READING v WEST HAM UNITED
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 29 DECEMBER 2012
REFEREE: MICHAEL OLIVER
Final score - Reading 1-0 West Ham United
95 mins - The final whistle goes. The home fans erupt and the home players are rather happy with themselves. West Ham return to action on Tuesday, when Norwich City will visit the Boleyn Ground. They will do so without captain Nolan and James Collins, who have both seen yellow for the fifth time today. We'll have post-match reaction on whufc.com and West Ham TV shortly.
94 mins - Some of the Reading fans clearly don't want to celebrate what would only be their second win of the season. There are big patches of empty blue seats around the place as we go into the final minute.
93 mins - West Ham intercept and O'Brien comes forward. Jarvis' cross is not a good one. Tomkins wins the ball back, then Vaz Te gives it away and Collison is whistled for a foul.
92 mins - Collins tries to run the ball out and is challenged. He then wins a throw. Last chance coming up...
90 mins - Robson-Kanu wins a corner for Reading. They take it short and Nolan challenges Robson-Kanu. The winger goes down and clutches his shin. Free-kick to Reading and they just keep the ball by the corner flag. It's all getting a bit too much for some players as Hunt and O'Brien clash. Anyway, it's a goal kick. Collins punts long and Maiga wins the header but it's through to Federici. Four added minutes...
88 mins - Collins is now up front. Can he make amends? Vaz Te wins a throw. He then finds Collison, who could turn and cross, but instead checks back outside and then over-runs the ball and concedes the goal kick.
87 mins - Time is running out for West Ham. This would be a disappointing defeat for the Hammers, especially with the nature of Reading's goal. Jaaskelainen has not had a save to make otherwise.
84 mins - The home side have a corner. Harte takes a while to wander across to take it, but you can't blame him. The delivery is deep and curls away for a goal kick.
83 mins - Cole is fouled about ten yards inside the Reading half. Jarvis lifts the cross to the far post and Vaz Te is all on his own. All he has to do is head the ball forwards and he scores if it eludes Federici, but he somehow glances wide of the post. The replay is shown over and over again on the screen, much to the delight of the home fans. That was a horrible miss.
80 mins - Superb from Vaz Te as he collects a pass from Jarvis and drives the cross in at shin height. Miraculous defending keeps the ball out but West Ham have a corner. It drops to Tomkins about 12 yards out. His shot is flying wide but hits Nolan. The captain then chases his man and brings him down from behind. He is booked. Now he and Collins are both suspended for Tuesday's visit of Norwich City.
79 mins - Another yellow card, this time for Harte after he brings down Noble. That's Noble's final contribution as he is replaced by Maiga.
76 mins - Kebe is replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu. Kebe walks slowly to the touchline to be replaced.
75 mins - Vaz Te forces a throw deep in Reading territory and Collison collects from Tomkins before crossing, but it's behind everybody. Moments later, Nolan is caught offside.
73 mins - Now Hunt fouls Nolan on the other touchline. Noble's delivery is headed away. Noble then finds Jarvis, whose cross is to the edge of the box. Tomkins is unmarked but heads miles wide.
69 mins - Better from Vaz Te, who feeds Collison, but his cross is cleared. Vaz Te battles and wins the ball back before being brought down by Hunt. West Ham pressing... Noble takes the free-kick short to Nolan, then fires his cross from the return pass into the stand.
67 mins - Kebe is involved again as he fouls O'Brien. A chat from Mr Oliver is all that results. Noble's free-kick is headed out to Collison, whose shot is off-target and cleared. To compound West Ham's frustration, Vaz Te's first contribution is to be penalised for a foul throw.
66 mins - So close for Reading. Hunt starts the move and finds Pogrebnyak wide on the left. He lays the ball inside for McAnuff, who slides the ball into the D for Karacan. His shot beats Jaaskelainen and thuds down off the underside of the crossbar. The rebound is smashed wide by Gunter. Before the re-start Tomkins is booked and Vaz Te replaces O'Neil.
66 mins - Reading replace Guthrie with Noel Hunt. That's a striker on for a midfielder.
64 mins - So nearly a fairytale return for Collison as he bursts on to a lay-off and gets into the box before shooting low across Federici. The goalkeeper parries but it's behind Nolan and in front of Jarvis. Reading escape.
60 mins - Still no clear-cut chances for West Ham since the break. O'Neil is caught in possession and West Ham nearly pay, but the Kebe cross-shot floats wide. Moments later, Pearce is booked for catching Nolan while the pair jump for a high ball. Noble floats the free-kick in and Cole is whistled for a foul.
57 mins - Reid has the physio on after an aerial tussle with Pogrebnyak. Nothing is given by the referee. Jaaskelainen trots out for a chat with Mr Oliver.
54 mins - West Ham have a sustained period of pressure. The ball is swept out wide right by Taylor for Jarvis. He controls and curls in the right-foot cross at head height. Cole's header flashes over the top. Before play re-starts, Taylor is replaced by Collison.
