WEST HAM UNITED v STOKE CITY
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 31 AUGUST 2013
REFEREE: JONATHAN MOSS
Final score - West Ham United 0-1 Stoke City
95: A first home defeat since Gareth Bale beat the Hammers in February is greeted by some jeers from the home fans and loud cheers from the Stoke contingent. You can hardly blame them. West Ham suffer their first loss of the season and will need to improve if they are to get a positive result at Southampton following the international break.
94: That's probably that as a bit of penalty area pinball ends with Collins being penalised for a high boot. He complains and is booked. That just about sums up West Ham's afternoon.
92: A final chance to lob the ball into the box as Nolan is fouled five yards inside his own half. Collins... Reid and Demel help the ball on before it hits a Stoke boot and is collected by Begovic.
91: This one is drifting away from West Ham. They just haven't been at the races today. We're going to have four added minutes.
87: Stoke's physio is on to tend to 'Zonzi, who has caught a knock on the head. Meanwhile, it's going to be a Barclays Premier League debut for Elliot Lee. Diame is replaced.
86: I'm afraid to say that West Ham are not looking like fashioning an equaliser at present. A long free-kick bounces off Diame's head and out for a goal kick.
84: Noble is replaced by Collison.
83: Maiga collects and runs across the pitch about 25 yards out before poking the ball into the path of O'Brien, who curls a couple of yards over the top.
82: Goal! West Ham created that mess for themselves and they are punished as Pennant curls the free-kick over the wall and into the net past Jaaskelainen's dive.
81: Reid is booked for a foul on the edge of the box after Nolan had given the ball away. A dangerous moment that could easily have been avoided. Whelan can hit these.
80: It's getting very stretched and tense here. One goal will win it. Collison will be on soon. He did it up at the Britannia Stadium in March, so why not again today?
78: Stoke just carrying more of a threat here and a cross comes in the left. The ball drops inside the box and Collins stabs it away. The Potters attack again and Pennant's cross is headed miles wide by Walters. That nearly went out for a throw!
76: Stoke are making a double change. Adam is replaced by Glenn Whelan in central midfield. Jermaine Pennant is on for Etherington. Today's attendance is 34,946.
74: Another quite few moments as Stoke press for a while, but nothing comes of the Potters' attempts to prise and opening. West Ham then come down the right and Demel and Nolan combine superbly, but the Ivorian has only two to aim at. His cut-back flicks off Pieters' heel and Stoke clear their lines. Unlucky.
70: The corner is headed up into the air and cleared only as far as Reid about 14 yards out. He elects to volley, but hooks the ball over the crossbar.
69: It's been better since Morrison came on. More balanced. Jarvis collects a pass from Maiga and runs across the face of the box before finding Diame. He takes a touch and sees his shot deflected wide off 'Zonzi. Corner.
67: Jarvis gets past Cameron and to the byline, but his cross hangs up and floats into the hands of Begovic. The Bosnian has not had a lot to do, in all honesty. It's all been routine stuff.
66: Morrison looks as if he is fouled by Wilson, but the referee gives nothing. The ball drops to 'Zonzi, who strides forward and smashes a shot that fades wide of the post.
65: Wilson collects from Etherington and shoots low from 25 yards. It's well-struck, but never threatening the target. The ball thuds into the advertising boards. Goal kick.
63: Morrison replaces Downing. Can the young man produce the goods again? He is certainly in rare form.
62: Morrison will be on soon. Before then, Downing makes room for a cross with a drop of the shoulder and curls it over. Nolan challenges Cameron but the ball loops into the gloves of Begovic.
60: Stoke have men after Nolan loses the ball in midfield. Thankfully, Etherington shows just enough of the ball to Collins, who scrambles it behind for a corner. Etherington himself takes and a combination of Demel and Diame head clear at the near post.
