WEST HAM UNITED v SOUTHAMPTON
TUESDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2012
Final score - West Ham United 1-1 Southampton
So, for the second game in succession, West Ham do not lose despite playing for more than 70 minutes with ten men. That is a good point in the circumstances, with Mark Noble and Robert Green absolutely outstanding. Extended highlights and exclusive reaction will appear on West Ham TV.
94 mins - If Southampton score from this... The ball appears to go well beyond the goal line as Connolly tussles with O'Brien. Green makes it all academic by making another fantastic catch. That's full-time and a very good point under the circumstances.
93 mins - O'Neil tries to block a cross and the ball goes behind for a corner. Fox takes and the ball is headed back across the face of goal. Tomkins air-kicks! The Saints cross again from deep and Green makes a superb catch under pressure.
92 mins - This time O'Neil turns and runs at the Saints defence and wins a throw. Good work. West Ham work it down the left but the ball is hit against McCartney's knees and bounces behind for a goal kick.
91 mins - O'Neil concedes a throw inside the West Ham half. It is not costly as the long cross goes out for a goal kick.
90 mins - Noble curls the free-kick wide of the near post. We're going to have four added minutes...
90 mins - Noble...
89 mins - My money is on four minutes of added time, but nothing has been predictable so far tonight. Maynard turns and runs at the Southampton back four and is fouled 25 yards out by Fonte. The visiting captain is booked. Six yellows and a red in total.
88 mins - That helps. Puncheon twists on the edge of the box and curls a cross out for a goal kick. Mark Noble is rightly voted Man of the Match by Match Sponsor Begbies Traynor.
87 mins - Noble nips in again but Faubert stops his run and the midfielder rolls the ball out for a throw. Both men have run their socks off. Can West Ham keep this going for about another six or seven minutes?
86 mins - Great work as Faubert charges down a clearance and Maynard reacts like lightning to get in behind the centre-back and smash a volley in from an acute angle that Davis claws behind for a corner. Great stuff. Noble lifts the corner over and Davis catches high above his head.
84 mins - Noble has been magnificent tonight. He does well again to lob the ball forward. It is headed back to O'Neil, who finds O'Brien. He is fouled. Noble lifts the ball in and Tomkins twice tries to pick someone out, but the Saints clear their lines.
83 mins - Sharp goes off as Southampton make their final change. Dean Hammond replaces him.
81 mins - Noble is fouled on halfway. O'Brien lifts the ball in but it won't drop to Faubert or Maynard and Southampton clear.
80 mins - Former West Ham striker David Connolly comes on for right-back Richardson. A positive move from Nigel Adkins.
78 mins - The away fans have been bouyed by that equaliser and are now making the majority of the noise inside the stadium. West Ham need a corner, or a free-kick - somethng to lift the pressure.
75 mins - GOAL! The free-kick proves costly as the ball is lifted deep to the far post and headed down. Hooiveld reacts quickest and pokes the ball under Green and into the net.
75 mins - Faubert hurts himself trying to run through the Southampton defence before going down again after Faye is penalised for a foul. He's soon back up again, is the right winger!
73 mins - Southampton have been better since the break and they come forward again as Faye heads to Puncheon and then blocks the substitute's cross behind. Corner. Hooiveld wins it but heads powerfully high and over the top.
71 mins - Good running and close control by Maynard near the corner flag. He finds Vaz Te, who wins a throw. Southampton then win a throw and the change is made, witih full debutant Vaz Te replaced by O'Neil. He has been lively tonight and has worked hard up and down the left flank. I think the home fans will be pleased with the Portuguese winger's first extended run out in claret and blue.
69 mins - Gary O'Neil will be on shortly. Meanwhile, Vaz Te clears to Noble, who cleverly wins a free-kick as Cork runs into him.
68 mins - Faubert is stopped and four West Ham players are the wrong side of the ball. Thankfully, the left-wing cross is cleared by O'Brien. Southampton come again and Cork crosses to the far post, but it's too high for Lambert.
67 mins - Southampton are on top at present as they clear a West Ham free-kick and break forward. Lallana shoots but the ball flies across the face of goal and out for another goal kick.