51 mins - Noble's diagonal pass eludes Cole and finds Jarvis. He cuts inside and sees his shot blocked. Moments later, the same player crosses dangerously but the ball is headed clear and Kebe counters at pace. O'Brien makes a superb sliding challenge. Noble loses the ball and Reading come again but Pogrebnyak is flagged offside before beating Jaaskelainen with a left-footed shot.
50 mins - Cole wins the flick-on from Jaaskelainen's long free-kick but it is behind Nolan and bounces through harmlessly to Federici.
49 mins - The home fans are loud, I'll give them that. They are singing their hearts out as another West Ham attack breaks down. The away fans respond with a song of their own.
47 mins - A couple of long balls forward have not come off, with the second from Noble skipping off the sodden turf and out for a throw in front of Jarvis.
46 mins - We're off and running again in the rain.
No changes from either manager at the break. Big Sam has kept faith with the XI who started the game. West Ham will kick-off the second half shooting towards their own fans.
Half-time score - Reading 1-0 West Ham United
I wonder whether Big Sam will be tempted to switch things around at half-time? Saying that, Reading have not had a shot other than their goal. If he does choose to alter things, will Guy Demel return to the fray perhaps? Is it too early for Ricardo Vaz Te to make his comeback?
47 mins - Jarvis finds O'Neil, whose cross is headed behind, but instead of a corner, the referee blows for half-time.
46 mins - Into the first of two added minutes and Jarvis has plenty of space to run into. Instead of pulling the ball back for Nolan, he goes for the byline and his cross is cut out. Reading counter-attack and Collins commits a foul in the build-up. Although West Ham survive, Mr Oliver books Collins and that means he is out of Tuesday's home game with Norwich.
45 mins - The ball breaks to O'Neil inside the Reading half. He elects to shoot from about 25 yards, catches it well but it's well off-target and bounces wide of the far post.
43 mins - Noble finds O'Brien wide left and he slides the pass into the feet of Nolan. The captain holds off his man and tries to curl the low shot inside the far post, but it lacks the power to beat Federici, who dives left to collect.
40 mins - Jarvis drops his shoulder and gets to the byline before driving in the cross left-footed, but Mariappa is there to clear.
36 mins - Pogrebnyak and Reid have been nipping at each other all game long. The striker catches Reid late and is booked. Noble lifts in the free-kick and Collins' header drops near Cole. He fights for possession before O'Neil acrobatically crosses but Federici makes a brave catch. Good goalkeeping.
31 mins - Here we go. Nolan isn't happy with Mr Oliver's decision to give a goal kick when it appeared that Pearce had simply cleared the ball behind for a corner. After a talking-to from the referee the game is on again.
30 mins - Pearce is fine to continue. Federici resumes with a punt downfield.
29 mins - Half a chance as Nolan sweeps the ball into the path of Taylor wide on the right. He rolls the cross in and Pearce slides in and collides with Federici as the goalkeeper gathers. He needs the physio on, does the centre-back.
25 mins - Noble leads the charge from Nolan's pass and finds Taylor wide right. He checks and curls the left-footed cross in. O'Neil wins the header, but it glances well wide of the far post.
23 mins - So close to an equaliser. Cole is fouled by Pearce. Noble's initial delivery is cleared to Taylor, who does well to find Noble again with a crossfield pass. Noble turns and finds Jarvis, whose cross is met by Reid and Federici tips over. The corner is cleared and then Collins is penalised for a foul when the follow-up cross comes in.
20 mins - Kebe leads the counter after a cross from the right from O'Neil bounces through the box. The winger beats two men before a ricochet off O'Brien falls to McAnuff. He lays the ball back for Harte, whose cross drops out to Pogrebnyak. Kebe overlaps and lifts the ball to the far post, but it bounces away for a goal kick.
18 mins - Good pressing around the Reading box and West Ham win the ball back. Jarvis finds Nolan, who spins, but his lay-off for Noble is cut out. West Ham are looking a bit frustrated here and moments later Reid fouls Pogrebnyak inside the Hammers half. Harte whips it in, Collins wins the header and McAnuff fouls Taylor.
17 mins - Kebe gets in behind O'Brien and latches on to a bouncing ball. He crosses on the volley from the byline but Tomkins is there to clear from the edge of his six-yard box.
15 mins - Noble fouls Kebe and is booked. That was near the halfway line and a bit needless. Seven bookings this season now for the No16.
14 mins - Noble's free-kick is caught by Federici. He launches upfield for McAnuff, whose touch is superb, but the ex-Hammer is crowded out.
12 mins - Better football. Tomkins does well to play a one-two with Taylor before finding Cole. Jarvis and O'Brien combine before winning a throw near the corner flag. From the throw, Kebe fouls Jarvis. Chance to deliver some quality...
11 mins - The two sets of fans are having a bit of banter over in the stands. Reading's supporters are quite pleased to be in front. They haven't had many wins to celebrate this season.
8 mins - West Ham are trying to recover from that early blow. Two crosses come in from Tomkins, but the first is cleared and the second is blocked away for a throw. The third comes to nothing and then Jarvis over-hits his cross into the crowd behind the goal.
