WEST HAM UNITED v ASTON VILLA
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 18 AUGUST 2012
REFEREE: MIKE DEAN
Final score - West Ham United 1-0 Aston Villa
94 mins - Another defensive header is won and a few seconds later the final whistle is blown! West Ham are back where we belong with a win! Fantastic stuff. West Ham TV will have exclusive reaction from today's game soon. Don't forget you can download a digital Official Programme here to mark the occasion. That's West Ham's first Premier League win in ten attempts dating back to a 3-0 home win over Stoke City on 5 March 2011.
93 mins - Wow! West Ham clear through Reid and Tomkins before Noble hooks on and Maiga is clean through. He races away from Clark, rounds Given and goes just too far wide. His left-foot shot is cleared off the line for a corner by the sliding Clark. The corner is taken short but Villa win it back and hack clear.
92 mins - The ball is out for a Villa throw inside their own half. It's all got a bit agricultural out there as West Ham keep clearing their lines. To be fair the Hammers are still pressing Villa high up the pitch and putting their defenders under pressure.
91 mins - Into the first of four added minutes and James Collins is voted Man of the Match by Lycamobile.
89 mins - Hard battling by Maiga wins the ball back on halfway. He then swaps passes with Vaz Te and West Ham attack down their left. It comes to an end as Taylor gives the ball away. Villa break and Noble concedes a free-kick. Villa take it short and Taylor charges it down. A ball flies to the edge of the box a couple of times but West Ham stand firm before the offside flag is raised.
87 mins - A good chance for West Ham as Diame battles and Tomkins sends Vaz Te away down the right. He has three to aim for inside, but instead tries to take on Baker and loses the ball. That's unfortunate.
85 mins - This is a big test for the Hammers in front of the 34,172 fans inside the Boleyn Ground. Can they close the game out against an established Barclays Premier League side?
83 mins - Villa break down their right through full-back Lowton. He has time to measure a cross, but then lifts the ball straight into the arms of Jaaskelainen.
81 mins - Cole is the man replaced and No11 Maiga is on up front. Both men get a cheer as they embrace and swap places.
80 mins - Modibo Maiga will be on for his debut in a moment. QPR are 5-0 down at home to Swansea...
78 mins - Chance! West Ham win a free-kick wide on their right. Taylor sends in a superb dipping free-kick and Cole gets in front of his marker. He does the right thing and heads back towards the near post, but the ball flies a yard or two wide. So close!
77 mins - A final change from Lambert as Bannan is on for Delph.
76 mins - Vlaar steps forward from defence and West Ham stand off. He gets to within 30 yards of goal and shoots low and very hard. Jaaskelainen dives to his right and makes a good save and catch.
75 mins - West Ham have a go this time and Taylor collects after the Hammers win a throw. His cross is whipped in and Given cannot come for it. Vaz Te challenges but Baker makes the headed clearance.
73 mins - Nolan is the man replaced. He has done well to play after missing the Braga game with a toe injury. Noble takes the armband. Meanwhile, 'Zogbia is off and Gary Gardner is on.
72 mins - Still the visitors press. We're going to see Tomkins soon. Villa win another corner over in front of their own fans. Ireland... Bent wins the header but it flashes high over the crossbar.
70 mins - Villa win a couple of corners. O'Brien will be on soon. West Ham deal with both corners before Noble holds up play and tries to release Vaz Te. Baker wins the header and there is slight contact. The assistant waves for a foul. Before the free-kick, McCartney is replaced by close pal and Republic of Ireland international O'Brien.
69 mins - I think McCartney is going to be replaced here. He has the physio on on the far side.
65 mins - Vaz Te nutmegs Baker superbly before cutting the ball back for Nolan. His shoot is blocked by a gaggle of Villa defenders on the line. Nolan retrieves and crosses for Vaz Te again, but his acrobatic scissor-kick bounces harmlessly off-target.
63 mins - Villa just upping the ante a bit. 'Zogbia shoots powerfully and the ball flicks off Taylor and out for a corner. 'Zogbia himself takes the corner to the far post, where Vlaar's header loops harmlessly high and wide.
62 mins - Collins towers above and heads clear. Vaz Te tries to collect, but is challenged by Ireland. He wins a throw, though, which is just fine.
61 mins - The substitutes have all sat down again, but Villa are about to make a change with young Austrian forward Andi Weimann the man coming on. Bent runs towards the corner flag where he is fouled by McCartney. Before the free-kick, Weimann is on for Holman. El Ahmadi will take it...
59 mins - Diame is quickly endearing himself to the home fans as he gallops down the left before holding play up. McCartney's cross is won by Cole but he is under pressure and carries the ball wide before finding McCartney again. The left-back takes a touch and crosses, but it's just too close to Given, who catches six yards out.
