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Premier League

  • 19 May 2013
  • • 20:30
  • • Boleyn Ground, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 34973

West Ham 4-2 Reading: Nolan hat-trick rounds off Hammers' season with a win

Despite a spirited second half comeback from Adkins' Reading, a Kevin Nolan hat-rick and a Ricardo Vaz Te goal was enough to clinch all three points for Allardyce's men

West Ham managed to tame a inspired second-half fightback from already relegated Reading in the final fixture of the season to emerge victorious in an enthralling game at Upton Park.

It took until the twentieth minute for the first real goal scoring opportunity when Jobi McAnuff’s shot was well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen who parried the ball into the path of Reading's Chris Gunter who could only direct his shot wide of the post.

Almost immediately from the resulting goal kick, the Hammers opened the scoring following an error from Royals ‘keeper Alex McCarthy.

McCarthy, who was this week called up to the England national team for the first time, attempted to send a long ball in West Ham’s half from his own box. However, the ball ricocheted off of Carroll’s back into the path of Kevin Nolan, who rounded the McCarthy and easily finished into an open goal.

Ten minutes later Ricardo Vaz Te doubled the home side’s lead when a long ball was pumped into the Reading box to Andy Carroll who controlled well and laid the ball off for Vaz Te who drove the ball low into the corner past McCarthy.

As the half drew to a close, the Hammers continued to cause the Reading defence all sorts of problems and could've been three or four up at the break but for poor finishes from Vaz Te and Mohamed Diame.

After a bright opening five minutes from Reading to the second half, Reading's Gareth McCleary pulled a goal back with a powerful finish from the edge of the West Ham area.

Reading's Jem Karacan squared the ball to McCleary on the edge of the box following some fantastic wing play from Karacan and McCleary rifled the ball into the back of the West Ham net.

Just two minutes later Upton Park was stunned as the two Reading strikers combined and half-time substitute Adam Le Fondre equalised to complete a5 fine Reading move.

Royals striker Nick Blackman crossed a beautiful ball into the box to which top goal scorer Adam Le Fondre got on the end of to neatly finish giving Jaaskelainen no chance in the Hammers' goal.

Reading continued to pile the pressure onto West Ham's back four as the half went on and were unlucky not to take the lead following chances from Blackman and again McCleary.

Despite all the Royals' pressure, it was the home side that went ahead with just over ten minutes remaining when Nolan grabbed his second of the match.

Again Carroll was the provider when he laid the ball off to Mark Noble, after some brilliant midfield work, who neatly slid the ball into Nolan who slotted the ball past McCarthy to get their noses in front.

Nolan completed his hat-rick five minutes from time when substitute Modibo Maiga was allowed too much space on the right flank and the forward sent an inviting cross towards Nolan, who guided the ball past McCarthy.

All-in-all it was a solid performance from Allardyce's men who ended the season unbeaten in their last five Premier League matches.