Filed: Sunday, 1st April 2012
By: Staff Writer
A jubilant Brian McDermott reflects on a vital win for his Reading side -
whilst looking ahead to another gruelling challenge...
Brian: can you describe the magnitude of that win?
Three points; that was it. We were 1-0 down pretty early in the game and
it's never easy to go 1-0 down here. They could have kicked on, but we
stayed in the game. We didn't play particularly well in the first 35 minutes
or so and we needed to stay in the game, which we did. Then we got ourselves
as goal from a set play; Ian Harte's delivery again, Kaspers' [Gorkss] goal
and then Noel [Hunt] scored. So to go in [at] 2-1 was massive for us. Second
half, I thought we played well with the ball, passed it well and we deserved
You couldn't have seen that 2-1 coming because they had a lot of the first
Yes they did, but sometimes in football you have to [dig in]. When we go
away from home we don't just get behind the ball, we're trying to win games
and it's never going to be easy coming here. You saw that; we tried to score
goals in the second half and try to play football that's attractive to watch
so we're very happy today.
Mathematically and as a manager you see that as three points but your
supporters will see that as six points in terms of the promotion race?
I wish! I wish it was. Ten points would be great! But you definitely only
get three. But listen, the supporters will have a good night tonight, that's
what it's all about. If I wasn't a manager I'd be a supporter, it looked
really good behind that goal. I'd have really enjoyed that! That's what
football's all about really. There's a load of Reading fans behind the goal,
they go home really happy, go into Reading town centre tonight and have a
good night. They'll look forward to Friday [v Leeds].
Presumably you wouldn't swap positions with Big Sam who's always under
pressure here? You've crept up there without any sort of real pressure; do
you look at it that way?
I don't know about pressure. I don't really want to talk about that - we're
just trying to do the best we can in every single game. You can do any more
than that. You can't look too far back, you can't look too far forward, just
enjoy the games. And we're enjoying them. It's really important that our
players enjoy coming to a place like this and performing the way they have
today. We've come out on top and that's absolute credit to the lads.
You didn't do what a lot of teams do when they come here and just try and
frustrate West Ham?
We have a certain way of playing, we have a shape to our team. We work hard
in training and we always work on the opposition, but we work on our
strengths. It's about what we do really. I promised myself as a manager that
I'd always have two things; I'd always go on my gut feeling for selection
and I'd try to win every game. You know, if you're 0-0 away from home, try
and win it - there's a big difference between one point and three points.
I've stuck to that.
You won't be able to have a good night tonight as I gather you're running
No, I'm gutted - it's certainly knocked the gloss off this! I'm doing the
Reading half marathon tomorrow so I'll waddle round that!
Are you aiming for any particular time?
Staying alive! [laughs] I'm not naming any time. We've got around 20-odd
staff and I'll end up 25th or whatever, I'll end up last. But I'm happy with
that, I'll hopefully finish it.
It'll go within the blink of an eye after today's game, won't it?
Yeah. Are you doing it? Have you done it?
Well you're a bit fitter than me.
Are you on the bus route?
Yeah, I'm going to get a taxi after!
Will it put an extra spring in your step though?
No. No chance!
So why are you doing it!?
I don't know! No - listen, it's for a really good cause, I'm doing it for
charity. All the staff are doing it, it's a great cause really.
May I ask what the charity is?
Yeah - a hospice in Reading, I don't what the...
[PA] Help for hospices, it's a Duchess of Kent hospice in Reading -
Yeah - so if any of you have got any money..!
Can I ask what was the injury to Jem [Karachan]?
Jem got a bloodied nose so he was seeing double, but I think he'll be okay
for Friday. Jay [Tabb] got a smash on the ribs. The players were going down
like flies today and the ones that came on I thought did really well, as
well. It was good.
Sam Allardyce was saying that he thinks West Ham shot themselves in the foot
today, that it was their basic errors that gave you the three points?
I can't talk about West Ham's errors, I only see one team when we're playing
and that's us. We do the best we can, we can't do any more than that. To
come here and get four goals is real credit to the lads.
You don't look cock-a-hoop, but you should be?
I've got the marathon tomorrow!
You've almost got a foot in the Premier League...
I've been around this game a long, long time - so 'cock-a-hoop' wouldn't be
the phrase I'd use.