58 mins - Reid is back on.
57 mins - One of them might be on here as Collins has inadvertantly hurt Reid. The No19 goes in hard but fair and catches Reid on the left knee. The Kiwi is up on his feet after some treatment, though.
56 mins - Joey O'Brien is warming up on the touchline, as is James Tomkins.
Louis Carter on twitter: 'So happy to be able to watch @whufc_official on #MOTD tonight and not have to wait an extra 2 hours for #TheChampionship'
53 mins - Diame loses out but quickly wins the ball back. He shoots while slightly off-balance and screws the left-foot effort wide. Cheers for the effort to win the ball, though, from the Bobby Moore Lower.
52 mins - Nolan concedes a foul about 35 yards out. It's set up for Vlaar, but he doesn't catch it right and the shot flies low and wide of the left-hand post. Speculative, I think they call those. The TV monitors here have just shown Vlaar's challenge on Cole again and you can see why the striker went down...
50 mins - It's so nearly coming together for West Ham. Collins brings the ball forward before Diame makes some ground down the middle. Unfortunately, his pass is too strong and Given collects. Villa break, but Taylor gets back in and makes a challenge after initially being beaten by a nice piece of skill from El Ahmadi.
48 mins - Mr Dean waves away penalty appeals after Cole goes down under a challenge from Vlaar. Demel had lofted a superb pass over the defence for Cole, who controlled on his chest before going to ground. Nothing given.
47 mins - Noble clips it into the near post. Collins dives in, but Villa scramble the ball behind again. Noble's second ball in is just too high for Reid as he battles for space. The ball rolls away and Nolan cannot prevent the goal kick.
46 mins - The ball is passed back to Demel, but his punt forward is cleared and the right-back has to be alert to head out for a throw. From it, the ball is worked inside for Ireland, but his shot is well held low down by Jaaskelainen. West Ham break down their left and McCartney's cross earns a corner off Vlaar.
Half-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Aston Villa
Here come the Hammers. As expected, no changes from Big Sam either. West Ham will get the second half underway shortly.
Villa are out first for the second half, no doubt fired up after a team talk from new manager Paul Lambert. The Scot has not elected to make any changes at the break.
If you want a memento from West Ham's first game back in the big time, why not download the new digital Official Programme now here for just £1.99?
Roman Gomez on twitter: 'Watching tha match live in Argentina, go hammers!'
Olympic Gold medallist Nicola Adams is introduced to the crowd. She is delighted to be here, being a West Ham fan, and gets a massive round of applause as she shows off her medal to the crowd!
47 mins - Mr Dean brings the first half to a close. So far, so good...
46 mins - Into added-time and we're going to have at least two extra minutes. Villa are in possession. 'Zogbia gets in behind McCartney but Nolan is there to head clear. Holman picks the ball up but Diame makes an inch-perfect sliding challenge inside the box. Great defending. He's been good so far, has the No21.
43 mins - Sorry about the confusion there, but there was a discussion between the officials before the goal was given. Now, West Ham need to keep their lead intact until half-time. Taylor brings down 'Zogbia and gets a talking to from the referee.
40 mins - GOAL! They have! Noble's free-kick into the box is headed in to the air by Collins. It hits a Villa player and falls to Vaz Te. He pulls the ball back and Nolan finishes from six yards. The assistant referee had raised his flag, but after a chat with Mr Dean, the referee awards the goal! Presumably, the assistant thought Vaz Te was offside, but if the ball hit a Villa player, he couldn't have been. Who cares?
40 mins - West Ham might have scored...
39 mins - Diame collects a slightly short pass from Cole, but battles through one challenge before being felled unceremoniously by Clark. The No5 is booked. I'm not sure what a ceremonious tackle would look like, incidentally.
37 mins - Another free-kick and Noble's ball into the box earns a corner. It is headed clear from inside the six-yard box. Nothing given by Mr Dean. McCartney wins the ball back, but he is under pressure and the ball flies out for a throw near the corner flag.
36 mins - Noble rolls the ball to Nolan this time, but the skipper drives his shot a couple of yards wide of the left-hand post. The ball cannons off the post supporting the net. 'Ooohs' from the home fans.
35 mins - McCartney lofts the ball forward and Cole holds off Vlaar well. The Dutchman grabs his shirt and the free-kick is given. It is literally a yard outside the penalty area, about seven or eight yards left of the goal. Noble will be favourite, given the angle.
33 mins - Taylor has the ball rolled to him by Noble. His effort beats the wall, but is blocked by a defender and bobbles away for a throw. Vlaar is back on, complete with bandage around his head.
