WEST HAM UNITED v CARDIFF CITY
npower CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL SECOND LEG
MONDAY 7 MAY 2012
Final score - West Ham United 3-0 Cardiff City (Agg 5-0)
92 mins - The final whistle is blown! West Ham are going to the npower Championship Play-Off final at Wembley and they fully deserve it!
91 mins - Into added time and Alpari have voted Winston Reid Man of the Match. He has been brilliant. They all have.
90 mins - GOAL! MAYNARD! Lansbury slides the ball through to Maynard, who stays onside superbly before rifling an unstoppable shot high into the far corner. That's finishing it in style!
89 mins - After two years of downs, West Ham are going to have a day out at Wembley to celebrate! I've got goosebumps just thinking about it. One more victory and West Ham will be back in the big time. They've risen to the occasion twice in the semi-finals and just need to do it once more...
86 mins - Cole goes off to be replaced by Nicky Maynard.
85 mins - The home fans are singing a bit of 'Que Sera Sera' and I don't blame them. It's 31 years since West Ham ran out at Wembley!
82 mins - Lawrence lets fly from a lay-off from Blake about 25 yards out, but he drags the shot wide of the target. Green had dived, just in case.
81 mins - McNaughton is replaced by Darcy Blake in the break in play before a West Ham corner.
80 mins - The attendance today is 34,618. The TV screens show Sir Trevor Brooking. He was playing the last time West Ham appeared in a big final at... Oh, I'm not going to curse it now, surely... Wembley!
79 mins - Nothing has gone right for Cardiff. Substitute Cowie gets goalside of two defenders, but prods wide. He wants a foul but nothing is given. West Ham break and Cole finds Taylor inside the box with a neat backheel. Marshall is out quickly and makes a fine smothering save.
76 mins - McPhail and Miller are replaced by Don Cowie and Filip Kiss. O'Neil is dabbing his face with some tissue. He'll be OK to continue though.
75 mins - Taylor runs on to Demel's pass and wins a corner. He takes it himself and shoots, I think! The ball is cleared behind at the near post. The second corner is taken short to Noble, who then plays the ball back to Taylor. His cross hits a Cardiff player and then smashes O'Neil in the face. He needs the physio on.
73 mins - The tie may well be all but over but West Ham are still looking for more goals. A decent passage of play ends with Hudson fouling Taylor. The free-kick is worked short, but when the cross comes over, Taylor himself is penalised.
70 mins - Into the final 20 minutes and Cole wins a corner. Noble takes but it's headed clear. West Ham come again and Lansbury crosses, but the ball flicks off the head of Tomkins and wide for a goal kick.
69 mins - Nolan is the man replaced. He gets a great ovation as he jogs off. Nolan waves and gives the fans a thumbs-up. He has done his job today. Taylor goes into midfield.
67 mins - West Ham are bossing it, but an attack ends with O'Neil's cross being caught by Marshall. Reid brings down Lawrence and is booked. George McCartney is stripped and ready to come on.
66 mins - Mackay has moved his players around. Miller has gone wide left and Whittingham up front. It's not working though, as Miller collects 25 yards out and slashes wildly at his shot, which flies off-target.
64 mins - Lansbury tries to get on the end of a Cole flick-on, but McPhail works back and shields the ball back to Marshall. The Cardiff fans are making the best of it with a few songs and dance moves. Good work. Their team attack again but Taylor stands firm and Green slides out to collect.
63 mins - To lighten the mood, an inflatable dolphin is flying around the Bobby Moore Stand Lower.
62 mins - Sky are reporting that Jack Collison has gone to hospital to have his shoulder examined. The official website will have an update as soon as more is known about the extent of his injury.
61 mins - A slightly strange atmosphere has decended on the Boleyn. Perhaps Collison's injury had a part to play, but the noise level has abated a bit. To be fair, it's not as if the fans aren't singing.
57 mins - Better from the hosts as Noble switches play wide right to Demel. He crosses and the ball eludes everyone and finds O'Neil. He puts it on to his right foot, but his cross for Vaz Te or Cole is too close to Marshall.
56 mins - The visitors are having a bit more joy since the break, but West Ham are standing firm. It's a real team effort from the Hammers today. Lansbury wins a free-kick as he battles out near the touchline.
54 mins - Cardiff have a free-kick wide right of the penalty area after a foul by Taylor. The same player heads clear at the near post for a corner with Miller lurking. Corner for Whittingham. It's too deep and Taylor clears for a throw.
52 mins - Reid is caught by Mason as he goes up for a high ball. Luckily no serious damage is done. Free-kick for Green to take, though.
