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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
19 May 2013
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 34973
West Ham United
K. Nolan 23', 79', 87'
Ricardo Vaz Té 34'
G. McCleary 53'
A. Le Fondre 55'
Anyway, I've been Brett Curtis, this has been Goal UK, and we'll see you next season. Well done West Ham, and good luck in the Championship next season, Reading.
As for Reading, Nigel Adkins has much work to do over the summer to pick his players up after a disappointing campaign. It was always going to be tough for them, but the spirit seems to have evaporated since Brian McDermott's sacking in March.
Kevin Nolan walks home with the match ball, and his hat-trick today ensures he hits double figures for the fourth consecutive season. What a player.
Full-time at Upton Park. "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" rings out, and the home fans will go home after a successful season sees their side finish 10th.
90' + 2'
One last chance at Upton Park, as Diame swivels in the area but doesn't make good contact with the ball and it falls harmlessly into McCarthy's arms.
90' + 2'
Adam Le Fondre is played in down the left, and he tries a cheeky chip over Jussi Jaaskelainen but the Finnish goalkeeper easily clutches the ball in mid-air.
90' + 1'
Diame drives forward in typical fashion but he can't get the ball out of his feet. One minute left at Upton Park.
That really wasn't clever defending from Reading. Maiga was allowed all the time in the world to pick out a cross, and Kevin Nolan was completely unmarked.
GOAL!!! A hat-trick for Kevin Nolan, who heads down Maiga's inswinging cross from the right from six yards and it's 4-2 to West Ham.
Yellow CardJack Collison
A positive run from Mark Noble, with a nice decoy run from Maiga allowing the midfielder to shoot from 20 yards. Straight into McCarthy's arms, however.
Yellow CardKevin Nolan
Kevin Nolan goes into Mike Dean's book after a wild lunge trying to close down a clearance.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Ricardo Vaz Te is replaced by Modibo Maiga, who makes his first appearance since New Years Day.
GOAL!!! Kevin Nolan has his second. A lovely chipped through ball from Mark Noble is matched by Nolan's expert first touch, who runs through on goal and beats Alex McCarthy on his near side.
West Ham's defence has been really exposed this half. This time, Gareth McCleary is allowed to cut inside from the right, but his shot trickles wide. With some shooting practice, Reading could have really fearsome wingers in the Championship next season.
Joe Cole is replaced by Jack Collison. The hard work starts for Joe Cole now to get fit and ready for next season.
A poor pass from Stephen Kelly allows Ricardo Vaz Te to play the ball into Joe Cole's feet, but his shot is deflected wide for a corner.
For the umpteenth time in the match, Andy Carroll meets a West Ham cross, but this time is header is miscued wide.
Kevin Nolan wins a free-kick after some over-zealous defending from Kaspar Gorkss. Danger...
Andy Carroll gets in behind the Reading defence down the left but his cross is headed behind by Stephen Kelly.
Reading have three-on-two, but Danny Guthrie fails to pick out Adam Le Fondre to his left and the chance is snuffed out.
Chris Gunter rampages forward once again, but his low cross across the six yard box just evades Adam Le Fondre's run.
Yellow CardJobi McAnuff
First yellow card of the match for Jobi McAnuff, and he can have no complaints as his challenge on Guy Demel was late.
Well, if the first half was all about Nolan and Carroll's partnership, you'd have to say Nigel Adkins reacted well by bringing on Blackman and Le Fondre. Reading look much better in a more orthodox 4-4-2 formation.
Kevin Nolan tees-up Andy Carroll on the edge of the box, but his powerful effort is punched away by Alex McCarthy.
West Ham look shellshocked at the moment, with Reading creating all the chances. This time Jem Karacan rushes his cross from the left when in a good position.
GoalAdam Le Fondre
GOAL!!! Incredible fightback from Reading! Nick Blackman's brilliant cross from the left is met by Adam Le Fondre from six yards, and he simply doesn't miss from there.
GOAL!!! Jobi McAnuff cuts inside from the left once more, but this time chooses to lay it on for Gareth McCleary, who lashes home from the edge of the area.
Yet another effort from Jobi McAnuff, who cuts inside onto his right foot and strikes into the chest of Jussi Jaaskelainen. Reading asking more questions at the moment.
Good effort from Jem Karacan! He gets on the wrong side of Mark Noble before running at the West Ham defence, firing from 25 yards but it rises over the bar.
Jobi McAnuff has another effort, volleying a drilled cross from the right but it bounces wide.
Adam Le Fondre
We're underway again. Expect Reading to be more direct with those changes.
Two changes from Reading at the start of the second half, with Adam Le Fondre and Nick Blackman replacing Pavel Pogrebnyak and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Reading may have had more possession, but half-time stats show over 40% of the match has been spent in Reading's own third. Effective football from the Hammers.
Overall, though, it was a really entertaining half. Who said "end of season" games were rubbish?
But, prior to Alex McCarthy's error gifting West Ham the lead, Reading were arguably looking like the better side. Nigel Adkins will be very disappointed with his side's reaction, however.
Sam Allardyce will be delighted with his side's performance once they went 1-0 up. They've battered Reading, who quite simply haven't been able to live with Andy Carroll. On this showing, his England call-up is more than deserved.