65 mins - Maynard is on for his debut in place of Cole. The departing striker gets a good hand on his way off, and the new boy gets a good hand on his way on. It's a love-in on Valentine's Day!
63 mins - Reid deflects another shot wide and the corner somehow eludes everybody and skips out for a throw on the near side. Saints come again and Schneiderlin fires over from 25 yards.
61 mins - I think we're going to see Nicky Maynard shortly, but for who? Cole, most likely. Vaz Te wins a pressure-lifting free-kick inside the Southampton half, meanwhile. The free-kick is wasted and the visitors break. The ball is poked back to Cork, whose shot is straight at Green.
60 mins - Corner to Southampton as Faubert slides in on Puncheon. It is taken short and Faubert can't win the challenge on the edge of the box. There is a bit of pinball in the box before O'Brien and Noble keep their heads and West Ham survive.
58 mins - Lambert again, but McCartney is there to make the block and again the ball skips harmlessly through to Green.
57 mins - A deep cross from Fox is headed out by McCartney to Richardson. He takes a touch and sends a shot across the face of goal and well wide of the left-hand post. Goal kick.
55 mins - Southampton make a change. Puncheon on for Guly Do Prado.
55 mins - Argh! Cole works to win the ball and Tomkins heads if forward. Richardson tries to thigh it back to the goalkeeper but Faubert reacts quickly and gets a toe to the ball, which rolls agonisingly wide.
54 mins - The free-kick is worked to Vaz Te, who wins a corner. He takes the corner short to Noble, whose cross is cleared. Southampton break through Sharp and he finds Guly. Lambert shoots but it's deflected and Green makes another routine save low down.
52 mins - Southampton have definitely been the better team in the last few moments, but West Ham are holding their own. Noble breaks up another attack and finds McCartney he gets down the left before being taken out by Cork on halfway. The Saints No8 is booked.
50 mins - Southampton's movement is going to work West Ham hard this half. Lallana tries to get a cross in but Noble robs him and Vaz Te clears. The Saints come again but McCartney half-blocks a cross and Green comes to collect at his near post.
48 mins - The initial corner is cleared back to Noble. He and O'Brien work another opening and the Irishman wins another corner. Noble takes and Davis catches inside his six-yard box. The goalkeeper clears long and Lambert flicks on. Reid and Sharp come together and the striker again goes to ground as Green collects. Nothing given.
47 mins - O'Brien twists and turns before winning a corner. Good start to the half for the Hammers.
46 mins - The Hammers get the second half underway. It's going to be a long 45 minutes, I venture.
Here come the two teams, with Mark Noble leading the Hammers out first. Can the home side hang on and win a second game in succession with ten men? It's going to be a massive task.
Half-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Southampton
49 mins - After a truly memorable first half, Mr Probert blows for half-time. What a game this has been so far. The home fans cheer Green's name as he comes off.
47 mins - Another yellow card, this time for Lallana, who takes a dive inside the penalty area as he runs past O'Brien on to Lambert's pass. Good call by Mr Probert.
46 mins - Blackpool are now two goals up as Green comes out twice again, first clearing into the stand and then to collect a long ball forward from Fonte.
45 mins - Cardiff have scored two quick goals against Peterborough and lead 2-0. Oops, it's now 3-0! Back here, Green makes another outstanding save to deny Lambert, whose low shot from 18 yards was sneaking into the bottom corner. Great stuff. We're going to have at least FOUR added minutes.
44 mins - Cole collects the ball and spins away into the Southampton box. He cannot get the better of Fonte though and Davis is out quickly to smother.
42 mins - Lambert curls the ball over the wall and Green can only watch as it curls just wide of the left-hand post. That was CLOSE!
41 mins - Faye is booked for a challenge on Sharp wide on the Southampton left. I'm not sure that was a booking. Next up. Faubert slides in and appears to win the ball 25 yards out but he too is whistled for a foul. This one is not a booking, however. Lambert to take...
39 mins - I must apologise if the updates are a bit sporadic. The internet connection has dropped out four times since we kicked-off, including the moment Mark Noble won the penalty when he was tripped by Sharp.