50 mins - Reid clears Lawrence's cross and sends Vaz Te away. He loses Hudson, who brings him down on halfway. A booking for the Cardiff captain. The free-kick is cleared, but O'Neil gets a round of applause for charging down two passes in succession and conceding a throw. Good work-rate.
49 mins - That's a blow for West Ham and, obviously, for Collison in particular. Cardiff have a free-kick after Taylor is penalised. Turner loses Noble with a turn, but his cross is too high for everybody inside the penalty area.
48 mins - I'm not sure how serious that is, but Collison is going to be replaced. He walks along the touchline. Henri Lansbury is on to replace him. Fingers crossed he will not be out for too long.
46 mins - Green catches a cross and Collison is released down the right. He is brought down to earth by a strong but fair sliding challenge. He clutches his shoulder in pain. The physio comes on.
5.34pm - The Hammers get the game underway again. There are 45 minutes of the 180 to go, unless Cardiff score four goals and take us to extra-time.
5.33pm - West Ham are back out on the pitch.
5.32pm - It's got to be three minutes since the Bluebirds appeared. That would suggest Malky Mackay has given them a stern message. In fairness, they know what they have to do.
5.29pm - Cardiff are out of the tunnel first. It looks like they're sticking with the XI that finished the first half.
Half-time score - West Ham United 2-0 Cardiff City (Agg 4-0)
47 mins - West Ham keep the ball for 30 seconds until the half-time whistle is blown. It's now three-quarter-time and West Ham are looking in a good position to win through to the final. Oh, and I was wrong about John Terry. He isn't here. former Hammer Anton Ferdinand is here, though.
46 mins - Into the first of two added minutes. McNaughton surges forward and crosses. Left-back Taylor retrieves, but Demel blocks. Gunnarsson's throw is headed clear by Tomkins. He has been imperious so far.
45 mins - Mason hasn't given up as he beats Taylor and gets into the box before being challenged.
44 mins - Another attack. Vaz Te is crowded out after beating two men. Noble crosses from the follow-up, but Cole's header lands on the roof of the net.
42 mins - Vaz Te is down but it's nothing to worry about. He simply took a knock from McNaughton in the unmentionables! Meanwhile, Cardiff have a free-kick about 30 yards out that Whittingham launches high over the crossbar.
40 mins - GOAL! VAZ TE! PICK THAT OUT! O'Neil and Demel combine before the right-back releases Vaz Te. He loses Turner and simply belts a shot into the roof of the net from about 14 yards. That was UNSTOPPABLE!
40 mins - West Ham have settled into some decent possession in recent minutes. Now all they need is a goal as a reward...
38 mins - Both managers have spent the whole first half in their technical areas - an illustration of just how important this game is. Nolan so nearly benefits as a backpass to Marshall is nearly cut out by the captain. Marshall hurriedly hacks the ball away for a throw.
35 mins - Cardiff break through the lively Mason and he beats two men before swapping passes with Miller and winning a throw. Gunnarsson hurls it in and Tomkins heads out for a corner. Gunnarsson is penalised for impeding Green as Lawrence's ball comes over.
34 mins - Fantastic stuff. Cole controls and Noble slams the ball wide right for Vaz Te. He retrieves by the touchline and cuts it back for O'Neil. That's great skill as he shoots first time from the corner of the box and forces Marshall into a flying save. Noble's corner is cleared.
33 mins - I'm told John Terry might be here watching. He gets a traditional East End welcome from the home fans.
31 mins - Green hasn't had a huge amount to do, but he does fantastically there to catch Mason's deep cross off the head of a Cardiff player.
30 mins - Demel gets forward well again and overlaps for O'Neil. His low cross is scrambled behind by two Cardiff players for a corner. Taylor to take... This time he gives it a bit more air and the ball clears Marshall and Tomkins. Goal kick.
28 mins - Kenny Miller is booked for dissent. He didn't like the penalty decision for Reid's challenge earlier and the frustration has clearly boiled over.
26 mins - When you look at the players Cardiff have on the pitch, they have plenty of attacking options. Miller and Mason are forwards and Lawrence and Whittingham both love to get up there and score goals. Malky Mackay also has Robert Earnshaw on the bench. The little Wales striker has plundered more than 100 for the Bluebirds in his career. The longer it stays at 1-0, the more you think you might see Earnshaw at half-time.
24 mins - A first sight of goal for Vaz Te. Cole prods the ball away from a defender and Vaz Te cuts in from the left. He shoots, but this time he screws it well wide of the far post.
