West Ham United 2-4 Reading FT




Final score - West Ham United 2-4 Reading

96 mins - Into the final minute of added time and Reading have a throw near the West Ham corner flag. Robson-Kanu beats Faubert and the Frenchman brings him down from behind. Yellow card. Seconds later, the final whistle is blown. It has not gone to plan at all today. West Ham had the perfect start but three awful minutes before the break have cost them dear. It is not over, though. A four-point gap over six games is not insurmountable, no matter how bad things look at present.

94 mins - Great chance for Maynard. Nolan crosses and the No8 has a header from six yards, but it's too close to Federici. The Australian claims low to his right.

91 mins - Into six minutes of added time and West Ham have thrown everybody forward. A cross comes in from O'Neil but Nolan heads wide of the near post.

90 mins - It's not happening today, but Reading still have a tough run-in. If West Ham can gather themselves and go on a run, it's not over. Got to be optimistic! There are 18 points still to play for.

88 mins - Collins nearly gifts Reading a fifth but just recovers to clear with his left foot after slicing his initial clearance. West Ham then break but Nolan's header is easy for Federici to catch.

87 mins - Reading think they have a fifth as Roberts cuts back for Hunt, but the ball had gone out. Just. The Royals fans celebrate at the other end of the ground,

86 mins - I'm afraid it's not gone the way West Ham and their fans would have wanted today.

84 mins - GOAL! Controversy as Reading score a fourth and again it could be avoided. The ball through hits Hunt on the heels and as West Ham appeal in vain for offside, the ball is fired in by Leigertwood. Replays suggest Hunt wasn't offside.

83 mins - Kebe off, Afobe on for Reading.

80 mins - Reading are still a threat. Hunt crosses and the header down hits a Hammer and bounces over the top. They are also taking ages over this set piece! Harte delivers and somehow West Ham clear from inside their own six-yard box. The ball lands out for another corner. Harte delivers again and Tomkins heads clear.

78 mins - Another cross comes in from the right and three Hammers go for the header. The ball drops to Federici this time.

77 mins - GOAL! Vaz Te rises and powerfully heads O'Neil's corner into the top corner. Game on! Federici got a hand to it but could not keep the ball out.

76 mins - Faubert wins a corner off the heels of Robson-Kanu. O'Neil to take the corner.

74 mins - Today's attendance is 33,350. Tomkins is booked for dissent after a decision goes against him. He wanted a corner.

73 mins - There are still at least 20 minutes left here. West Ham need to find some forward thrust and fast.

72 mins - A final change. Cole off and Maynard on.

71 mins - Reading, on the flip side, look confident. Kebe crosses dangerously and Faubert volleys behind for a corner. Harte whips it in and Cole heads clear.

70 mins - West Ham look a little frustrated. Vaz Te sees one pass cut out but the ball rolls back to him 30 yards out. He shoots, but it flies wide and thumps into the advertising board.

68 mins - Faye is penalised for climbing on the back of Roberts. Free-kick. It;s taken short and McAnuff shoots, but Green makes another good catch low down.

67 mins - Substitute Tabb is injured and will have to be replaced. Robson-Kanu comes on.

64 mins - Corner. Vaz Te releases Nolan down the left. He crosses and Harte clears behind on the volley. It is cleared and Reading break. Faubert loses out by the touchline and Kebe takes on the last man, which is McCartney. The left-back holds him up and when the ball breaks back to Hunt, his shot bobbles and is held by Green. Let-off.

63 mins - McAnuff has a chance to shoot as he cuts in from the left flank, but his shot is sliced high and wide and out for a goal kick. The Reading fans are making all the noise, as you might expect.

62 mins - Vaz Te slaloms past two before being tripped as he attempts to beat a third. O'Neil's free-kick is too high and an easy claim for Federici.

59 mins - Sam Baldock is on for Taylor. Reading have not had to create their goals. All three were avoidable.

59 mins - GOAL! Harte sends Green the wrong way and West Ham have a mountain to climb.

58 mins - Reading now have a penalty. Faye tries to control a cross instead of clearing first-time and then clearly brings down Hunt.

57 mins - Federici called into action. Vaz Te collects a poor clearance and then lays back for Faubert. He hangs a cross up for Cole, but Pearce heads out. Tomkins collects and shoots right-footed, but Federici is there at the base of the right-hand post.

55 mins - Some short passing in the midfield involving Tomkins and O'Neil ends with a speculative effort from 30 yards from Taylor, which skips wide. Before the goal kick, Karacan is replaced by Jay Tabb.

53 mins - The ball in is too high and too deep and drops harmlessly out for a goal kick. Ironic cheers from the Reading fans behind the goal.

52 mins - West Ham have a corner off Harte's head. Taylor will take an inswinger, left-footed.

51 mins - We're off and running again and West Ham sportingly punt the ball back to Federici.

50 mins - Karacan is up on his feet and doesn't need the stretcher. He looks a bit groggy though.