37 mins - Of the other clubs in the top half, Blackpool and Burnley are winning.
35 mins - Sharp was completely unmarked there. It was an amazing miss. Anyway, Southampton win a free-kick and Fox takes, but he hits the wall and West Ham clear. This has been a game full of incident so far.
33 mins - Cole is back on. It is Robert Green who is the hero though, parrying Lallana's shot and then blocking Sharp's follow-up. The striker had the whole goal to aim at from ten yards! What a miss!
31 mins - A long diagonal ball forward and Davis comes for it and gets there just before Cole, who is laid out. Nothing given by the referee. Cole needs the physio on and Southampton sportingly kick the ball out of play. I'm not sure if that was a foul or not, but Davis was outside the box when he made contact with the ball and the striker. I can only presume he headed it clear.
30 mins - West Ham come again as Faubert and Noble combine. O'Brien's cross bounces slightly behind Cole and he cannot get the power on his shot to beat Davis. The goalkeeper gathers.
28 mins - Still West Ham on top, would you believe! Faubert wins a flick-on and Cole does well to hold off Hooiveld and spin to cross for Vaz Te. His header loops high and Davis has to tip over. The corner is delivered right under the bar and Cole challenges Davis. About ten seconds later, West Ham are in possession but the linesman flags and suggests Cole had flicked the goalkeeper with his boot. Yellow card for the big No9.
26 mins - West Ham are used to playing with ten men, but this is going to be a tough task against a confident Southampton side. Saturday's postponed game at Peterborough United will help, of course, as the Hammers have not got that match in their legs.
23 mins - West Ham are on the offensive again, but not after Green is out to save from Sharp - who was actually offside! Cole wins a corner. Tomkins wins it but Southampton clear. Sharp collects and is roundly booed by the home fans.
21 mins - GOAL! After all that, Noble scores from the spot. Jack Collison is immediately sacrificed and he is replaced by George McCartney.
19 mins - It's all going on. Taylor gets involved in a melee and a Southampton player goes down. Probert sends him off! Sharp is booked for his part in it all.
18 mins - Faubert intercepts a pass and romps forward down the middle. Hooiveld stops him but only passes to Noble. He lifts the ball down the right for O'Brien, who is felled by Fox. The free-kick is taken short to Noble, who is brought down for a penalty!
15 mins - West Ham on top. O'Brien and Faubert come forward and the Frenchman crosses. Taylor wins a corner. Noble takes it and Tomkins wins the header. Massive appeal from Cole against Hooiveld for handball. Again, nothing given by referee Lee Probert.
13 mins - Good football involving O'Brien, Faubert and Noble before Tomkins turns and finds Taylor. He crosses and Davis comes and gets nowhere near it. Fox clears but only as far as O'Brien. He wins a throw. Next up a cross comes over and Vaz Te retrieves and plays a one-two with Taylor before the left-back's cross is headed out. Vaz Te shoots, wide.
10 mins - Lambert is a menace in the air and he has already won a few headers. This time Richardson crosses from deep on the right and Lambert beats O'Brien in the air. The angle is against him, though and the ball flies well wide.
9 mins - A long diagonal ball from Fox seeks out Guly. He volleys the cross first-time and it hits Taylor - on the hand. The free-kick is just outside the box. Fox swings it in left-footed and Cole heads behind. The corner is scrambled clear. Really good game so far.
8 mins - How close was that! Noble's corner is a good one and Faye wins it at the far post. The ball is parried by Davis and rolls out to Reid. He swivels and fires a powerful shot over the top from about eight yards. Great chance.
7 mins - It's all down the left at the moment. Taylor does well again and finds Cole. He lays infield for Noble, who is fouled. The free-kick is taken quickly by Taylor and hits the wall before looping over the top.
5 mins - The ball is worked through Sharp to Guly. He takes a touch and shoots but Taylor blocks and Vaz Te gets in and clears upfield down the left wing. Cole chases but Davis is out quickly to clear.
4 mins - Taylor does well to keep the ball in and he turns. Vaz Te is again the beneficiary, standing up Fonte before taking on his fellow countryman. The Portuguese centre-back eases the winger out of play and the ball rolls behind for a goal kick.