5 mins - GOAL! Reading lead but it's a complete howler from James Collins. The Welshman decides to try and pass back to Jaaskelainen when he should just clear upfield. He doesn't get anywhere near enough on the ball and Pogrebnyak latches on to it and finishes low past Jaaskelainen. The home crowd come to life. That's exactly what West Ham didn't need.
4 mins - West Ham starting to settle as Jarvis does well against Gunter and the Hammers enjoy some possession. The cross comes in from the left and goes over Nolan's head, Taylor nips in and takes a touch before smashing his shot over the bar from an acute angle. Jarvis is playing on the left, Taylor on the right.
2 mins - Reading win a free-kick wide on their right by the touchline, about 20 yards from the penalty area. Harte curls it over and Collins flicks it over the top with a header. It matters not as Mr Oliver blows for a foul on Reid.
3pm - We're underway here at the Madejski. Decent atmosphere inside the ground. Kebe is involved straight away, having a bit of a chat with O'Brien after the Irishman had slid in to concede a throw. We all know what happened here last time...
2.57pm - Here are the two teams. Reading are going to have a huddle first, but goalkeeper Federici is a bit late joining in. The home side will kick-off. Before they do, Jaaskelainen has to stamp on a sky blue balloon that has blown into the penalty area. We don't want a Darren Bent moment, do we!
2.50pm - The big-name television commentators are here - John Motson, Clive Tyldesley, Chris Kamara and Ray Parlour. Oh, and The Moose is here too!
2.45pm - West Ham's loanees are also in action this afternoon. In the npower Championship Rob Hall starts for Birmingham City at Bolton Wanderers, as does Stephen Henderson for Ipswich Town at Wolverhampton Wanderers. In npower League Two, Paul McCallum is up front for AFC Wimbledon at home to Oxford United, but Blair Turgott is on the bench for Bradford City at home to Rochdale. Dan Potts and Declan Hunt have the afternoon off after Colchester United and Braintree Town had their fixtures postponed, while Ravel Morrison is not involved for Birmingham.
2.30pm - West Ham United legend Julian Dicks is here. We have just interviewed The Terminator for next Saturday's Official Programme v Manchester United, focusing on his memories of the FA Cup third round. Don't forget, the Official Programme is now available in digital format - to order your copy for the next home match or any of the Hammers' fixtures so far this season, click here.
2.05pm - The team news is in. West Ham United are unchanged. Ricardo Vaz Te is named among the substitutes.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Harte, Pearce, Mariappa, Liegertwood, Guthrie, Karacan, Kebe, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Cummings, Morrison, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Hunt
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Reid, Collins, O'Brien, Noble, O'Neil, Nolan, Taylor, Jarvis, Cole
Subs: Spiegel, Demel, Spence, Diarra, Collison, Vaz Te, Maiga
1.45pm - The Hammers have arrived at the Madejski Stadium, where they have been greeted by another torrential downpour. It really is exceedingly wet here! Anyway, the pitch looks fine, so we'll be all systems go at 3pm. We will have the team news confirmed for you in about 15 minutes. For now, why not view our exclusive Facebook gallery here.
Good afternoon and welcome to a wet and windy Madejski Stadium for today's Barclays Premier League fixture with Reading - West Ham United's final fixture of a successful 2012.
West Ham arrive in Berkshire looking to avenge home and away defeats by the Royals in the npower Championship last season, including a 3-0 defeat here last season that was compounded by red cards for Jack Collison and Joey O'Brien.
Sam Allardyce's side will be also eager to secure victory over the Premier League's bottom club to strengthen their own position, with a recent run of one victory in seven matches seeing the Hammers drop out of the top-ten.
Reading will be desperate to pick up three points, having won just one of their opening 19 league matches - a 2-1 home win over Everton on 17 November. However, Brian McDermott's side did end a run of seven straight defeats by drawing with Swansea City on Boxing Day.
Team news-wise, the Hammers have striker Carlton Cole available after the red card he was shown in the home defeat by Everton was overturned by an FA Regulatory Panel on Thursday.
While Andy Carroll, Yossi Benayoun and George McCartney remain on the sidelines, Big Sam has been boosted by the return to the first-team squad of Ricardo Vaz Te, who is included for the first time since he dislocated his shoulder against Arsenal in October.
Vaz Te is likely to be included on the bench alongside midfielders Collison and Alou Diarra, who have also recently returned to action after knee and thigh injuries respectively. Collison made a cameo appearance in the 2-1 home defeat by Everton a week ago, while France international Diarra has not played since the Capital One Cup second-round victory over Crewe Alexandra on 28 September.
For Reading, McDermott has a near fully-fit squad to pick from, but striker Jason Roberts may be ruled out with a hip problem. The Royals are likely to be captained by former Hammers midfielder Jobi McAnuff.
The starting line-ups and substitutes will be confirmed at 2pm, with the teams published first on the club's official twitter feed.