West Ham United 1-0 Coventry City FT




Final score - West Ham United 1-0 Coventry City

93 mins - Nolan takes the ball to the corner, but he has no support and is crowded out. Coventry attack but Reid heads clear, Nolan wins a tackle and Nouble is off down the left touchline. The final whistle, mercifully, is blown! The Hammers are back to winning ways and are now joint-top of the npower Championship table. Keep an eye on West Ham TV for your exclusive highlights and big-match reaction.

92 mins - This game cannot end quickly enough. A cross from Hussey is headed wide by Thomas. Goal kick. At the break in play, Cole is replaced by O'Brien.

91 mins - Into the first of three added minutes and Coventry win a corner off Tomkins. The ball drops to McSheffrey but Noble is there with the sliding challenge. Diop wins the header and West Ham clear. Next up, it's Faubert with the block and Green claims at the second attempt.

89 mins - Tomkins has done well there again. He makes one vital interception before flinging his body into the path of Deegan's shot. The ball loops up and clips the angle of post and crossbar on the way over the top. Tomkins wins the header from the corner. He has been superb.

87 mins - Hussey gets forward and crosses from level with the edge of the penalty area. Jeffers wins the header, but it lacks the direction to trouble Green. He holds his hands up to calm the situation as the ball goes wide of the far post.

86 mins - Coventry haven't given up the game yet and they are still patiently trying to break West Ham down. Their latest attack comes to nothing and Nouble is off again. Cole holds up but Murphy is there to claim.

83 mins - Coventry win a corner. Nervous times! Green makes the catch high above his head.

82 mins - I hope Nouble doesn't rue that miss... He takes advantage of a slip from Cranie and is in on goal. He shoots instead of trying to round Murphy and the Irishman makes a good save. Collison gets to the follow-up and finds Noble, but he shoots a yard wide.

81 mins - Into the final ten minutes and both Southampton and Middlesbrough look on course to be beaten. Fourth-place Cardiff City are winning against Reading, though. As things stand, West Ham would go second, behind Southampton on goal difference.

78 mins - Brilliant from Nouble. He beats one man and streaks into the box before beating Cranie and he is in. After making 50 yards, he shoots and Murphy blocks. Corner. It's a deep one again and Tomkins collects a pass from Collison, but it just won't drop for a West Ham player.

77 mins - Nouble has been involved a couple of times. He passes wide right to Faubert, who is fouled by the corner flag. The ball comes over via Noble and it flies high into the air off a defender before being headed wide by Diop.

73 mins - A first change for West Ham as Baldock is applauded off and replaced by Frank Nouble. Meanwhile, Tomkins is down and looks like he has a spot of cramp.

73 mins - West Ham definitely deserve their lead on statistics alone, if that means anything. They have had 19 attempts on goal and ten corners, while Coventry have had four attempts on goal and two corners.

71 mins - Noble has been outstanding today and he does well again, spinning away before being brought down by Deegan. The tackle causes some handbags but it's quickly finished. Deegan is booked for the initial challenge.

69 mins - Coventry made a change after the goal, replacing Bell with Bigirimana. Now they are making another substitution, taking off the hobbling Jutkiewicz for Shaun Jeffers.

66 mins - GOAL! Tomkins plays his part and Nolan scores! Tomkins wins the ball inside the centre circle before playing it wide left for McCartney. Tomkins continues his run and gets on the end of McCartney's diagonal cross. He beats Hussey in the air and heads back across goal for Nolan to head in, beating Murphy with a header that goes back across the goalkeeper and bounces inside the far post.

64 mins - Today's attendance is 34,936. The vast majority of them want a penalty as Noble goes down under a challenge from Hussey after bursting on to Nolan's pass. Nothing given by referee or assistant.

60 mins - Murphy is having a great game. Noble crosses and Collison wins the header, but Murphy dives to his left to push the ball clear to Tomkins. The No5 shoots, but his effort bounces off the turf and loops over the top.

59 mins - Another Green throw prompts an attack. Nolan and Noble do well before Cole finds Faubert, who wins a corner. Collison takes and Tomkins wins it. Murphy makes a great save to deny Baldock, I think. The ball goes out for a throw.

58 mins - Better. Green collects Bell's shot and bowls the ball out to Cole. He out-muscles a defender and streaks away down the right. He crosses low and Baldock is there, but his first-time effort from level with the near post flashes wide of the far upright. Best chance the Hammers have had for quite a while.

56 mins - Faubert uses his pace and gets in behind Hussey on to Diop's pass. His cross is too deep, but McCartney collects and finds Collison, who wins a corner. Noble takes and it's deep again. Tomkins heads wide again.s

52 mins - Coventry have another chance here as Tomkins cannot prevent the corner. Hussey takes left-footed but Nolan is there to scramble the ball clear. West Ham win the ball back wide on the left and have a throw. Diop gets forward and finds Faubert, but his cross is cleared.