23 mins - Jack Collison has proved his class in the last few weeks. His goal at Leicester was a beauty, but his two in south Wales were priceless. Today he has won the corner that led to the goal and generally been everywhere. Superb stuff and fitting reward for the hard work put in by the No10.
20 mins - A breathless opening 20 minutes here at the Boleyn. West Ham lead and they have done what they needed to do in the early exchanges - start positively and score the first goal.
18 mins - Cardiff are going to have to throw everything at this if they are going to get back into it. Mason does well to ride a Collison challenge and slip the pass to McPhail. He is to the byline and crosses low, but Nolan is there to clear. Important intervention from the skipper.
17 mins - Collison drives downfield before picking out O'Neil with a far-post cross. O'Neil cushions the volley that loops over Marshall and cannons off the top of the crossbar and behind!
16 mins - Demel concedes a throw. Gunnarsson winds up... The Icelander throws it shot instead and the cross comes over from the left. Taylor does superbly well to flick the ball clear with his head. The second ball in is cleared by Tomkins and Collison is away...
15 mins - GOAL! NOLAN! Taylor whips in a superb corner. Cole gets a touch off his shoulder and Nolan is there to convert from all of a yard. The Boleyn Ground erupts!
14 mins - 'Nuts!' as Jack Collison nutmegs Taylor and wins a corner. Good play in the build-up between Noble, Demel and Collison.
13 mins - Cole is penalised on halfway. McNaughton launches it long, but Reid does enough to force a goal kick off a Cardiff head. Meanwhile, Nicky Maynard is out warming up. Cole might be struggling a bit here.
12 mins - Another half-chance as Nolan's cross clears McNaughton. Vaz Te collects and finds Taylor, whose cross is hacked away into the stand by Whittingham.
10 mins - Best move of the game so far. Noble finds Tomkins, who sweeps the ball wide right for Demel. He sweeps in a dangerous cross, but it's cleared. Cardiff break and Miller is 1v1 with Reid, who makes a fine challenge inside the box. The throw comes over from Gunnarsson and Turner wins it, but Green is there to catch the ball as it drops inside the six-yard box.
8 mins - Taylor gets free down the Cardiff left and crosses. Miller is offside though, as Reid stoops to head clear. Green belts upfield and Cole flicks on. Vaz Te challenges McNaughton as he tries to shield the ball out for a throw, but can only prod it out for a goal kick. No reward for the effort, there.
6 mins - Half-a-chance for Collison to deliver as he bends his run well to collect a pass from Demel. He loses his marker with a neat turn, but his low left-foot cross is too close to Marshall. Nice footwork to make the space from the first-leg match-winner, though.
5 mins - West Ham need to keep up this intensity. A Reid header drops to Whittingham and Cardiff are inside the Hammers half. The same player tries to loft a ball over the top of Reid for Miller, but it's too strong. Goal kick.
3 mins - Collison does well on halfway to rob Taylor and hook the ball forward for Cole. He wins it against Turner, but his volley is well over the top from the right corner of the penalty area.
2 mins - The noise level is like nothing we've heard this season in the stadium. West Ham are definitely up for this and they have started positively. Nolan crunches into a tackle and wins a throw. Unfortunately, it comes to nothing. Cardiff belt the ball clear and Demel has to concede a throw.
1 min - Noble does well to win the ball back wide on the left and he is fouled by Gunnarsson. Green takes it long and Cole forces a throw. It is hurled over and Vaz Te tries an overhead kick, but it's blocked. Marshall collects.
4.31pm - Joe Mason passes to Stephen McPhail and we're off and running.
4.30pm - Cardiff are going to have a huddle before kick-off, which means we're going to have time for another rendition of 'Bubbles'. That's good of them, isn't it! The Bluebirds will kick-off shooting towards the Bobby Moore Stand end. We're nearly ready to go...
4.28pm - Cardiff are in their change strip of white shirts and blue shorts and socks. The home side are in claret and blue shirts, white shorts and socks. The atmosphere is decent! The home fans are belting out 'Come on you Irons!'. So, the equation is simple. If West Ham win, draw or lose by a single goal, we're through to the final...
4.26pm - I've got goosebumps as the video ends, 'Bubbles' starts to play and the two teams emerge from the tunnel. Let's get ready to rumble!
4.21pm - The sun is shining bright now as the bubbles bob through the air. There is not a seat to be had in the Boleyn Ground this afternoon. It's all set up to be one heck of an afternoon! A montage of goals and celebrations from the season gone by is playing on the big screen. We've had some great moments over the past nine months. This afternoon could top the lot, though.