2 mins - Noble crosses and there is a massive appeal for handball against Lambert inside the penalty area. Nothing is given and Southampton clear and break down their right. The cross comes over and Green catches high above his head. Frantic start!
1 min - Just 47 seconds in and Vaz Te wins an aerial battle to make a shooting chance for himself. He fires in a low shot and Davies makes an outstanding save low to his right to push the ball around the post. Corner.
7.46pm - Southampton get us underway and concede a goal kick.
7.45pm - The two teams are changing ends, so West Ham will attack the Bobby Moore Stand end to start. Southampton are having a huddle, while the home fans are belting out 'Bubbles'.
7.43pm - Here come the two teams, led by captains Mark Noble and Jose Fonte. Southampton are in yellow shirts, blue shorts and blue socks. West Ham are in their traditional claret and blue shirts, white shorts and white socks.
7.40pm - Kick-off is nearly here. I'll try to keep you posted as to how the other npower Championship fixtures and the West Ham loanees are getting on tonight.
7.35pm - Frankie Cocozza is reading out the West Ham United team and he reveals that his favourite Hammers player is Mark Noble. Frankie revealed to West Ham TV earlier that he's a Hammer despite his Dad trying to make him support Manchester United! Anyway, Frankie has finished his PA announcer's role and now we're being treated to a video of goals from the season so far.
7.30pm - Sam Allardyce has a superb record against Southampton as a manager - three wins, six draws and just one defeat in ten matches during his time in charge at Bolton Wanderers.
7.22pm - The home players are warming up in Richard House Children's Hospice T-shirts. In tonight's matchday programme, stand-in captain and Richard House patron Mark Noble talks about the magical work done at the Beckton-based charity. There, the committed staff work hard to support children and young adults with life-limiting conditions, as well as their families. Having visited Richard House myself, I can confirm that it is a truly moving and inspirational place.
7.20pm - Alongside Celebrity Big Brother runner-up Frankie Cocozza and beauty queen Miss Commonwealth Hayley Mac, skipper Kevin Nolan is here to cheer on his team-mates tonight. Nolan trained at Chadwell Heath today and is itching to get back on the pitch. Should we suffer no more postponements, the No4 will be available for the trip to Cardiff City on Sunday 4 March.
6.50pm - The team news is in. Matt Taylor comes in for George McCartney and Ricardo Vaz Te makes his full debut in the place of the suspended captain Kevin Nolan.
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, Taylor, Faye, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, Collison, Faubert, Vaz Te, Cole
Subs: McCartney, O'Neil, Lansbury, Baldock, Maynard
Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Fox Fonte, Hooiveld, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Guly, Sharp, Lambert
Subs: Martin, Hammond, Puncheon, Lee, Connolly
Happy Valentine's Day, good evening and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for tonight's mouth-watering npower Championship visit of Southampton!
West Ham welcome the Saints knowing that a victory would extend their lead at the top of the npower Championship to four points. Southampton closed the gap to one by beating Bristol City 2-0 at St Mary's on Saturday. The Hammers took over top spot from the Saints after beating Nottingham Forest on 21 January 2012. Previously, Southampton had been top of the table since winning 1-0 at Barnsley on 13 August 2011.
Tonight's game will raise awareness and funds for Richard House Children's Hospice in Beckton - London's oldest children's hospice and one of West Ham United's official charities. Bucket collections will be held at the Boleyn Ground on matchday. For more information about Richard House, click here.
Team news-wise, Sam Allardyce has a strong squad available for the visit of his team's nearest challengers. with new signings Nicky Maynard, Ricardo Vaz Te, George John and Ravel Morrison all eager to pull on a claret and blue shirt for the first time.
Captain Kevin Nolan is definitely out as he begins a three-match ban after being sent-off against the Lions. Gary O'Neil, Henri Lansbury and Matt Taylor will be among those looking to take the skipper's place in the starting XI. • Papa Bouba Diop continues to be sidelined with a hamstring problem, while John Carew is a minor injury doubt after picking up a knock in training.
The team news will be confirmed at 6.45pm and posted first on the Hammers' official twitter feed here.