West Ham United 4-2 Reading FT

SUNDAY 19 MAY 2013



Final score - West Ham United 4-2 Reading

92 mins - Demel finds Diame, who spins and shoots straight at McCarthy. He saves low down and the final whistle is blown as he clears upfield. That completes a fine season for the Hammers. They finish tenth in the table on their first season back in the big time and will go into the summer in great heart. Today's game summed up the season, really. A strong start, wobble in the middle and a good finish. The players will now head to the dressing room for a quick drink before doing their lap of thanks to the fans. We'll post some exclusive images and reaction from today's game on whufc.com and West Ham TV soon. Thanks for joining us today, and throughout what has been another great season. It's been a pleasure!

92 mins - Jaaskelainen makes a final save of the season from Le Fondre. He's been excellent this term. West Brom are drawing 5-5 with Manchester United at The Hawthorns!

90 mins - McCarthy catches a header from a corner but it's all academic now as the home fans are singing their hearts out. Nolan's hat-trick is his first since scoring three in a 5-1 win for Newcastle over Sunderland on 31 October 2010. Anyway, we're going to have two added minutes here.

88 mins - That's the first Premier League hat-trick for a West Ham player since Marlon Harewood against Aston Villa here in a 4-0 win on 13 September 2005. The most-recent hat-trick in any competition was Vaz Te against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Championship on 14 April last year.

87 mins - GOAL! NOLAN gets his hat-trick! Carroll's rasping shot is turned aside by McCarthy's shoulder. West Ham win it back quickly and shift the ball right for Maiga, who takes an uncertain first touch before delivering a perfect cross for Nolan to head down and past the Reading goalkeeper. Great cross from Maiga. Nolan accepts the acclaim of the home faithful.

86 mins - Noble brings the ball forward and Collison's run takes the defenders in front of him away. Noble shifts the ball onto his right foot and shoots, but it's a simple catch for McCarthy. Moments later, Taylor is on for O'Brien.

85 mins - Now Collison is shown a yellow card. Kevin Nolan is voted man of the match by sponsors Alpari.

82 mins - Reading have a corner, conceded by O'Brien. Big Sam is a bit animated in his technical area before the kick is taken, but it's safely headed out of the box. A free-kick is then given away but that too is dealt with. Nolan is involved in a foot race with Karacan for the loose ball and brings down the Turkey international. Booking for the skipper.

81 mins - Modibo Maiga is stripped for his first league appearance since New Year's Day. Indeed, he is now on for Vaz Te. The attendance today is 34,973.

79 mins - GOAL! Chicken wings are on the menu! Reid wins the ball back on halfway and Noble clips a superb through ball for Nolan with the outside of his right foot. Nolan controls and slides a shot inside the right-hand post. Classy finish. That's nine for the season for the skipper. The shot took a slight deflection off McCarthy's left boot on its way into the bottom corner.

76 mins - Collins sells Demel short with a crossfield pass. The header down from Kelly gives Reading the chance to break again. The ball is worked across to McCleary in space on the right. He cuts inside and is challenged as he shoots. The ball dribbles wide of the near post.

74 mins - Demel's low cross is helped on by Nolan and falls to Carroll, who spins and shoots on the volley, but the ball dips over the top and into the Bobby Moore Stand. Before the re-start, Collison is on for Cole.

73 mins - West Ham finally back on top. Joe Cole collects a pass from Vaz and runs at his man, shoots right-footed and sees the ball deflected about three yards wide. the corner from Noble is again too strong.

70 mins - Better from the home side. Carroll springs the offside trap after neat build-up from Noble and Reid inside their own half. The No8 crosses towards Vaz Te and Gorkss heads behind for a corner. The initial delivery is too strong, but Nolan retrieves on the near side and is fouled. Noble lofts the free-kick over and Carroll heads high over the crossbar.

68 mins - Blackman has looked really good since he came on at the break. Big Sam signed him for Blackburn from Macclesfield back in January 2009.

68 mins - Into the final quarter and West Ham haven't rediscovered their pre-half-time rhythm just yet. Still time, though...

65 mins - Reading come close to taking the lead! Gunter is in acres and he slides a cross along the face of the six-yard box that eludes a host of players in the middle and bounces away for a throw on the near side.

63 mins - McAnuff catches Reid late as the Kiwi clears. He is booked, but Mr Dean might have played advantage as Nolan was in on goal.

62 mins - Carroll is fouled again as he tries to hold off his man to control Jaaskelainen's punt forward. Noble curls the free-kick to the far post for Carroll, whose header down bounces into the hands of McCarthy. He slams the ball up the pitch and, after the ball drop, Blackman shoots well wide.

