous in possession. I should mention that Guy Demel has made a steady start in his bright orange boots.
15 mins - Some nice possession football from West Ham. The away fans are enjoying themselves with a few songs about the size of the crowd. It's been a decent start, capped by Nolan's typically opportunist goal. It should get better, too, as O'Neil leans back and volley's Vaz Te's cross over from 16 yards. He was completely unmarked.
12 mins - Wiseman's cross is deflected to Davies about 25 yards out. The striker has another shot, but this time he drags it low and well wide of the left-hand post. Green watches harmlessly roll out.
11 mins - McNulty is booked for fouling Vaz Te on the break. The free-kick comes over and Nolan is there again, but his volley flies wide from about ten yards. Nolan wants a corner. Goal kick given.
10 mins - Green called into action. The goalkeeper's low clearance is straight to Davies. He takes a touch and shoots from 25 yards. Green turns it aside. Cotterill gets to the loose ball and hangs the cross up for Gray. He heads back across goal, but Taylor is there to head clear.
9 mins - The home fans are a bit frustrated already as their former hero Vaz Te is allowed to run free through the midfield. He tries to pick out Maynard's run, but the ball is cut out by McNulty.
8 mins - The perfect start for West Ham. He is now the club's leading scorer again with eleven to his name. Barnsley have not won in 17 games this season in which they have gone 1-0 down...
6 mins - GOAL! Good positive play by Nolan as he plays a one-two on the edge of the box. He then wins a corner as his shot is scrambled behind at the near post. Taylor takes it quickly and the ball takes a touch off Davies before being poked over the line by Nolan from about two yards. No offside flag and the Hammers lead!
5 mins - Davies runs into the right channel and beats Tomkins to the ball. He controls well and turns before running across the face of the box, but his pass is cut out by Nolan. The striker then fouls the skipper as he brings the ball away.
4 mins - A 50/50 between Reid and Gray ends up with the Barnsley striker losing out and going to ground. Big claims against the No2 but nothing given by referee Tony Bates. I think that's the right decision. West Ham then come forward and Foster clears for a throw. McCartney collects from Taylor but loses out as he tries to round Wiseman and the ball rolls behind for a goal kick.
3 mins - The home side attack down their left and Higginbotham has time to check on to his right foot. The cross is hanging and McCartney times his leap better than Davies to head clear of the box.
2 mins - Decent enough start from the Hammers, pinning Barnsley deep inside their own half.
5.19pm - We're underway. West Ham come forward and Vaz Te heads to Nolan. O'Neil tries to pick out Taylor, but he cannot keep the ball in play. Throw-in to the Tykes.
5.18pm - We're swapping ends. West Ham will shoot towards their own fans in the first half. Barnsley are going to have a huddle - who doesn't these days! West Ham will kick-off...
5.14pm - Here they come, led by captains Kevin Nolan and Stephen Foster. It's must-win, there is no doubt about it!
5.13pm - I reckon we're going to kick-off later than planned here. Queen's 'One Vision' is still belting out over the PA system but this is no sign of the players!
5.11pm - The Hammers fans are in superb voice away to my left in the North Stand. The two teams should be out of the tunnel shortly...
5.10pm - The Joint Chairmen are taking their seats just down in front of the Press Box. They will know the importance of today's game, especially after Reading's victory earlier this afternoon. I was with Mr Gold at the Ladies' County Cup final last night and he is remaining positive, as am I!
5.05pm - The two teams have headed back to their respective dressing rooms and kick-off is fast approaching. I'm afraid there is not much of a crowd inside Oakwell this evening. West Ham have brought about 2,500 fans, though, which is not bad at all considering it's Good Friday and the game is on TV!
4.45pm - Half-an-hour to kick-off here. Meanwhile, Freddie Sears has tucked away a penalty for Colchester United to draw them level against Hartlepool United - his first goal for the U's!
4.20pm - Team news is in! Guy Demel and Winston Reid return to the starting XI. Three changes in total as Abdoulaye Faye, Julien Faubert and Carlton Cole drop out. Nicky Maynard is the other player to be drafted into the team.
West Ham United: Green, Demel, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney, Noble, O'Neil, Nolan, Vaz Te, Taylor, Maynard
Subs: Collins, Lansbury, Diop, Baldock, Cole
Barnsley: Button, Higginbotham, Foster, Dawson, Wiseman, McNulty, Golbourne, Smith, Davies, Cotterill, Gray
Subs: Lidakevicius, O'Brien, Perkins, Tonge, Collins
3.55pm - Bad news from the Madejski Stadium as two late goals have seen Reading go top of the table with a 2-0 win over Leeds United. Substitute Adam Le Fondre got both goals for the Royals. Meanwhile, West Ham have arrived at Oakwell, with Mark Noble among the players to disembark the coach.
Good afternoon and welcome to a cold and damp Oakwell for today's crucial npower Championship clash between Barnsley and West Ham United.
The Hammers make their first visit to this particular corner of South Yorkshire in nearly 15 years. The last time West Ham were here, they ruined the Tykes' first game as a Premier League club by leaving with a 2-1 victory.
Today, the tables are turned somewhat as West Ham seek a victory that will keep them in the race for automatic promotion back to the Premier League. Barnsley, meanwhile, are in need of the points as they seek to secure their second-tier future for a record 75th season.
Should they win this early-evening, Sam Allardyce's side would set a club record for away league victories in a season with 12. If they can get ahead, the chances of that happening are superb as a statistic in the matchday programme tells us that Barnsley have lost 15, drawn two and won zero of the games in which they have gone 1-0 down.
The reverse fixture played at the Boleyn Ground on 17 December is a perfect illustration of that statistic - West Ham won 1-0! Since then, the Hammers have also snapped up Barnsley's leading scorer Ricardo Vaz Te.
In all, Barnsley have lost nine of their previous 12 league matches.
Team news-wise, we have some good news in that Guy Demel, Winston Reid and Papa Bouba Diop have all travelled as part of the squad for today's game. Big Sam has some big selection decisions to make ahead of kick-off.
For Barnsley, David Button continues to deputise for stomach injury victim Luke Steele in goal. Midfielder Nathan Doyle is suspended.