48 mins - Collins and Karacan go into for a 50/50 and the Reading man comes off worse. He is lying on the pitch and might have been knocked out cold. The medical staff are on immediately.

47 mins - Vaz Te plays the ball into space in front of Collins. He crosses from the byline but Gorkss is there to head clear. The ball drops to Leigertwood, who completes the clearance.

46 mins - O'Neil and Nolan kick-off... McCartney immediately launches an attack and West Ham win a throw deep inside the Reading half, but they cannot make anything of it.

Collins is coming on, with Mark Noble the man replaced. Tomkins into midfield.

Half-time score - West Ham United 1-2 Reading

Danny Collins is not out warming-up at half-time. Will he be on at the break?

47 mins - West Ham win a corner. Taylor whips it in and Cole wins the header. It might well be going in until Nolan stops it. An almighty melee ensues but nobody can force the ball over the line. Reading clear and the half-time whistle is blown.

47 mins - GOAL! You cannot make it up. West Ham let the ball bounce inside their own half, then Faubert pokes it straight to Hunt, who takes a touch and finishes low past Green.

46 mins - We're into the first of two added minutes.

44 mins - GOAL! Reading have another corner as Noble loses possession and a McAnuff shot takes a deflection off Tomkins. Harte delivers to the near post and Gorkss powers a header into the corner.

43 mins - Vaz Te crosses left-footed and Federici makes a brave punch to clear from in front of Cole. The ball breaks to O'Neil, whose first-time cushioned volley from 25 yards bounces wide.

41 mins - O'Neil is down inside the box after Roberts has shot over. I'm not sure there was a foul there or not. It appears O'Neil will be fit to continue after some treatment.

40 mins - West Ham have another very decent opportunity. Faubert finds Vaz Te and all of a sudden it's five-on-four in the Hammers' favour. Unfortunately, Vaz Te's cross is behind all four of them. When Nolan tries to play in Taylor, he wrong-foots the No14. Goal kick.

39 mins - Faye is at full-stretch to cut out a long ball for Roberts. Corner again. Tomkins wins the header and Faubert and O'Neil deal with the rest of it.

37 mins - Sometimes you just don't understand how the officials reach their decisions... Taylor's drilled low cross is met by Vaz Te. It's on target but takes a massive deflection off Pearce and loops over the top for a... goal kick!

35 mins - Good play again. Faubert and O'Neil combine to clear a dangerous situation before the No32 finds McCartney. Some interplay on the left ends with the McCartney cross and a header from Vaz Te that Federici clutches in front of his face.

34 mins - Harte delivers to the near post and Hunt goes in with Cole. The ball goes out and Hunt is adamant it was a corner. The assistant referee disagrees. Goal kick.

33 mins - Noble has a nibble at Kebe on the right touchline. Mr Foy has a word. Harte trots across. Cole slices the delivery behind for a corner.

30 mins - The free-kick is cleared easily and Vaz Te sends Taylor through. He is to the left of the goal but surely should shoot. Instead, he crosses and Reading scramble the ball away. West Ham keep up the pressure as Faubert's cross is headed clear. Noble flies in but can't control his own header. Goal kick.

29 mins - Tomkins brings down Roberts on halfway and immediately two Royals go to the referee. O'Neil is not impressed with that sort of behaviour. Mr Foy speaks to McAnuff.

27 mins - Roberts is booked for catching Faye in the head with a loose arm. There is no love lost at all between those two.

26 mins - That was definitely a cross from Taylor, but it looked as if it might catch Federici out at one stage. Again, the attack involved Cole. The ball curls just beyond the far post for a goal kick.

24 mins - A chance again for the Hammers. Harte's clearance is straight to Vaz Te. He gets into the box and finds Cole, but his flick at the near post is half-blocked and gathered by Federici.

23 mins - West Ham escape and again it's a goalline clearance from Tomkins that saves the day. Kebe gets in behind and crosses. Faubert makes a bit of a meal of it but when Hunt has an age to control and pick his spot, he finds Tomkins' head instead of the back of the net.

23 mins - Baldock and Carew are out warming-up on the touchline. They will be pleased with what they have seen so far, as will the majority of the near-majority crowd.

21 mins - Vaz Te slips as he tries to beat Harte. The left-back passes back to Federici, who has to side-step Cole before clearing upfield.

20 mins - Good patient build-up from West Ham across their back four. Faubert releases O'Neil with a one-touch pass but O'Neil's lofted through ball for Vaz Te is too strong.

19 mins - Fantastic from Cole again, holding off Gorkss on halfway before losing his marker with a neat turn and keeping possession.

17 mins - Nolan brings down Kebe wide on the Reading right just about level with the edge of the West Ham box. Harte will curl this one in. He does, but it is too close to Green, who catches confidently.

15 mins - O'Neil does well to intercept a Harte clearance and find McCartney. The left-back runs at Cummings and crosses, but when Taylor tries to control on his chest, the ball rolls away for a goal kick.