50 mins - I'm not sure what Jutkiewicz was thinking there. Faubert makes a complete hash of a cross from the Coventry right and the No9 is on his own six yards out. He can control but instead chooses to head the ball and it loops harmlessly on to the roof of the net.

48 mins - Coventry's leading scorer Jutkiewicz is a willing runner. He works hard and isn't afraid to put his body in where it hurts. This time he is bundled over by Reid.

46 mins - Coventry get the game underway. Can the Hammers up their game and take all three points?

Half-time score - West Ham United 0-0 Coventry City

46 mins - Last chance. McCartney crosses and Keogh heads behind. Corner. Collison crosses, Tomkins collects at the far post. He lays the ball back to McCartney, and Diop gets on the end of his deflected cross, but the header is blocked. Coventry clear and that's half-time.

46 mins - We're into the one added minute...

44 mins - Coventry break from the corner and it looks like Bell has got in behind the back four. He is in until Noble makes a well-timed sliding challenge. Green collects. Great work-rate from the midfielder.

43 mins - When West Ham move the ball around quickly, they are hurting Coventry. This time, Noble and Collison are involved before Faubert crosses and Diop's header is deflected behind. The corner causes havoc but again the second ball drops to a Sky Blues player - well, they are in green and black today.

41 mins - McCartney wins a corner. Noble crosses and the header clear is straight to Faubert. He is urged to shoot as the ball drops and obliges, but his effort rolls a yard or two wide of the far post.

40 mins - Nolan's flick-on lands at the feet of Baldock. He takes a touch, spins and shoots early. The ball hits Wood and flies behind. Collison drives the corner across and Tomkins heads wide.

39 mins - Danger. A cross from the right and McSheffrey gets above Faubert, but heads wide.

38 mins - The ball is worked to Baldock, whose low shot is blocked. The rebound drops to Tomkins. He shoots but it hits Reid. The Kiwi controls and then crosses, but it's agonisingly behind his team-mates and Coventry clear.

37 mins - Much better football from West Ham as they move the ball around neatly through Collison, McCartney and then Noble. Noble turns and is tripped 22 yards from goal. This is in an ideal shooting position.

34 mins - Noble is fouled as he sends Diop away. Faubert takes the free-kick and simply lofts it straight into the hands of Murphy. Disappointing.

31 mins - Collison and Noble work an opening for McCartney. He comes forward and shoots. The ball flicks off a defender and Murphy pushes it wide. Collison takes the corner deep and Tomkins heads back across the six-yard box. Cole looks destined to nod home before a defender gets a touch. Close!

30 mins - Coventry break and Bell has a chance inside from Jutkiewicz's pass. Tomkins gets across to concede the corner. From it, centre-back Wood is penalised for a push before heading wide.

29 mins - It's all been a bit disjointed in recent moments. Green's long clearance is flicked on by Cole, but Baldock cannot get there. Murphy collects.

27 mins - Faubert gets past Hussey but his cross is overhit. Goal kick.

25 mins - West Ham are employing a diamond formation this afternoon, which means the full-backs need to provide the width. So far, McCartney has got forward a couple of times, but Faubert will want to do more in the attacking half. As I type, Noble tries to send McCartney away, but his pass is just too strong.

21 mins - That's cool from Tomkins. Jutkiewicz beats the offside trap but is forced wide. He cuts the ball back from the byline and Tomkins calmly chests back to Green from inside his own six-yard box.

19 mins - That advertising board is taking a right beating as this time Jutkiewicz comes off worse and takes a tumble in front of the travelling fans. He is also fine to continue. From Green's long clearance, the ball drops to Nolan, but he can only lob over as he leans back. West Ham have started on the front foot. Only Murphy's heroics have kept them out so far.

16 mins - This is a good game. Diop hacks clear from a Coventry free-kick and Baldock does superbly to find Noble. The No16 makes his way forward and waits for the overlap from Cole. It loooks like the No9 is in until Deegan makes a superb last-ditch tackle. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

14 mins - Tomkins again, getting a foot in and setting up an attack with a ball down the middle to Baldock. He beats one challenge but sees his shot blocked. From the resulting throw-in, Noble works the ball to Nolan wide left. He tries an ambitious curler that loops past the angle of crossbar and far post.

13 mins - It's end to end at present as Tomkins makes two important interceptions. Coventry keep the pressure on, though, and Cranie's low cross could be dangerous but Green shows good handling low at his near post.

10 mins - So was that! First, Collison ends a decent passing move by seeing his shot blocked by a defender before Nolan's low shot is well saved by Murphy. Hussey gets in just in time to stop Nolan from burying the rebound. From the resulting corner, the ball drops to Tomkins, whose snap-shot is acrobatically pushed aside by a diving Murphy. Great action.

9 mins - That was CLOSE! A cross from the right flicks off the head of Reid and falls to an unmarked Hussey. He has a good left foot and lets the ball drop before slamming a low half-volley literally inches wide of the far post.