4.17pm - James Tomkins receives his award for Hammer of the Year runner-up. He gets a big cheer, but not as loud as the one received by Mark Noble for winning Hammer of the Year. Finally, Ricardo Vaz Te receives his award for being SBOBET and npower Championship Player of the Month for April. After all the silverware, West Ham will get down to the business of lifting another trophy. We're just more than ten minutes from kick-off...
4.15pm - The Cardiff players complete their warm-up in front of the away fans. It looks like the travelling Bluebirds' supporters are in good voice, despite their team being in a bit of a hole. Cockney Rejects Jeff and Mick are pitchside - lead-singer Jeff wrote his car off this morning, but he's still made his way to the Boleyn Ground!
4.12pm - The sun has come out over east London as kick-off approaches. Both sets of players are going through their final shooting drills, while Winston Reid and James Tomkins are warming up on their own, as usual. The centre-backs are working on their long passes and heading. Before we get started, Rob Hall is being presented with the Doris Bell award for the Academy Player of the Year. Well-deserved for the England Under-19 forward, who has had a fine season with West Ham and on loan at Oxford United and MK Dons.
3.35pm - West Ham United are UNCHANGED. The only change is on the bench where Henri Lansbury comes in for Abdoulaye Faye. Cardiff City make two changes, with Kevin McNaughton and Stephen McPhail replacing Darcy Blake and Don Cowie.
West Ham United: Green, Demel, Taylor, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, O'Neil, Nolan, Vaz Te, Collison, Cole
Subs: Henderson, McCartney, Faubert, Lansbury, Maynard
Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Lawrence, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, McPhail, Mason, Miller
Subs: Heaton, Blake, Kiss, Cowie, Earnshaw
3.15pm - The Ladies have put the first team in good spirits ahead of today's game by pulling off a fine 3-1 win over Leicester City Ladies at the King Power Stadium on Sunday. Gemma Shepherd marked the prestige friendly with a superb hat-trick. For more information about the Ladies' victory, click here. Back here at the Boleyn Ground, we should have the team news for you in around 15 minutes...
3.10pm - The force of nature that is comedian Russell Brand has just arrived at the Boleyn Ground sporting a black top hat and some very dark sunglasses. The man has got style.
2.55pm - There is plenty of optimism around the ground ahead of today's game. West Ham are favourites to advance, of course, and former Hammers Alan Devonshire, Phil Parkes and Alan Taylor are all confident that Big Sam's men will get the job done. I have rarely seen the Boleyn Ground so busy so early before kick-off. There are fans everywhere! Also, the Press Room is full to bursting with journalists and ex-players. I'm told ex-Hammers striker Dean Ashton is a studio guest for Sky Sports, so be sure to listen to what Deano has got to say if you cannot make it down to the stadium this afternoon.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for this afternoon's npower Championship Play-Off semi-final second leg meeting with Cardiff City.
West Ham United start today's game 2-0 to the good after an impressive performance in the first leg in Wales on Thursday evening, where Jack Collison scored both goals.
We have a complete sell-out here today and, with 35,000 fans inside the stadium come kick-off, the atmosphere is set to be something truly special as the Hammers seek to complete the job and win through to the final on Saturday 19 May.
Today is West Ham's third Play-Off semi-final second leg and the first time that the Hammers have gone into the second game with an advantage. In 2003/04, they lost 1-0 to Ipswich Town before drawing 2-2 with the same opposition the following season.
West Ham have every reason to be confident of progressing. They are unbeaten in seven matches, have won their previous three and have lost just once in 19 league and Play-Off games dating back to 31 January.
No team has ever overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit in the Championship Play-Offs since their inception in 1987.
Team news-wise, Big Sam has a few selection decisions to make with a near fully-fit squad at his disposal. George McCartney will be eager to regain his starting place after impressing as a substitute on Thursday, while the likes of Abdoulaye Faye, Papa Bouba Diop, Henri Lansbury, Nicky Maynard, John Carew and Sam Baldock are also vying to be involved.
For Cardiff manager Malky Mackay, right-back Kevin McNaughton is hoping to return from the calf strain that kept him out of the first leg. Winger Don Cowie suffered a knock in Thursday's tie and is facing a battle to be fit.
We will have all the big match build-up here, while the team news will be announced first on the club's official twitter feed at 3.30pm.
Today's Match Sponsor is the club's Official Sponsor Alpari, while the Matchball Sponsor is Essex & County Dry Lining, who are specialist contractors for Drylining, Suspended Ceilings, Partitioning and Acoustic Insulation.