31 mins - The home side in the ascendancy now as we pass the half-hour mark. A long ball forward for Cole sees Clark head the ball out for a corner. Taylor's ball in is low and cleared, but West Ham battle and Cole wins a free-kick about 28 yard. Taylor will fancy this, but not before Vlaar has received treatment for a cut to his right eye.
28 mins - West Ham are closing Villa down quicker in the midfield now. McCartney and Diame combine to win the ball back before the Senegal man releases Taylor. He heads the ball forward for himself, but Delph gets across to concede a throw. The Hammers keep up the pressure. Vaz Te wins a header from Reid's diagonal ball, but it drops to Given.
26 mins - Reid picks out Taylor with a pass through the middle. The No14 flicks the ball past Baker and wins the free-kick about 35 yards out. Noble lifts it over, but it's too high and Given makes the catch.
22 mins - Ginge is back! A fine block to stop El Ahmadi's cross. Then he makes ten yards in no time at all to charge down Ireland's follow-up effort before hacking the ball clear. Roars from the home fans. It's like he's never been away!
20 mins - Taylor is fouled but Mr Dean waves play on. Shame, as Vlaar wins the ball from Cole. Villa counter-attack at speed through 'Zogbia, Bent and Holman, but the latter's cross is too deep for Bent and flies out for a throw on the near side. Good build-up play.
James Boxall on twitter: 'First match following from Nova Scotia. Wish I was there! Best childhood memories watching #hammers live. #COYI'
17 mins - West Ham are settling. Shouts for a penalty as Taylor's cross hits Vlaar in the midriff. Nolan feeds the ball out to Demel, whose cross finds Cole. His first cross is blocked and the second goes out for a corner. Noble takes, but it's too deep and Villa clear.
15 mins - A loose ball drops and miscommunication sees Vaz Te break in behind Lowton. He elects to cross first-time and it's a low one that is cleared. Half-chance.
14 mins - Reid's ball forward falls to Nolan, but Vlaar stands firm on the edge of the box and the ball is played safely back for Given to clear upfield for a throw.
13 mins - Swansea City have gone top of the league! Michu has put them ahead at QPR.
11 mins - Villa attack again and Holman and Bent exchange passes on the corner of the penalty area. The ball is laid back to El Ahmadi, but he shoots well off-target from about 35 yards. Interesting effort.
10 mins - It's been a stop-start game so far. A few free-kicks for both sides and no clear-cut opportunities. Early days...
Eric Rife on twitter:? 'the things I would do to be at Upton Park right now. #Irons #WHUFC #WHTID'
8 mins - That's more like it! A couple of strong challenges from Taylor and McCartney before Noble holds off El Ahmadi and is fouled on halfway. Reid lifts the free-kick into the box, but Cole cannot make contact. Goal kick.
6 mins - Good run by Ireland sees him get goalside of Collins. He finds Holman, but his low cross for Bent is cut out by Reid. Villa press again from the throw, but Holman's shot is blocked this time. The visitors shading it so far, and their fans are making plenty of noise too.
5 mins - Demel gets forward from Noble's pass and releases Vaz Te. He opens his legs and approaches the penalty area, but left-back Baker stands firm and wins a goal kick.
4 mins - For Villa, new signing Lowton is at right-back with Vlaar alongside him at centre-back. Holman is in central midfield alongside El Ahmadi.
3 mins - Noble is sitting in the holding midfield role behind Diame and Nolan. Vaz Te is right of Cole, with Taylor left. McCartney concedes a throw and the ball is worked inside to Holman, but the Australian drags his left-foot shot wide from 25 yards.
1 min - Demel clears for a throw but Collins is there to head clear. Noble then nods the ball back to Jaaskelainen and the goalkeeper has his first touch in a West Ham shirt. The stadium is full, as far as I can see, which is great news.
3.01pm - Villa kick-off and we're up and running in the Barclays Premier League!
2.58pm - The Premier League theme accompanies the handshakes. We've missed that, haven't we! James Collins gets the loudest cheer of all as the team is read out for the final time. Captains Kevin Nolan and Darren Bent shake hands and we're nearly ready to go. Villa are going to have a huddle first...
@SamuelArmitage: '#COYI c'mon let's start off the campaign with a win. I'm going 2-1 to the hammers @whufc_official'
2.57pm - The sun is shining and 'Bubbles' is playing! Here come the two teams into a cauldron of noise. It's the opening day of the season and anything is possible, so 'Come on you Irons!'.
2.54pm - A montage is playing on the big screens from the Play-Off final. Can you believe it is three months since that amazing afternoon at Wembley?!