What will your routine be tonight then?
Tonight I'm staying in the hotel; my daughter's going to run as well.
There's a few staff staying at the Madejski [Stadium]. I'm going to have
whatever the sports scientist tells me to eat! I'm not allowed to have a
drink; I'll have a hot chocolate, go to bed, wake up at 7 o'clock in the
morning and have porridge apparently! It's all sorted, don't worry about
that. If I had two bottles of wine it'd be irrelevant, it wouldn't make any
difference to my time!
You're not tempted then?
No I'm not, no.
One glass maybe?
I don't do one glass! Thank you, cheers.
Under 18s: West Ham Utd 2 Leicester City 0
Filed: Sunday, 1st April 2012
By: Willis Jamieson
West Ham United's under 18s completed their home programme with a 2-0 win
against Leicester City at Little Heath on Saturday morning. The two goals in
a thrilling match came from a first half Elliot Lee penalty and a neat
finish from captain Blair Turgott in the second. With the young Foxes being
top of their league, this fixture was set to be one of West Ham's toughest
games of the season. Leicester, to their credit had most of the chances and
were very unlucky not to come away with at least a point. However West Ham
lived up to their expectations by creating enough chances to deliver the win
the fans wanted. United took the lead in the 20th minute when a foul just
inside the right side of the box gave West Ham's prolific goal scorer Elliot
Lee a chance to give the home side the lead from the penalty spot. Lee
(pictured above) stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way with a
side-footed finish. The game was end to end throughout the first half and
athough the football was enjoyable to watch, it was debatable whether the
young Hammers would hold on to this lead. It certainly looked unlikely
when, with the half time whistle about to blow, what seemed an easy catch
for West Ham goalkeeper Sam Baxter was fumbled and dropped at the feet of a
blue shirt. Fortunately for Baxter, the resulting shot shaved the outside of
the post with the Leicester attacker brushing the ball wide. In what was a
tight first half, Leicester were justified in feeling unlucky to not be
level. The second half kicked off with West Ham team determined to finish
the season with a win, although it was the visitors who started the stronger
- indeed, the first five minutes of the second half was all Leicester.
However a strong defensive display from Jake Young, Fraser Shaw and centre
backs Kenzer Lee and Eoin Wearen held strong. Six minutes into the half
Elliot Lee, who was having one of his best games for some time, broke down
the left wing.
Lee delivered a great cross on the floor although a slight deflection took
it off the toe of Kieran Sadlier, who was poised to shoot. Fortunately the
ball fell to Blair Turgott, who finished calmly to put West Ham 2-0 ahead.
From that point on Leicester had most of the chances, with West Ham content
to hit the Foxes on the counter. The visitors thought they were back in the
game when a neat one-two saw their striker smash the ball into the top
corner in what was an excellent move and finish, but their celebrations
ceased abruptly when the linesman raised his flag for offside. The
travelling fans realised it wasn't going to be their day when the West Ham
crossbar was rattled moments later - and when Sam Baxter spread himself
brilliantly to save on the line. It just wasn't to be Leicester's day as
West Ham's defence held strong and although the Foxes might feel unlucky,
the young Hammers worked hard for their victory to send the Little Heath
crowd off home happy once again.
* Meanwhile, the Under 16s match on the adjoining pitch was an equally good
performance - with an even better result. Nana Yiadom carried on his goal
scoring habit with a lovely side-foot volley just inside the six-yard box
and a calm one-on-one finish after a great defence-splitting through-ball
from Ben Marlow. Taylor Tombides, brother of Dylan, scored the other goal in
the 3-0 win to complete a great final home day of the season for the Academy
West Ham Utd U18s 2 Leicester U18s 0: Players Ratings
Sam Baxter (7) To come away with a clean sheet was a great result. Baxter
talked to his defenders constantly and fumble aside, he didn't put a foot
Jake Young (7) As with all the defenders, Jake had a great final home game
of the season. Leicester were a good team but Young was strong and didn't
let anything get past him.
Fraser Shaw (7) As strong at left back as Young was on the right. Not
troubled at all, even when under pressure in the second half.
Eoin Wearen (8) The partnership between him and Kenzer Lee was superb.
Wearen read the game well and distributed the ball nicely, very rarely
resorting to pumping it up field.