59: Noble clips the free-kick into Nolan after Downing had been fouled by Pieters. His touch is a little loose but he still finds Demel, who wins a corner off Etherington. It comes to nothing. Stoke clear.
57: Stoke are knocking the ball around confidently until the final third, where their crossing and shooting is letting them down. This time Walters leans back as he hits the shot and it flies harmlessly into the stand. It's a more absorbing game since the break, I will say.
54: O'Brien draws admiring cheers for a double drag-back in the centre circle. Silky stuff from the left-back! Moments later, West Ham win a free-kick on halfway. Collins lifts it forward and Reid heads high and wide from a difficult angle.
53: Comedy moment as Noble is inadvertantly taken out by the referee! Stoke nearly benefit though as Etherington feeds the overlapping Pieters, but the Dutchman's cross is woeful. Goal kick.
52: Reid is up, so maybe it's not so serious. He walks gingerly to the touchline. As soon as the free-kick is taken, Reid is back on. Maybe he was just winded?
51: This doesn't look good for Reid. He rises to head a long ball forward and gets above Jones. Unfortunately, Jones does not jump and Reid lands awkwardly and immediately writhes in pain. The physio and doctor come on.
49: It's not a classic but it's a shot. Reid wins the challenge on Jones and Diame collects. He strides forward but drags the effort well wide.
48: Adam has space from the ball inside but Collins holds him up. He plays the ball wide right for Cameron to cross, but O'Brien blocks behind. Shawcross wins the ball from Etherington's corner, but it hits the captain on the knee and rolls wide.
47: Some better passing from the Hammers involving Downing, Demel, Diame and Nolan ends with Demel being fouled. The initial free-kick into Nolan doesn't come off, but the ball is won back and Noble finds Downing wide right. He plays in Demel down the flank, but the Ivorian's cross is too high for Maiga at the far post.
46: Etherington and 'Zonzi get things going again.
Here come the Potters for the second half. West Ham will surely improve after the break and here they come for the second half. No changes from either manager at the break.
Half-time score - West Ham United 0-0 Stoke City
46: Stoke contrive to give away a needless corner as we go into the one added minute. Downing to take it... Reid wins the initial header and Begovic claims above Nolan's head inside the six-yard box. Moments later, the half-time whistle is blown. Well, in fairness, that was not a classic half of football... If it's any consolation, it doesn't look like we were the only ones to suffer, as all the other Barclays Premier League games being played at present are also goalless!
43: 'Zonzi comes forward and finds Jones to his right. The big striker takes a touch and sees his shot charged down by O'Brien. Good block, that, as the shot was travelling.
42: Another break in play as Jones has the physio on for what looks like a facial injury. When the game re-starts, it's West Ham who have the first attack, but Maiga's pass for Nolan is too strong and the chance goes begging when Noble cannot control a clearance.
37: Demel and Jarvis on the right this time. Jarvis does well to dig out a cross from near the corner flag, but it hangs in the air and Begovic can pat the ball down and collect.
34: Jarvis and Downing have swapped wings and it nearly pays immediate dividends. Nolan carries the ball forward before feeding Jarvis, who crosses first-time. Maiga loses his marker but his header flashes well wide. That was a chance.
31: Stoke have another effort after 'Zonzi robs Noble and runs 50 yards before shooting low and wide of the post. Noble gesticulates that he wants more movement ahead of him. It's strange as West Ham looked so much more fluent with the same players at Newcastle. They need a period of possession, but Stoke aren't giving them any gifts so far.
30: Jaaskelainen makes another fine save from Walters' effort, but German defender Huth was correctly flagged offside from Etherington's set piece before he headed the ball down for the No19.
29: O'Brien fouls Walters with a sliding challenge and receives a talking-to from the referee. No booking, though. Etherington will take this one. Both managers are out issuing instructions to their players during the break in play.
27: Stoke - the new Stoke - play a bit of football inside the West Ham half before Shawcross seeks out Etherington and belts the ball out for a goal kick.
