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West Ham United
8 December 2012
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 29331
J. Puncheon 61'
The Saints should and could have won the game more comfortably, but they never really looked in danger of conceding apart from a Robson-Kanu header that struck the post at the end of the first half. Apart from that, it was a good performance all round from Nigel Adkins men, who keep their second clean sheet of the season in the process here
Southampton have held out for the win to leave them with just one defeat in their last six games, and after this performance you feel they still have a chance of staying in the Premier League. Reading on the other hand looked anything like a team that can compete for the right to stay up next season, it's going to take a massive turnaround from Brian McDermott and his side
90' + 3'
Southampton run down the clock and see out the game and leave Reading without a point in their last four games
90' + 1'
Luke Shaw (Southampton) wins a corner after running for the corner flag to waste a bit of time for the home side. Reading get it back though, and will have one more chance to find a leveller
Three minutes to be added here, it's now or never for Reading who have offered very little all afternoon
Do Prado (Southampton) won't get a better chance to score his first goal in 26 games. Cork sets him up in the box, and from six yards you would expect him to score, but Federici (Reading) is in the right place to beat the chance away
Another chance from a free kick for Reading, and this time it's a better ball from Nicky Shorey, but Alex Pearce fouls in the penalty area and Southampton can clear their lines
Garath McCleary is fouled for Reading, but Nicky Shorey doesn't produce a good cross and Kelvin Davis punches clear
Great build up play from the home side sees Guilherme Do Prado almost end his barren spell in front goal, but his shot from the edge of the area nestles on the top of the net
Jason Puncheon is unlucky not to double the Southampton lead. He is given as much time as he needs to conjure up a long range shot, but his effort flies past the post
Kelvin Davis is playing after all in this second half. We've barely seen the Southampton shot stopper in light of Reading's poor showing, but he deals with a cross comfortably
Reading playing in front of Southampton, without really troubling them. They lose the ball yet again but Do Prado is offside for Southampton. The Saints fans will be praying for the final whistle for just their second clean sheet of the season
Southampton also make a change with Guilherme Do Prado coming on in place of Jay Rodriguez. Nigel Adkins will be hoping for a bit of Brazilian magic, but Do Prado has failed to find the net in his last twenty-six starts
Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton) makes a fine run from full back but his cross come shot is easily dealt with by Federici. Garath McCleary is the third and final substitute from Brian McDermott for Reading, with Robson-Kanu making way
McAnuff keeps the ball in on the sideline after being fouled by Jason Puncheon (Southampton), but it's given as a throw in to Southampton rather than a free kick to Reading. Puncheon is lucky there
Nick Shorey plays a back pass to Federici in the Reading goal, and he almost makes a costly error after poor control but he manages to deal with it at the second attempt and clear
Adam Le Fondre ( Reading) is unfortunate not to level things up after seeing his header go the wrong side of the post after a great cross from Robson-Kanu. Chance is wasted
Hal Robson-Kanu should tee up Adam Le Fondre from the corner, but he goes for goal himself and it's blocked and cleared away
Reading look to come forward in search of an equaliser and win themselves a corner. Before that though, Jay Tabb will make way for Noel Hunt for the Royals. He doesn't look happy, and who could blame him? He's looked the best player for the away side
Le Fondre (Reading) is fouled by Fonte (Southampton), and Jason Puncheon sportingly puts the ball out. He must be feeling generous after opening the scoring
McAnuff (Reading) has a good chance for the visitors but the Royals captain fires past the post. It was never really threatening. Off comes Sean Morrison for Reading, with Irish defender Alex Pearce on in his place
Great control from Ricky Lambert comes to nothing after the striker is stopped by Federici (reading)
Assist Nathaniel Clyne
Goal Jason Puncheon
GOAL! Jason Puncheon fires in a low right foot shot that gives Federici no chance in the Reading goal. It was a great assist from Nathaniel Clyne who picked out Puncheon wonderfully. Well deserved Southampton lead
It really is no wonder that Reading find themselves in the predicament they're in at the moment in the league with passing like this.
Reading don't make anything of the resulting set piece though and Southampton can clear and get Yoshida back on who was off temporarily having gone down injured from the Roberts (Reading) tussle
Jason Roberts uses all of his experience to win a contentious free kick for Reading after jumping with Yoshida (Southampton)
Kelvin Davis (Southampton) has been a bystander in this second period so far, and Jay Rodriguez looks to give Southampton the lead, but his volley is a tame one and clears the crossbar
Jason Puncheon almost sets up Gaston Ramriez but his pass is slightly too long. Reading give the ball away once more in a recurring theme in this game.
Good play in the penalty area by Southampton sees Jamie Puncheon force a save out of Federici (Reading), corner to Southampton. From the resulting set piece, Cork (Southampton) has a half chance but fails to test the goalkeeper
Reading can't seem to string two passes together at the minute, surely this Southampton pressure is going to tell if the Royals keep giving the ball to them
Slow start to the second half, both sides poor in possession at times. A Southampton attack comes to nothing
Hal Robson- Kanu wins a corner for Reading. Southampton switch off yet again, but it comes to nothing
The players are back out and we're underway here at St. Mary's for the second half, with both sides unchanged.