Kenzer Lee (8) Exactly the same as Wearen. We have seen him build a good
partnership with Chambers this year and it was great to see him play just as
well with a different partner. Very similar players, strong in the air but
have good feet too.
Taylor Miles (8) I like the way Miles just seems to do everything so simply.
He breaks up play well and then simply distributes to a team mate. He gave
great protection to the back four today. The sort of player that will go
unnoticed by many but is really valuable.
Blair Turgott (c) (7) After scoring two for the development squad earlier in
the week it was good to see Blair captain the side and complete another 90
mins. He kept going til the end and gave a good outlet on the right to
relieve pressure. THe tok his goal well too, although possibly should have
Pelly Ruddock (6) I'm not marking him down because I think he had a poor
game, he didn't got into the game as much as he'd like due to Leicester
having so much of the ball. This was a game when our defenders were always
going to score higher because they saw so much more of the ball.
Kieran Bywater (7) Worked hard in the middle and put in some great tackles
but struggled to get forward too much for the reasons explained above.
Kieran Sadlier (6) Very similar to Ruddock in that the amount of possession
Leicester had meant it was difficult for Sadlier to get into the game. What
he did he did well as usual, but he just didn't see enough of the ball.
Elliot Lee (7) After his early season form being so good it's fair to say
Lee has been a bit disappointing in recent games. Today he showed a bit more
of why he has been hyped although he still didn't see as much of the ball as
he would have liked. He worked hard and took his penalty well - and was
unlucky when he tried to chip the 'keeper in the second half.
Vinny's Reading Report
Vinny 7:27 Sun Apr 1
West Ham Online
West Ham United 2 Reading 4
West Ham saw their promotion campaign take a massive blow as Reading claimed
all three points in a 4-2 victory which leaves the Hammers four points
behind second place with six games remaining. This game was going to be the
true test for us to come through and all talk of style of football would go
out the window as we simply had to win the game. To lose and lose like we
did is truly gutting and to be beaten by a fellow promotion contender so
comprehensively is a bitter blow. There are a number of ways you can review
this game as if you simply look at the game in its own right we can consider
ourselves unlucky to have lost the game with the two goals in the final
minutes of the first half coming as a shock to everyone considering how we
had controlled the majority of the half. I would actually go as far to say
that for 43 minutes we performed as well as we have all season in our home
games and I was very pleased at the way we were getting players forward and
You can look at this game as the must win game it was billed as (our biggest
game of the season according to the club) and feel dejected once again as
West Ham show that as usual when it comes to it we are weak and have no
I am not just looking at this result as I feel this should have never have
been such an important game as it ended up being. Our performances in those
'winnable' home games only put pressure on us and with this being seen as
such a big game it has done nothing but deflate everyone further and
automatic promotion is looking highly unlikely at this stage.
I don't like Sam Allardyce. I like most have always disliked his football
teams and the way he plays football but for me the attitude he continues to
display riles me and even after this game he cannot acknowledge just for a
moment that he may have made mistakes during this game and the season as a
The decision to bring on Danny Collins at half time leaves me perplexed and
I am sure I am not the only one. Mark Noble may have been injured but if
that was the case then you bring on Henri Lansbury who is a centre
midfielder or you bring on Maynard or Baldock and try to go more attacking
given that we were losing 2-1.
To just move Tomkins into the middle was counterproductive and never got
anywhere near the level of play we had in the first half during that second
Allardyce felt the need the call West Ham fans 'deluded' earlier in the week
when the style of football was criticised and I am noticing a lot of bad
press this week for West Ham fans as the media attempt to lay blame on the
fans for our recent form.
Allardyce implies that our expectations are perhaps too high.
I expected to win this league. I don't think that was an unrealistic
expectation. Look at the teams challenging for the league title. Southampton
were playing in League One last season and Reading had spent little and lost
their best player. When I was looking at the teams to be concerned about in
the Championship neither Southampton nor Reading were on my radar. So yeah,
I expected to win the league, this is not something we are likely to do now.
So if that expectation was high what of the next one down - automatic
promotion. Was that an unrealistic expectation, that with a massive squad,
more money spent than most teams and on paper the team being best in the
league that we would go up in second place at least? No I don't think I was
being unrealistic or deluded.