25: It's a bit on a knife-edge at present. Stoke are looking more fluent, while West Ham are struggling to find their rhythm, Noble aside.
23: Stoke are on top now. The cross from the left comes in and the ball is knocked back by Walters to Adam. His shot is blocked into the air and Wilson catches the volley flush. Jaaskelainen plunges to his left to keep it out, then gets up and recovers to save Walters' follow-up. As it was the Irishman was offside, but Jaaskelainen wasn't to know. Great stuff from the goalkeeper.
21: Stoke are edging things at present. Adam holds off O'Brien and thumps in a left-footer from 25 yards that hits Collins on the chest and bounces away for a corner. Etherington takes and West Ham scramble the ball away.
20: It's been a bit of a chess match so far. Two similar systems mean the teams are cancelling one another out at present. Etherington has been brought over to the right, presumably to nullify the pace of Jarvis.
18: Maiga has a chance to run at the Stoke defence, but Shawcross stands firm and tackles.
17: Patient build-up from the Hammers ends with a cross from the right that comes off the head of Huth and then Cameron cannot control cleanly. Jarvis tries to win the ball back 12 yards from the Stoke goal, but it won't quite fall for him.
15: Maiga is fouled. The free-kick is taken to Jarvis down the left and he has Cameron for company. The winger cuts onto his right foot and seeks out Downing at the far post. The winger rises and heads goalward, but it's a routine catch for Begovic.
14: Noble slides in and fouls Adam about 25 yards out. The Scotland man fancies this one himself. It's a nice angle for a left footer. He gets it up and down over the wall, but Jaaskelainen shows good hands again to catch on the bounce. That was awkward.
13: Diame collects inside the area, but his shot is blocked away.
11: Noble does well to beat his man and find Demel wide right. He lays back for Downing, who has space. Instead of crossing, the No23 elects to try a reverse pass for Noble, but it's cut out. Stoke come forward again down their right this time and the cross towards Jones is won by the striker, but not before he has shoved Collins. No foul given, but the header drops harmlessly to Jaaskelainen. That might be an effort on target.
10: Etherington and Walters have swapped flanks. Stoke counter and Jones has Collins isolated after holding off Reid. He gets into the box but then wildly shoots high into the Bobby Moore Stand. Ironic cheers from the home fans, but another warning for West Ham.
8: Stoke have a corner as West Ham get themselves in a pickle at the back. Collins clears the ball into O'Brien, whose second touch is loose. As it is, Etherington's corner is well caught by Jaaskelainen under pressure from Jones.
6: Stoke come down their left again and it's Etherington crossing towards the centre. O'Brien stoops to head clear ahead of fellow countryman Walters. Noble holds off Jones and Demel forces the follow-up ball behind. Goal kick.
5: Stoke are playing 4-5-1. Etherington is wide left, Walters wide right, with Wilson sitting alongside 'Zonzi and Adam in midfield. Adam is to the left and 'Zonzi to the right.
3: West Ham's first period of possession. Demel collects just outside the box and tries to find Demel with a cross with the outside of his right foot, but Shawcross heads away. Diame challenges for the high ball but is whistled for a foul.
2: 'Zonzi shoves Maiga inside the centre circle. Noble takes the free-kick quickly towards Jarvis, but the winger is caught offside. Cameron headed away, as it was.
2.59pm - We're underway a minute early here at the Boleyn Ground. West Ham kick-off but Noble loses possession and Stoke have the first attack. Jones finds Etherington, but the former Hammer's cross is headed away by Collins.
2.55pm - Here come the two teams...! Stoke are wearing a very fetching grey kit with flourescent green hoops on the socks. They would certainly be able to find each other if there was a floodlight failure! Anyway, we won't need to worry about that this afternoon because it's a bright, sunny and warm day in east London. West Ham will kick-off shooting towards the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.