61 mins - It's Conga time in front of the East Stand. About 30 fans are dancing along the front of the old Chicken Run. Classic.

60 mins - Elsewhere, Arsenal look good for a top-four finish. They lead at  Alan Pardew's Newcastle, while Spurs are being held at home by Paolo Di Canio's Sunderland.

59 mins - Carroll latches onto a lay-off from Nolan and smacks a left-foot shot that McCarthy turns aside with both hands. Well-struck, but straight at the goalkeeper. This is a strange old game.

58 mins - West Ham need to wake up and the sun coming out will help. The Reading fans mock their counterparts with a song about how West Ham have never been much good. Charming.

55 mins - GOAL! West Ham have completely gone to sleep here. Guthrie sweeps the ball out wide left for Blackman and he finds his fellow substitute with a left-foot cross that Le Fondre slams past Jaaskelainen from close range. Terrible start to the second half from the home side. The travelling Reading fans over in the far corner are loving it, all of a sudden.

53 mins - GOAL! Garath McCleary scores. A corner is headed clear by Nolan and Vaz Te, but isn't properly away. Reading keep the pressure on and a square pass for the former Nottingham Forest man is smashed past Jaaskelainen via a deflection off the boot of Noble.

52 mins - Collins' touch lets him down and he cannot reach the loose ball. Reading come forward and McAnuff cuts in from the left before curling a low shot that Jaaskelainen watches closely and gathers safely. Le Fondre was sniffing around any rebound there. He is Reading's top scorer with eleven goals, of course, despite only starting eleven matches.

49 mins - Reading have started the better. Karacan ghosts past Noble and shoots towards the top right-hand corner. Jaaskelainen is clearly concerned as he flings himself to his left, but the ball just beats the angle. Close call.

47 mins - Gunter drives a cross in from the left. It finds McAnuff, but the Royals skipper can only volley into the ground and the ball bounces wide.

46 mins - Before the second half begins, Adam Le Fondre and Nick Blackman are on for Pavel Pogrebnyak and Hal Robson-Kanu. West Ham kick-off...

Half-time score - West Ham United 2-0 Reading

46 mins - Vaz aims a high cross for Cole at the far post but cannot wrap his foot around it. It goes behind. Half-time. Loud applause and deservedly so. It may be the final day of the season, but West Ham have put on a show over the last 20 minutes of the first half. They could, perhaps should, be out of sight. Join us again in 15 minutes for the final half of 2012/13. So far, the battle for tenth is going to plan!

45 mins - The Hammers are playing with some proper swagger here. Exactly a year after Vaz Te's winner at Wembley, a slick passing move ends with Diame stinging the palms of McCarthy with a low shot that the goalkeeper cannot hang onto. Reading are chasing shadows as we go into the the one added minute.

43 mins - West Ham have really stepped it up a few gears since their opening goal. Reading have nothing to play for and it looks like it at present.

41 mins - Carroll is everywhere. First, he holds the ball up from Noble's pass and Vaz Te collects, beats Kelly and rattles the angle of post and crossbar with a fizzing shot. Seconds later, Carroll controls on his chest, spins and rolls a pass square that Cole dummies and Diame slams a yard or two over the top.

38 mins - The home fans are singing 'Andy Carroll. We want you to stay' and can you blame them? He's been absolutely outstanding today. His work-rate has been magnificent and he has two assists. He could easily have three and a goal of his own.

34 mins - GOAL! That's a cracker. O'Brien wins the ball wide on the left and finds Vaz Te. The cross from the left from Diame to the far post is controlled superbly by Carroll. His touch is sublime and he holds off his defender before turning and finding Vaz Te inside the box. The No12 rifles the low shot first-time with his right foot and the ball thunders into the bottom left-hand corner! Some suggestions that McCarthy should have saved that one.

33 mins - Demel beats one man and then does a few tricks with his feet before laying back for Diame. He plays the ball inside for Cole 30 yards out. The No26 jinks past a Reading player before shooting. Again, he doesn't quite catch it right and the ball bobbles away for a goal kick.

31 mins - Both physios are on as McAnuff beats Reid and is caught late by the Hammer of the Year. It looked like a clash of shins. McAnuff is up and able to continue, but our Kiwi is down for a bit longer. I think he'll be OK, but he needs some repairs first. Dangerous free-kick for Reading and Reid won't be on the pitch for it. Guthrie takes and West Ham head clear, I think through Vaz Te. Diame hooks upfield. Reid is back on.