2.49pm - Both sets of fans applaud in tribute to LCpl Matt 'Crouchie' Smith, a West Ham fan who was tragically killed in Afghanistan eight days ago. Crouchie's family are here today and I'm sure they will appreciate the support of thousands of fellow Hammers. Top stuff from the Villa supporters too. RIP.
2.47pm - Here's Mark Hunter being introduced to the crowd, looking dapper in a dark suit and tie. He is a top man and die-hard Hammer, as well as being a double Olympic medallist, having won Gold in Beijing and Silver in London in the rowing lightweight double sculls.
2.40pm - We're going interactive this season! So, get your tweets in to @whufc_official and we'll publish some of them during the game! To start with, @JWatts_ is excited, saying 'Not long to go now until @whufc_official start the new season! 2-0 win will do for me. #COYI #Hammers'. @EvannRutland is cheering the Irons on from the other side of the Atlantic: 'Let's go @whufc_official! Cheering from Canada!'.
2.35pm - Looking on the fan forums on the internet, I saw some suggestion that the Official Programme is priced at £4. It isn't! It's still £3.50! Also, you can order your digital Official Programme online for just £1.99 per game if you're watching the game at home or down the pub.
2.30pm - I know it's early days but the wi-fi is working in the Press Box so that's a good start to the new season! Sitting in front of me is an Aston Villa hero in Bobby Thomson, who was part of the side which won the first-ever League Cup in 1961. Now 75, he is working with Villa's media team today. Fantastic to see him still involved with the club!
2.10pm - Team news! Big Sam names two debutants in his starting XI in the shape of Jaaskelainen and Diame. Fellow new boys Diarra and Maiga are on the bench. James Collins makes his second 'debut', while George McCartney makes his third! James Tomkins has to make do with a place on the bench after his London 2012 Olympic exploits.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Collins, Reid, McCartney, Diame, Noble, Nolan, Vaz Te, Taylor, Cole Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, O'Brien, Diarra, O'Neil, Maiga, Maynard
Aston Villa: Given, Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, El Ahmadi, Delph, Ireland, 'Zogboa, Holman, Bent
Subs: Guzan, Lichaj, Herd, Gardner, Bannan, Weimann, Burke
1.45pm - Anticipation is building here ahead of the big kick-off. We'll have the team news for you in about 15 minutes. Will any of the new boys start? Or will Big Sam keep faith with the players who got the Hammers promoted to the top-flight?
1.25pm - Our Olympians have arrived, including boxing Gold medallist Nicola Adams. No Team GB tracksuits today as they are all dressed up to the nines as guests in the Chairmen's Suite this afternoon!
12.40pm - If you're here at the Boleyn Ground already, why not go to the Stadium Store and grab a new Macron home or away kit? Once you've done that, head over to the Newham Bookshop and meet club photographer Steve Bacon, who is signing copies of his new autobiography 'There's Only One Stevie Bacon'!
West Ham United welcome Aston Villa to the Boleyn Ground for the first game of the Barclays Premier League 2012/13 season.
There is still time to get down to east London for the big game, with the last few tickets on sale from the Alpari Stand and Priory Road Ticket Offices right up until kick-off!
Sam Allardyce's newly-promoted Hammers have lost just once at the Boleyn Ground in 2012 and will be hoping to keep up their superb record as they enter the top flight.
West Ham are being inspired by a host of Olympic and Paralympic heroes this afternoon, with boxing Gold medallist Nicola Adams, rowing Silver medallist Mark Hunter, wheelchair tennis hopeful Andrew Lapthorne and a number of other Team GB members all set to join the party at the Boleyn Ground.
As many as five summer signings could be making their competitive debut for the club this afternoon, with Jussi Jaaskelainen, Stephen Henderson, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga all hoping to feature. VIlla also have a new manager in Paul Lambert and four new signings hoping to feature - Ron Vlaar, Matthew Lowton, Karim El Ahmadi and Brett Holman.
The team news will be confirmed at around 2pm and will be confirmed first on the club's official twitter feed.If you want to get fully involved in today's season opener, why not download the new digital Official Programme? Complete with exclusive video footage, the digital programme gives you the full picture, wherever in the world you are watching the big game!
We will also be going interactive with the live text updates, with your best tweets being answered and published during the big game!
We're back where we belong - in the Barclays Premier League!
• West Ham United would like to welcome Lycamobile as Saturday's Match Sponsor. Lycamobile is Europe's largest mobile virtual network operator, helping more than eight million customers across 14 countries make affordable international calls. For more information about Lycamobile, click here.
• West Ham United would like to welcome Season Cars as Saturday's Matchball Sponsor. Season Cars provide luxury and prestige car hire across the capital and beyond from their east London base. For more information about Season Cars, click here.