2.45pm - So, we've got 15 minutes until kick-off and both squads are going through their final preparations on the pitch. We've got another complete sell out here at the Boleyn - our 18th league sell out in a row - so the atmosphere in the summer sunshine should be hot. About 1,500 Stoke fans have made the journey down from the Potteries and are sure to make plenty of noise. If you didn't make it along today, we're at home again twice at the end of September. Everton visit in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday 21 September, while we'll have reduced-price tickets for the visit of Cardiff City in the Capital One Cup third round on Tuesday 24 September. For details, click here.
2.35pm - A bit of non-match related news is that Jordan Spence has joined Sheffield Wednesday on emergency loan until 28 September. For the full story, click here.
2.05pm - The team news is confirmed, with West Ham indeed naming an unchanged starting XI from the side that drew 0-0 at Newcastle last weekend. On the bench, Matt Taylor, Jack Collison and Elliot Lee replace Alou Diarra, Joe Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te. Stoke bring in midweek hat-trick hero Kenwyne Jones for Peter Crouch, which is their only change from last weekend's home win over Crystal Palace.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble (Collison 84), Diame (Lee 87), Nolan (c), Downing (Morrison 63), Jarvis, Maiga
Subs: Adrian, Rat, Tomkins, Taylor
Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Pieters, Huth, Shawcross (c), Wilson, 'Zonzi, Adam (Whelan 76), Walters, Etherington (Pennant 76), Jones
Subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Assaidi, Crouch, Jerome
1.40pm - You can enter today's #WHULINEUP competition and get yourself in with a chance of winning a signed prize by clicking on the Twitter link above. Neither manager is expected to make many changes from their previous Barclays Premier League starting XI. Big Sam and Mark Hughes have both used just 12 starters in their opening two league matches and, coming off victories last weekend, will they opt to keep winning sides intact? We'll know in about 20 minutes.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for today's Barclays Premier League fixture between West Ham United and Stoke City.
Sam Allardyce's team are one of just three not to have conceded a single goal in the top flight - Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur being the other two - having beaten Cardiff City 2-0 at home on the opening day and drawn 0-0 at Newcastle United eight days ago. The Hammers also tasted victory in the Capital One Cup second round on Tuesday, beating League Two outfit Cheltenham Town 2-1 through goals from Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison.
The Hammers will go top of the table if they can secure a two-goal victory over the Potters, but Mark Hughes' side will arrive full of confidence after beating Crystal Palace 2-1 at home last weekend and overcoming Walsall 3-1 in the Capital One Cup second round on Wednesday.
If West Ham win or draw, it will mark the first time in 14 years that they have opened the season with four unbeaten matches in all competitions. One statistic that will encourage home supporters is the fact that Stoke manager Hughes has never tasted victory in east London as a manager, having made six previous visits in charge of Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Fulham.
Team news-wise, Big Sam will be without Andy Carroll (heel), who is continuing his recovery from an injury suffered on the final day of last season at home to Reading. France midfielder Alou Diarra is also side-lined with a serious anterior cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in Tuesday's Capital One Cup win over Cheltenham Town.
Morrison will be pushing for a first Barclays Premier League start after coming on as a substitute at Newcastle and producing a Man of the Match performance against the Robins. Joe Cole will also hope to regain his starting place after scoring here against Cardiff a fortnight ago.
For Stoke, Scottish winger Jamie Ness is expected to miss the game as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury. However, Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios and United States winger Brek Shea could feature after making their comebacks during the win over Walsall.
Trinidad and Tobago striker Kenwyne Jones may have done enough to earn a start after netting a hat-trick against the Sadlers, but Hughes is perhaps more likely to stick with England frontman Peter Crouch.
We will have the team news confirmed at just after 2pm.
Don't forget, you can keep up with the very latest from the Boleyn Ground on matchday on our social media platforms by clicking on the links at the top of this page. You can also download the Digital Official Programme for today's game for just £1.99 by clicking on the link above.