It's not over yet but yes I expected more, and I don't think I am being very
To be beaten 4-2 at home at any time is a poor result but given who we were
playing this was a disaster.
Allardyce made one change to the team who started away at Peterborough
earlier in the week. The change was at right back with Joey O'Brien out
injured and replaced by Julien Faubert.
Starting for Reading was former Hammer Jobi McAnuff who briefly played for
the club in our last stint in the Championship under Alan Pardew.
I thought we were excellent for the majority of the first half and cannot
fault the players for the way they applied themselves and played football.
I was thoroughly impressed with how we knocked the ball about and felt that
we should have been leading 2-0 at half time and not going in 2-1 down. Even
now I think I am still in shock to what happened at the end of this half and
it shows you how quick football can change because were the better team and
we were comfortable.
Most of our play early on was being focussed down the left hand side with
Matthew Taylor and George McCartney linking up.
Reading had not settled in those early stages and they could not seem to
string many passes together which gave us confidence and you could feel even
early on something brewing.
On the seventh minute we took the lead and sent an already rocking Upton
Park into delirium.
Kevin Nolan did well to get past his marker and he laid the ball off to
Taylor who crossed into the area for Nolan to get his head to the ball but
his attempt crashed off the post and came out for Carlton Cole to collect
the ball, make some space and fire his left foot shot into the back of the
This was the first goal Cole had scored since the beating of Millwall on
February which incidentally was our last home victory. This was also Cole's
tenth goal of the season and this is the fourth season in a row that Cole
has reached double figures.
We were beginning to really get hold of the game and were also using the
right hand side with Faubert and the ever dangerous Ricardo Vaz Te.
At the other end we had also made a good start with Abdoulaye Faye seeming
to have the better of the experience Jason Roberts who was moaning at the
referee Chris Foy that he was being fouled but Faye was just doing what he
does best and that is winning headers no matter what is in front of him.
There were three occasions in the first half where our players took swipes
at the Reading right winger Kebe who earlier in the season had been involved
in an incident at the Madjeski Stadium which saw Jack Collison sent off. He
was booed by a section of the West Ham fans all the way through the game but
it was disappointing to see our players targeting him as it just led to free
kicks being given.
Despite being on top Reading did have a chance on 23 minutes when Kebe got
in behind McCartney and crossed for Faubert to mess up his clearance and
Noel Hunt had time to pick his spot but his goal bound shot was blocked by
James Tomkins who saved a certain goal.
We came forward again and Vaz Te picked up on a poor clearance from Ian
Harte and he got into the area and found Cole but his flick towards goal had
no power and was easily saved by the keeper Federici.
Roberts and Faye were still having a heavyweight battle and a trailing arm
from Roberts saw Faye go down clutching his head and Roberts was shown the
Very shortly after that incident Tomkins mistimed a tackle and fouled
Roberts which saw two Reading players go straight to the referee demanding a
yellow card which was not given.
On the half hour mark we should have been two goals up.
Vaz Te was through on the right hand side and he found Matthew Taylor who
got into the area and looked poised to shoot but crossed the ball instead
which caught out our players and the ball was cleared by the Reading
Mark Noble had another swipe at Kebe which saw the referee have a word with
him but only a free kick was given. The kick was taken by Harte but only
went as far as Carlton Cole who sliced his clearance badly and it went out
for a corner.
Some excellent football saw McCartney put a hanging cross into the area for
Vaz Te to leap high and get power on his header but it was straight at
At the other end Faye had to be alert to cut out a ball through to Roberts
as Reading forced another corner and were beginning to get into the game a
We had another good chance when Faubert found Vaz Te who had support as he
raced forward but the cross was behind all four players who had got into the
area and whilst Nolan did get to it his pass for Taylor was poor and it went
out for a goal kick.
Vaz Te was causing problems on that right flank and his good cross saw
Federici make a good punch which took it away from Cole.
With just a minute left till half time you could have never envisaged what
was about to happen.
Reading won a corner on the 44th minute after Noble had lost possession. A
shot from McAnuff was deflected and for the corner. It was swung into the
area by Harte and met by the head of Kaspars Gorkss who powered his header
into the corner of the net.
The travelling Reading support behind the goal went crazy for a goal which
had seemed unlikely. The goal was not met by boos from the West Ham support
and in fact there was much support and encouragement for the team as
everyone could see that we had been the best team.