8 mins - Slight concern as Reid is tripped by Jutkiewicz and takes a tumble over the advertising board. He does not emerge for five or ten seconds, but is OK to continue.

6 mins - Nolan gets past a challenge and crosses from the left. Collison tries to control but is forced away from the box and loses possession. Seconds later, McCartney is fouled to the left of the Coventry penalty area. Noble crosses again but it's headed clear at the near post.

4 mins - Elsewhere, Peter Kurucz's debut on loan at Rochdale has ended in a 1-1 League One draw with Preston North End at Deepdale. Here, McCartney gets forward and wins a corner. First real chance for the hosts. Noble delivers and the ball is headed powerfully clear.

3 mins - Reid misjudges a bouncing ball and Jutkiewicz collects. His cross is half-blocked by McCartney and Green catches.

2 mins - A slight delay as Jutkiewicz lands awkwardly after going for a high ball. He's OK to continue without treatment, is the Sky Blues' leading scorer.

1 min - Well, they've started better than they did at Pride Park. After keeping the pressure on Coventry for the opening 45 seconds, Cole lays the ball back for Collison, but his cross from inside the penalty area floats wide of the far post.

3pm - Bray is back for a second go on the microphone, getting the crowd going ahead of kick-off. The crowd respond with a rousing chorus of 'Bubbles' as West Ham kick-off attacking the Bobby Moore Stand end of the stadium.

2.58pm - The Boleyn Ground is full to bursting this afternoon. The sun is shining and we're in for quite a 90 minutes. Let's hope West Ham can start fast and give Coventry another bout of travel sickness.

2.57pm - Here are the two teams...

2.55pm - Next up it's the new mascot Hammerhead, who emerges from the tunnel and dances his way down the sidelines. He's only been around for a couple of weeks, but you get the feeling Hammerhead is already a real favourite among the younger supporters. To get your hands on the new lines in Hammerhead merchandise, order from the Online Store now.

2.53pm - PA announcer Jeremy Nicholas hands over the team announcing job to Bray for the afternoon and you can tell the 'Voice of darts' absolutely loves it.

2.50pm - The 'Voice of darts' Russ Bray is introduced to the crowd. He is sporting a West Ham shirt with BRAY and 180 written on the back! A lifelong Hammer from down the road in South Ockendon, Bray grew up playing football with Geoff Pike and was a champion high jumper before turning his hand to scaffolding and finally becoming the world's most-famous darts referee.

2.47pm - Dan Potts is presented with his SBOBET Player of the Month award for December 2011. The 17-year-old gets a good round of applause from the fans who have taken their seats. I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty more of Potts over the coming months and years.

2.45pm - West Ham's disability liaison officer Julie Pigeon is presented to the crowd as the winner of the Level Playing Field Club Employee of the Year award. Julie has a great team of workers who welcome disabled and ambulant supporters to the Boleyn Ground on both matchdays and non-matchdays.

2.08pm - So, that's six changes from the team beaten 2-1 at Derby County on New Year's Eve. In come the available-again Julien Faubert, George McCartney, Jack Collison and Kevin Nolan, as well as the fit-again Sam Baldock and Carlton Cole. Out go Joey O'Brien, Dan Potts, Gary O'Neil, Freddie Piquionne, Frank Nouble and Henri Lansbury. O'Brien, Lansbury and Nouble are named among the substitutes, while O'Neil is rested after making his first appearance following an eight-month absence.

2.07pm - The teams news is in...

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney, Diop, Noble, Collison, Nolan, Baldock (Nouble 73), Cole (O'Brien 90)
Subs: Boffin, Lansbury, Carew
Coventry City: Murphy, Keogh, Cranie, Wood, Hussey, Thomas, Deegan, Baker, Bell (Bigirimana 66), McSheffrey, Jutkiewicz (Jeffers 69)
Subs: Dunn, McPake, Willis
12.40pm - Dan Potts has been voted SBOBET Player of the Month for December 2011, with Rob Green in second place and James Tomkins in third. For the full story, click here.

Happy New Year! Good afternoon and welcome to a sunny Boleyn Ground for West Ham United's opening npower Championship fixture of 2012.

One look at the league table suggests the Hammers should be confident of gaining a vital victory this afternoon. However, Sam Allardyce's side have picked up just four points from their previous five matches, while Coventry have won each of their previous two league matches, having won just two of their opening 22 games.

Having dropped out of the automatic promotion places for the first time since 15 October, West Ham can actually go top of the table with a victory this afternoon - providing leaders Southampton lose at Brighton & Hove Albion and second-place Middlesbrough do not triumph at Blackpool. There would also need to be a six-goal swing between the Hammers and the Saints.

Big Sam is boosted by the return of four players from suspension - captain Kevin Nolan, George McCartney, Julien Faubert and Jack Collison - while the likes of Winston Reid will be eager to feature again after returning from injury at Derby County on Saturday.

The team news will be announced at around 2pm, with the lineups being published first on the club's official twitter feed.