28 mins - So close to a second! Collins lifts a diagonal free-kick to the far post where Carroll rises high and heads back across goal for Nolan. He heads from six yards and McCarthy makes slight amends by pushing the ball onto the crossbar. Reading scramble the ball out of their box through Morrison for a corner. Cole takes and Carroll is there again with a powerful header that flashes over the top. He is having a stormer.

27 mins - Gary O'Neil gets a great hand from the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand Lower as he goes out to warm up. He's played well the last few weeks, I must say.

24 mins - O'Brien's high backpass tests Jaaskelainen this time. He controls on his chest and clears. Nice. Cheers from the home fans. That goal sums the match up so far, to be honest, but who cares?

23 mins - GOAL! Circus football. McCarthy's clearance is charged down by Carroll. Nolan is there to collect and he rounds the new England call-up before side-footing in with his left foot. Chicken dance time! Carroll celebrates his mate's eighth of the season, but he'll want to get one himself now! It wasn't offside as Nolan was behind the ball when Carroll blocked the clearance.

22 mins - This game needs a goal. It's meandering along a bit at present. It's not as if the two sets of players aren't trying, but the quality is lacking a bit. As I type, Gunter gallops forward and latches on to a ball inside from Robson-Kanu. He has lost Cole but fires into the side-netting from a fairly acute angle. Should have shot across the goalkeeper there, I would venture.

17 mins - It's open out there. Carroll collects 30 yards out and his shot hits Morrison on the way behind for a corner. Joe Cole to take. Collins rises at the far post and is penalised for a push on Morrison. McCarthy tries to be cute and find Gunter with the free-kick and boots it straight out for a throw. 'That's why you're going down' chant the home faithful.

17 mins - West Ham cannot keep the ball at the moment. Reading nearly take advantage when an attack down the left ends with a ball inside to Guthrie. He can hit them and does from 25 yards. The ball flies a yard or two wide of the post.

15 mins - Nice stuff down the left involving Vaz Te and O'Brien before the left-back crosses high to the far post for Carroll. He cranes his neck but cannot reach high enough to keep his header in play. Goal kick.

13 mins - Reading win a corner off O'Brien as he tries to clear. It's taken short by Guthrie before being worked back to the No20. His second cross is blocked behind by Cole. The second corner is hacked clear by Carroll. Cole leads the break with Vaz Te, but the No12 is held up before the ball is stabbed out for a throw.

11 mins - Comedy! Vaz Te literally stumbles and pokes the ball about two yards. Weird. He blames his boots and changes them from yellow to red. In between, Joe Cole wins the ball back and has a great chance to shoot from 25 yards, only to screw his shot miles off-target and into the stand.

10 mins - He didn't need a beach ball, but Darren Bent has scored for Aston Villa at Wigan!

8 mins - West Ham get a bit lucky initially as Robson-Kanu air-kick's Leigertwood's cross. Gunter recovers on the right and lifts a curling cross to the far post. Pogrebnyak is there and the Russian heads back towards the far corner. Jaaskelainen flies to his left and palms the ball away to safety. Good save.

7 mins - This time last year, Blackpool had just equalised in the Play-Off final. How times change! It's a big more relaxed here as McAnuff heads harmlessly wide.

5 mins - Reid lofts the ball forward and Carroll stands his ground before being knocked over by Morrison. Not very subtle, that. The free-kick is taken quickly to Cole, who scores, but it's too quick for Mr Dean. The re-take is towards Vaz Te and is cleared.

3 mins - A slight break in play as Jaaskelainen has to remove a rogue beach ball. We don't want any Darren Bent/Pepe Reina moments here, thank you very much!

2 mins - The clearance from the Finn drops to Noble about 35 yards out. He clips it to the far post for Carroll, who flings himself at the ball but cannot quite get enough of a connection to hook in with his left foot. Replays suggest he may have done better. The ball literally stops and bounces into the arms of McCarthy.

36 seconds - Reading win a throw. The cross comes over from Gunter but it's fairly easy for Demel to head clear on the bounce. The ball drops to McCleary 35 yards out and he shoots low from 25. It's low and straight at Jaaskelainen, who gathers.

4.02pm - Reading get the game underway, albeit a couple of minutes late.

3.59pm - Mark Noble has his two children out on the pitch along with the mascots. They both score a goal after bring taken to the six-yard box by their famous Dad. The Bobby Moore Stand gives the two youngsters a massive cheer! Lovely scenes. Saying that, the photographer will need a wide-angle lens to get all of them into the traditional picture with the captains and match officials!