But it was hard to keep hold of that encouragement when in the second of two
minutes injury time we found ourselves 2-1 down.
A long ball forward saw the ball allowed to bounce and Faubert diverted the
ball into the path of Noel Hunt
I felt as though someone has punched me in the stomach out of the blue as I
couldn't comprehend what had just happened. How were we 2-1 down?
We did nearly score an equaliser before the whistle was blown as a Cole won
a header from a Taylor corner and a scramble in the area saw us attempt to
force the ball over the line but it was eventually cleared and the half time
whistle was blown.
A change was made at half time with Mark Noble being replaced by Danny
Collins. As previously mentioned this was a very poor decision by Allardyce
and I believe most people in the ground could see that this was a move which
really was going to do nothing by hinder us.
I could possibly have understood it if we had been leading but we were
chasing the game and this only served to be more negative.
We couldn't get going in the half in the opening quarter. The style of
football we had been playing in the first half was gone and we looked out of
ideas. I had hoped that we would have come out fighting but Reading just
seemed to have the upper hand.
On 58 minutes the game was all but over as Reading were awarded a penalty.
It was poor defending from Faye who attempted to control a cross instead of
heading clear and as his control was poor Hunt nipped in for Faye to bring
him down in what seemed like a clear penalty and Foy pointed to the spot.
Stepping up to take the penalty was Ian Harte who sent Robert Green the
wrong way to make it 3-1 to Reading.
Allardyce immediately made a change with Taylor coming off and Sam Baldock
We were looking to get players forward but we did little with the ball when
we got into a good position. Reading looked the more dangerous on the break
and Hunt may have done better with a shot which bobbed and was held by
Our play was becoming increasingly desperate as Vaz Te took a shot from a
long distance which had power but went well wide.
Allardyce made his final change on 72 minutes with Cole coming off and being
replaced by Nicky Maynard.
Tomkins went in the book for dissent which I found pretty shocking
considering the amount of dissent Reading had given in the first half.
Faubert won a corner after one of his crosses came off a Reading players and
O'Neill took it which saw Ricardo Vaz Te rise highest and head the ball into
the top corner to make it 3-2 and give us a lifeline.
But there was to be no late rally as we just couldn't get hold of the ball
and seemed to be trying too hard. We needed some composure and we just
didn't have it. We were ill disciplined in defence and were leaving massive
gaps which saw Reading look dangerous on the counter attack.
On 84 minutes Reading finished the game once and for all as the ball found
its way through to Mikele Leigertwood and despite our defenders appealing
for offside he finished past Green to make it 4-2.
Reading should have scored a fifth when Collins made a mess of things but
recovered to clear.
Maynard had a chance at the other end with a header which was straight at
the keeper when he should have perhaps have done better.
We had been well and truly beaten by a confident side who from fans to
players believe they will be promoted. And it is certainly looking that way.
Perhaps could have been more commanding from the corner which led to the
first goal although I am yet to see any highlights of the game so would need
to see this again.
He was poor throughout the game. His defending was poor and his attacking
play was very average with most of his crosses being below standard.
I thought he had a good first half but our defence seemed to just fall apart
at the final few moment of the first period and throughout the second.
It seems no surprise to me that our defence played well in the first half
(the majority) and when Tomkins was moved into the midfield in the second we
looked awful. James Tomkins is not a centre midfielder. It's fine when you
are down to ten men because you are under pressure and defending and that is
what he does well.
He gave it a good go in the second half and really tried to get forward. In
fact he was our main threat it seemed out wide but he can't be expected to
be the one that creates things as that is not his job and he doesn't have
the quality in advanced positions.
Ricardo Vaz Te
He may frustrate at times but he has quality which we certainly need. He
makes things happen and he scored goals. Scored his fourth goal for the club
with a towering header much like the one at Peterborough the other night.
Tidy on the ball in the first half and with O'Neil in the team he is able to
sit and spray balls wide. With him coming off we lost our only player who
seems able to put their foot on the ball and stay composed.
Had a good first half but looked poor in the second as he was trying too
hard and trying too many impossible passes in the second. He was poor with
his passing and got lost in that second half.
Can't find too much fault with O'Neil in this one and he put in a good shift
and kept working.