Let's hope for a livelier second half on the south coast. Both teams really need the three points on offer, but you wouldn't think that after the opening forty-five. Both sides need to up their tempo
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins will feel his side should be in front after seeing them enjoy the lion's share of possession in the first half, but will also be a relieved man that Robson-Kanu's header wasn't six inches to the left of Kelvin Davis' post
Very little of note after that opening period at St. Mary's, but there have been three big talking points. Jason Puncheon's goal was disallowed for Southampton after what was adjudged to have been a push by his team mate Yoshida in the Reading penalty area. Then the Saints lost key man Adam Lallana with a knee injury, with Reading almost taking the lead right on half time when Hal Robson-Kanu struck the post with a header
45' + 2'
The half time whistle blows after a very stop start opening forty-five minutes. Chances very much at a premium
45' + 1'
Hal Robson-Kanu is so unlucky not to score for Reading, with his instinctive header striking the inside of the post after Southampton were caught napping. The Saints are very lucky not to be behind right on the stroke of half time
Reading conjure up a rare attack in this first half, and they earn their first corner of the game after good work from Roberts. Two minutes added on here
Jason Puncheon wins a corner for Southampton. Their 5th corner almost produces the opening goal, with a Yoshida header almost finding the net, and Lambert volleying over from the clearance
On comes Ramirez for Southampton after a 40,000 mile round trip to Uruguay this week following a family bereavement. Will be interesting to see how the South American does in the circumstances, but after a slow first half you feel he will fit in just fine here
Lallana back on his feet but it looks like he's going off, cue for Gaston Ramirez to enter proceedings?
Adam Lallana goes down clutching his left knee, looks in a lot of pain. Jay Tabb (Reading) fouled the Southampton player, but there certainly didn't seem to be any malice in the challenge.
Nobody seems to know what the infringement was that saw Puncheon's goal disallowed. Baffling
Jason Puncheon heads into the Reading net, but the referee had already blown for an altercation in the penalty area so it won't count.
Crowd growing restless here but Lallana earns Southampton a corner
Lallana (Southampton) sees his shot punched away by Federici (Reading), and Puncheon can't make anything of the rebound
Jay Tabb hasn't scored for four years? You wouldn't think so in this game because he's had another right footed effort well parried away by Kevin Davis. Tabb's last goal was on this ground for Coventry though
Nicky Shorey is lucky to escape without a caution for a foul on Ricky Lambert. Free kick comes to nothing though after a training ground routine doesn't quite work out
Nicky Shorey (Reading) sends Jason Roberts through, and this time he is onside but his cross is cut out by Kelvin Davis. Pedestrian pace feel to this game at times, needs a goal to liven things up you would feel
Jason roberts caught offside. He's not impressed with the decision from linesman John Brooks, but he was definitely a yard off
Free kick given against Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) for a pull of Mariappa
Adam Le Fondre caught offside, and from the resulting Southampton attack, Lallana's trickery gives him some space on the edge of the area, but he fires over the crossbar
Ricky Lambert forces a good stop from Reading keeper Federici after great build up play from the Saints. Nice height for the Royals number one
Jay Tabb has a half chance for Reading, Jason Roberts sends in a drilled cross. Tabb hasn't scored for four years, but he was close to scoring there
Welcome to the game for Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) from Reading's Mariappa
Reading working their way into this. Good build up but Adam Le Fondre caught offside. Down the other end, Lambert sets up Lallana who sends a half volley straight at Kelvin Davis
Nicky Shorey set piece easily dealt with by Southampton, comes to nothing. Game yet to spring to life
Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) fouls Luke Shaw after Reading put a few passes together for the first time in the match
Reading break away after the Southampton corner, but Jason Roberts fails to play McAnuff through in time, and he's caught offside, tight call that one
Brian McDermott out in his technicial area giving his players a talking to, they haven't started yet at all. Jay Rodriguez wins a corner for Southampton
Great chance for Southampton. Good play from Puncheon and Clyne in the build up, and Clyne's cross is met by Schneiderlin, but his effort is just wide of the post
Ricky Lambert (Southampton) sees his volley trickle wide, was never really troubling the goalkeeper, Reading yet to create anything
Lively start from Southampton, excellent defending from Cummings (Reading) stops Jay Rodriguez from getting it for Southampton
Ricky Lambert wins a corner for the hosts (Southampton). A bright start, Puncheon's corner comes to nothing though. Jay Rodriguez misses a great chance from the clearance for Southampton
We're underway here with Reading in their Blue and white kit, Southampton in orange. The referee today is Jonathan Moss, Reading are unbeaten in their last five games when he's been in charge. Omen? We shall see
And out come the players, great atmosphere at St. Mary's, these fans know how much three points would help Nigel Adkin's men today. Reading fans are also making themselves heard
Interesting statistic, Reading haven't lost at Southampton since 1960, and with the Saints having conceded the most goals in the Premier League this season, the Royals will fancy their chances today at St. Mary's in a must win game for both sides
As for Reading, well they remain unchanged after that valiant display in Manchester last weekend, but it's three straight defeats for the Royals, who lay in 19th in the league, one place below their opponents today
The big news at St. Mary's is the exclusion of Gaston Ramirez who has been away on compassionate leave of late, he starts on the bench for Southampton alongside academy graduate striker Dominic Samuel, who scored 22 goals for the academy last season. Kelvin Davis starts in goal ahead of Paul Gazzaniga
This was a Championship fixture last season of course, and both teams are in danger of heading back to the second tier of English football if they don't improve, and fast. The hosts four match unbeaten run came to an end last time out against Liverpool to keep the Saints in the bottom three. Reading? Well we all know what happened last week in that astonishing 4-3 defeat to Manchester United, another seven goal thriller please
Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Mariappa, Morrison, Shorey; Robson-Kanu, Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Le Fondre, Roberts Subs: Taylor, Harte, Pearce, McCleary, Guthrie, Hunt, Samuel.
Southampton (4-2-3-1): K. Davis; Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw; Cork, Schneiderlin; Puncheon; Lallana; Rodriguez; Lambert Subs: Boruc, Hooiveld, S. Davis, Ramírez, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Mayuka.
Hello and welcome to St. Mary's, I'm Sean Monaghan, and today we're here for a crucial Premier League match between Southampton and Reading. Here are the teams...
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