14 mins - Cole looks right up for this. He is doing doggies all over the pitch to close down the Royals back-four. At the other end, Faye has made a strong and solid start.

12 mins - West Ham have settled well. It's too early to get carried away, though, of course. The Hammers will want to turn their superiority into a second goal as soon as possible.

11 mins - Close again. Vaz Te whips over a cross from the right with his left foot and Cummings does just enough to head clear with Taylor lurking behind him.

9 mins - West Ham on the attack again. Really positive stuff from the Hammers. The home fans are singing their hearts out as Faubert wins a throw near the Reading box. Cole flicks on but it's through to Federici.

7 mins - GOAL! They're doing better than OK now! COLE! Nolan does superbly on the edge of the box to trick his way past a defender and lay the ball wide to Taylor. His cross fizzes across and Nolan heads against the post. The ball initially looks to have eluded Cole, but he adjusts superbly and fires low past Federici from eight yards.

6 mins - West Ham have started OK here. They are getting about the visitors and not allowing them to settle.

4 mins - O'Neil launches the ball down the right flank and Cole chases. It bounces up but Gorkss clears the ball against the No9 and it flies out for a goal kick.

3 mins - Reading win a throw near the corner flag. O'Neil closes down well and the ball goes behind for a throw. West Ham break and Taylor plays a one-two before crossing, but the ball loops behind for a goal kick at the other end.

2 mins - Roberts gives Tomkins a nudge as the ball rolls out for a West Ham throw. Experienced player, Roberts, and he is not going to allow the Hammers No5 to settle easily.

1 min - Faubert immediately wins possession back from Reading before O'Neil wins a throw down the right. Positive start.

3.02pm - Roberts and Karacan get the game underway...

3pm - The two teams are swapping ends. Both sides will now shoot towards their own supporters in the first half. Reading are going to have a huddle. Rob Green high-fives his team-mates as he makes his way to the other end of the pitch.

2.57pm - The two teams are on their way out of the tunnel, led by captains Nolan and McAnuff. The atmosphere is very good, as you might expect for what is essentially a promotion play-off to avoid the Play-Offs, if you will. A win today and West Ham only have to match Reading's results for the remaining six matches to go up automatically.

2.55pm - Here we go. The biggest game of the season so far and the sun has come out for kick-off. Reading have brought a big following, who are gathered behind the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand goal. Talking of Sir Trevor, he too is here and has just presented cheques to the charities on behalf of the FA.

2.45pm - Some giant cheques are being presented to the Bobby Moore Fund and Richard House Children's Hospice by SBOBET and the FA Community Fund. Meanwhile, 1960s star Brian Dear is being introduced to the crowd. In a second, Cockney Rejects Jeff and Mick Geggus are going to be introduced to the crowd. They have a film out soon, East End Babylon, which you can read more about here.

2.30pm - The two teams are out warming-up on the pitch. We've got plenty of special guests here today. On the playing side, George Parris, Matty Holmes, Alan Taylor, Phil Parkes and Ray Stewart are all in attendance. Stand by for exclusive interviews on West Ham TV. Down at pitchside,

2.05pm - Team news is in! One change for the Hammers, with Julien Faubert replacing the injured Joey O'Brien. Reading welcome back Jason Roberts from a hamstring injury.

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney, Noble, O'Neil, Nolan, Vaz Te, Taylor, Cole
Subs: Collins, Lansbury, Carew, Baldock, Maynard

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Roberts
Subs: McCarthy, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Church, Afobe

Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for today's mouth-watering npower Championship fixture between West Ham United and Reading.

The club would like to welcome today's sponsors - Match Sponsors Carbon Neutral Investments, Matchball Sponsors everymessage and Chairman Sponsor Steak Media.

The Hammers are gunning for a victory that would take them above the Royals and up into the second automatic promotion place. West Ham start the day a point behind their opponents in third.

A bumper crowd is expected at the Boleyn Ground this afternoon, with tickets available right up until kick-off from the Alpari Stand and Trinity Road Ticket Offices and cash turnstiles 17, 18 and 46. For those unable to make it to the stadium, stay right here with whufc.com for team news and live text updates throughout what is sure to be a dramatic afternoon.

Aside from their promotion incentive, West Ham are eager to gain revenge for the 3-0 defeat they suffered in the reverse league fixture at the Madejski Stadium in December - a game in which Joey O'Brien and Jack Collison were both sent-off.

Team news-wise, Big Sam has welcomed Guy Demel, Papa Bouba Diop and Winston Reid back to full training. Abdoulaye Faye and O'Brien are facing races to be fit after suffering head and calf injuries in Tuesday's 2-0 win at Peterborough United.

Reading are sweating on the fitness of striker Jason Roberts, who has been nursing a hamstring problem since scoring five goals in his opening eleven appearances for the Royals.

Team news will be announced first on the club's official twitter feed.