There were moments in the first half where he looked decent but there wasn't
enough and he was eventually taken off because he simply doesn't get
involved in the game enough.
Scored early on and seemed to have the beating of his mark at times but like
the whole team it got worse and it all fizzled out.
Danny Collins (On for Noble 45 mins)
This was a terrible decision to bring him on and was very unnecessary. He
was a bit ropey and Reading looked better up front when he came on.
Sam Baldock (on for Taylor 59 mins)
Ran about a lot but was not central enough for my liking. He should be
playing up front and he is a striker.
Nicky Maynard (on for Cole 72 mins)
Didn't have much joy in his time on the pitch although he did get one chance
which was a header he should have done better with.
Subs Not Used: Carew, Lansbury
Bookings: Tomkins, Faubert
Man Of The Match: Ricardo Vaz Te
Reading:Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Karacan,
Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Roberts
Subs: McCarthy, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Church, Afobe
With six games to go it would seem as if we now have to go and win all six
which seems as likely as Sam Allardyce taking responsibility for anything
regarding our poor home form.
We haven't won a game at home since playing Millwall which was back on 4th
February. That is appalling and this can be spun anyway you like but that is
really not good enough.
Whilst I have made my dislike for Allardyce clear because do not confuse me
with one of those supporters who actually want to be proved right so much
that I want him to fail like many do with certain players like Faubert or
especially Carlton Cole.
Our season is not over yet and there are 6 games left and as we see with
Blackpool beating Southampton 3-0 neither Southampton or Reading are
unbeatable and I am sure they will lose one or even more before the end of
the season. We now have to go out and produce a string of winning
performances and that is something I am not sure we can do.
I am gutted in all honesty and have found this report one of the more
difficult because after all the hype we go and get crushed on our turf. If
Allardyce wants to talk about the West Ham way then one of the traits was to
be good at home which yes I am aware we haven't been for a quite a while but
I can't help but miss the days where nobody liked coming to Upton Park and
that we could turn over anyone.
Even if you take into account home games we have won, how many times have
you left the Boleyn Ground this season buzzing from what you have seen? 3? 4
Next Game - Barnsley (a) Friday 6th April 5.15 Kick Off.
A Good Friday encounter at Oakwell will be another test although with our
away form you would expect us to pick up all three points. The pressure is
really on now and I am not sure this squad has the bottle for it and this
manager knows how to turn things around.
People can blame the supporters all they like but we are here and getting
behind this team every week.
Losing 4-2 at home to Reading is up there with the most depressing of
results in recent years and add the damage it does to our promotion push it
is all a bit fucking depressing.
And like my dreams.?
"I'm really disappointed that we have gone and let ourselves down with ten
minutes of madness defensively at the end of the first half," Big Sam said.
"We looked so comfortable and good and then we turned it into a massive
uphill struggle for ourselves.
"Not just by going 2-1 down in the space of two minutes but also through
conceding a really poor penalty so the 10 minutes of madness have cost us.
That made life so difficult for us but even then we clawed ourselves back
into the game at 3-2.
"I thought we would go on and get a result at that point but we went and
shot ourselves in the foot again by gifting them a fourth."
"We wanted to start the game well. You can't give encouragement to teams
like Reading and we were really pleased with how we made them struggle. We
looked like every time we created an attack that we could get some success
and several times we opened them up."
"I never thought before, based on where we were and how we have done, that
we would ever concede four goals here. But we have and that's why we have
lost; our defensive unit today didn't function as normal and that was a big
blow to us which ultimately cost us after such a good start to the game.
"How we didn't equalise at the very end of the first half is beyond me. The
corner came in and the header got scrambled off the line. If we go in at
half time at 2-2 then it would have given us a massive lift.
But it didn't and then we made the substitutions, waited for our chances and
got to 3-2 with Vaz Te's great header."
"It's not over yet but we have made life extremely difficult for ourselves
as we have allowed Reading to open up a four point gap on ourselves.
"There is no room for error in the remaining six games, dropped points
aren't an option if we want to get out of this league."
"We need to clear their minds and get over this as quickly as possible and
put it behind us. There is nothing we can do about it now, we should focus
on how well we played in the first 43 minutes and how if we hadn't gifted
them two goals then we would've carried on in that way."