3.56pm - It's a sea of Claret and Blue here on 'Show Your Colours' Day here at the Boleyn. Indeed the atmosphere is fantastic as the two teams emerge from the tunnel, led by captains Nolan and McAnuff. There will be drama at White Hart Lane and St James' Park this afternoon, but here all we're concerned about is a win and a top-ten finish!

3.55pm - The Romford Trumpet and Drum Corps have entertained us with some classic Hammers tracks and now we're being treated to some of 'The Clash' ahead of kick-off. It won't be long until 'Bubbles' starts to blare out, though! The Reading fans are entertaining themselves with a load of inflatables. I can see beach balls, bananas and all kinds flying around over in the far corner of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.

3.52pm - A video is playing on the big screens to mark Sam Allardyce signing a new contract. It's not been a bad couple of years, has it? A Wembley win! Victory over the European champions! Signing some great players! Being named anchor tenant for the Olympic Stadium!

3.48pm - Just to fill you in. Carlton Cole has tonisillitis and Matt Jarvis has a hamstring injury - hence their absences this afternoon. Mark Noble returns to the starting XI along with Joe Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te, with Jarvis, Jack Collison and Gary O'Neil missing out. It is Noble's first start since the 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa on 10 February.

3.45pm - Congratulations to Marek Stech and Yeovil Town on their npower League One Play-Off final win over Brentford at Wembley today. Stech, of course, came through the Academy ranks here after joining the Club from Sparta Prague in his native Czech Republic at the age of 16.

3.10pm - The team news is in...

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble, Diame, Nolan (c), J.Cole, Vaz Te, Carroll
Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Collison, Maiga, Wellington Paulista, O'Neil, Taylor

Reading: McCarthy. Gunter, Kelly, Gorkss, Morrison, McCleary,  McAnuff (c), Guthrie, Karacan, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Mariappa, Le Fondre, Akpan, Carrico, Blackman

2.50pm - Just ten minutes away from the teams being announced! Who will get the nod from Big Sam? Will Mark Noble get a re-call? Who will take the ill Carlton Cole's seat on the bench? If you fancy being in with a chance of winning a signed teamsheet, tweet us your guess of the Hammers' starting XI using hashtag #WHULINEUP.

2.35pm - A host of former Hammers are here to watch their old Club in action. Sir Trevor Brooking, Tony Gale, Stuart Slater, Phil Parkes, Martin Allen and Julian Dicks have all been spotted!

2.05pm - The Hammers squad have arrived at the Boleyn Ground ahead of today's Barclays Premier League fixture with Reading. The players have enjoyed their pre-match meal and some are now watching the League One Play-Off final, while others are enjoying a pre-match massage or treatment for any aches and pains they might have. If you follow us on twitter, you might well have seen a rather novel use of Official Programmes by Andy Carroll...!

Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for the final fixture of the 2012/13 season. West Ham United host Reading, who have already been relegated.

West Ham start the final day tenth in the table, having collected 43 points from 37 matches played. A victory this Saturday would guarantee the Hammers a top-half finish on their return to the top flight. A draw or even a defeat might also suffice if results elsewhere go in the Hammers' favour.

Reading have endured a difficult first season back in the Barclays Premier League after winning the Championship title last term. The Royals have already been relegated and go into the final day 19th in the table, having collected 28 points from 37 matches played. It is very likely that Reading will end the season 19th, with a Royals defeat combined with a Queens Park Rangers victory at Liverpool the only way they can finish bottom.

West Ham have enjoyed fine home form all season. The Hammers have picked up 30 points and eight victories at the Boleyn Ground, including impressive wins over Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion and draws with Manchester City and Manchester United. In all four home league defeats, by Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham have led.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins will be taking charge of a visiting side at the Boleyn Ground for the second time this season, having previously brought newly-promoted Southampton to east London on 20 October. West Ham beat the Saints 4-1.

Team news-wise, for West Ham, defenders James Tomkins (groin) and George McCartney (knee) are unlikely to be available, while Carlton Cole is definitely ruled out with tonsillitis. Rob Hall, Ravel Morrison and Paul McCallum are all back in training at Chadwell Heath after completing their loan spells with Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City and Aldershot Town respectively.

For Reading, Australia goalkeeper Adam Federici is battling to recover from an ankle injury in time to be considered, but is unlikely to force his way into the starting XI at the expense of new England call-up Alex McCarthy. Winger Jimmy Kebe (groin) and striker Jason Robers (hip) are both sidelined.

The two line-ups will be confirmed at just after 3pm, with the team news being published first on the Club's official twitter feed @whufc_official