Season 2011/12 Scorers and Red Cards
Kevin Nolan - 10 (10 League)
Carlton Cole - 10 (10 League)
Mark Noble - 7 (7 League)
Sam Baldock - 5 (5 League)
Ricardo Vaz Te - 4 (4 League)
Jack Collison - 3 (3 League)
James Tomkins - 3 (3 League)
Own Goal - 3 (3 League)
Gary O'Neil - 2 (2 League)
Winston Reid - 2 (2 League)
John Carew - 2 (2 League)
Frederique Piquionne - 2 (2 League)
Papa Bouba Diop - 1 (1 League)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (1 League)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (1 League)
Henri Lansbury - 1 (1 League)
Julien Faubert - 1 (1 League)
Frank Nouble - 1 (1 League)
Nicky Maynard - 1 (1 League)
George McCartney - 1 (1 League)
Danny Collins - 1 (1 League)
Scott Parker - 1 (1 League)
Junior Stanislas - 1 (1 Cup)
Callum McNaughton - 1 (vs Aldershot home)
Frederique Piquionne - 1 (vs Portsmouth home)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (vs Reading away)
Jack Collison - 1 (vs Reading away)
Kevin Nolan - 1 (vs Millwall home)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (vs Southampton home)
Robert Green - 1 (vs Blackpool away)*
*rescinded by FA on appeal
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he feels pressure after Reading
inflict another home defeat
Sam Allardyce, the West Ham manager, has admitted feeling the pressure of
trying to win automatic promotion and his side's declining form in the
crucial season run-in reflects that.
By Thore Haugstad, at Upton Park6:41PM BST 01 Apr 2012
The east London club, who were widely tipped to top the Championship, find
themselves four points behind second-placed Reading with six matches to go
after suffering a potentially season-defining loss to Brian McDermott's side
on Saturday. West Ham have now won twice in nine games and have fallen six
points behind leaders Southampton while in-form Reading have also skipped
past them. Such form is ill-timed at this stage of the season and, although
West Ham are nine points clear of Birmingham in fourth, Allardyce knows
anything but automatic promotion would fall well short of pre-season
expectations. "I feel under pressure every game as a football manager
because the game is based on results," he said. "But pressure in the terms
of wanting to get up and in terms of automatic promotion? Yes, because I
feel we have the capabilities of doing that. Unfortunately, we've just not
hit one of our best result levels at the right time."
Allardyce, who last week brushed off criticism that his direct tactics did
not fit the "West Ham way" of playing, has few concerns about his side's
displays on the road, where solid defending and rapid counter-attacks have
yielded 38 out of 60 points, making them the division's best away team.
However, the Achilles heel has been their form at Upton Park, where lapses
in concentration and an inability to convert chances have seen them go six
matches without a win. By contrast, Southampton have won four in their last
six at St Mary's and Reading their last six at the Madejski Stadium. "The
sad thing is that we are not winning games at home," Allardyce admitted.
"When we've overcome the adversity of playing three games with 10 men -
winning two and drawing one - and gone away and won or drawn, we've then
come here and drawn or lost. "For me that's a massive disappointment and for
the lads because making it difficult to play here is the last thing you
Saturday's defeat was a classic example, where West Ham took an early lead
through Carlton Cole before conceding Kaspar Gorkss' header. Two minutes
later, Julien Faubert haplessly pushed the ball back towards Noel Hunt, who
finished with ease. The poor defending continued in the second period.
Abdoulaye Faye clumsily tripped Hunt inside the area, Harte scoring the
penalty, and although Ricardo Vaz Te pulled one back for West Ham, Mikele
Leigertwood later wrapped up the points. Reading manager Brian McDermott
said: "To go in 2-1 up at half-time was massive. In the second half I felt
we deserved to win, but I've been around a long time in this game, so I'm
not cock-a-hoop yet."
West Ham (4-1-4-1): Green; O'Brien, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney; Noble (Collins
h-t); Vaz Te, O'Neil, Nolan, Taylor (Baldock 59); Cole (Maynard 71).
Subs: Carew, Lansbury.
Booked: Tomkins, Faubert.
Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte; Kebe (Afobe 82),
Karacan (Tabb 55, Robson-Kanu 66), Leigertwood, McAnuff; Hunt, Roberts.
Subs: McCarthy (g), Church.
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).