45' + 1'
And there's the half-time whistle. West Ham 2-0 Reading.
Diame cuts inside from the left and tests Alex McCarthy, who fumbles the ball. There was some late movement on that, to be fair.
After a promising start to the game, Reading will be desperate for the half-time whistle right now.
Another chance! Once again it is Carroll who brings the ball down and plays it invitingly across the area, but Mohammed Diame's strike fizzes narrowly over Alex McCarthy's crossbar.
Crossbar! Carroll brings it down and passes it to Vaz Te, who rounds a defender and strikes the crossbar.
Andy Carroll is truly everywhere today. This time he makes a superb sliding challenge in a left-back position. Roy of the rovers stuff from the pony-tailed one.
It was yet more brilliant play from Carroll to create the goal, as he controlled Diame's cross from the left before laying it into Vaz Te's path, who finished expertly.
GoalRicardo Vaz Te
GOAL!!! Ricardo Vaz Te's strike from inside the box fizzes past Alex McCarthy into the left-hand side of the goal.
Joe Cole has another strike from range after West Ham work it nicely, but he takes an extra touch than perhaps necessary and he is closed down well with the shot going wide again.
...but Guthrie's cross is easily cleared. His delivery has been slightly disappointing so far.
Play is currently stopped as Winston Reid is receiving treatment after a tackle with Jobi McAnuff. Reading have a free-kick in a promising position on the right...
It's saves like that which earned McCarthy his England call-up. There's nothing like quickly making amends for an error.
Great save by Alex McCarthy! Andy Carroll leaps like a salmon to head it across goal, and Nolan must have thought he'd made it two but his header is saved by the diving McCarthy.
Well, well, well. What was I saying about Reading playing out from the back? Alex McCarthy may have been called up for England on Friday but he'll be feeling awful right now.
GOAL!!! Kevin Nolan rounds Alex McCarthy and slots into an open net, after the goalkeeper's clearance hits Andy Carroll on the back and invitingly falls into Nolan's path with not a Reading defender in sight.
Lovely move from Reading! A glorious cross-field ball from McAnuff finds Robson-Kanu out on the right, and the Welshman feeds Chris Gunter. His first touch is good, but his shot goes into the side netting.
West Ham are starting to take control of the match now, with everything going through Andy Carroll. The England man is showing some lovely touches and hold-up play.
It's been evident in recent weeks that Nigel Adkins is trying to make Reading play out from the back, but it's not always working. The manager furiously makes notes after another sloppy pass goes out for a West Ham throw-in.
Danny Guthrie strikes the ball well from 30 yards after more good play down Reading's left, but it's wide.
Joey O'Brien's in-swinging cross from the left is just too high for Carroll, and the ball skims his head and goes out for a Reading goal-kick.
Reading win two corners within a short space of time, but from the second Andy Carroll's clearance results in a promising counter-attack. Only Stephen Kelly's last-ditch challenge prevents Vaz Te from getting a shot on goal.
Joe Cole does very well to nick the ball off Danny Guthrie after a heavy touch, but from 25 yards he chooses to shoot rather than play Ricardo Vaz Te in. The shot was wild from the former England international.
Reading have definitely started the brighter of the two sides, with Gareth McCleary's poor touch ruining the chance of a promising counter.
Some lovely football on the edge of West Ham's box ends with a Pavel Pogrebnyak's downward header being well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen. The Russian might be disappointed he didn't get more power on that.
Jobi McAnuff manages to get on the end of a floated cross from the right, but it sails high and not very handsome.
Some nice early touches from Pavel Pogrebnyak, and he draws a foul from James Collins. The Russian scored in the fifth minute to defeat the Hammers earlier in the season, remember.
Joe Cole has the ball in the net after a quickly-taken free-kick, but the referee wants it retaken. Everyone else had stopped, in truth.
Chance! Mark Noble's gorgeously chipped diagonal cross is met by Andy Carroll's toes, but he can't quite make proper contact and it drops harmlessly wide of Alex McCarthy's goal.
An early tester for Jaaskelainen, as McCleary's tame shot from 20 yards falls into his hands.
We're underway at Upton Park.
The Hammers' home record is relatively strong with 30 points from 18 games (equal to Liverpool's), while Reading have the worst away record in the division. All signs point towards a home win...
As for Reading, well, they've been relegated for weeks after a tough period of only one win in twelve. But they still need a point to guarentee avoiding finishing bottom and being awarded the metaphorical wooden spoon.
For West Ham, they need a win to guarentee tenth place, which Allardyce has labelled an over-achievement for his side. The five sides below are all able to leapfrog the Hammers should they slip up.
With ten minutes until kick-off, let's assess the two sides' recent form and what is actually at stake, if anything...
Reading, meanwhile, make just the one change from the 2-0 home loss to Manchester City in midweek, with Kaspars Gorkss returned to the side in place of Adrian Mariappa.
West Ham make three changes from their 2-0 loss away to Everton last weekend, bringing in Mark Noble, Joe Cole, and Ricardo Vaz Te. Andy Carroll starts in what could be his last match for the Hammers, depending on whether they can agree a £17m deal with Liverpool in the summer.
Reading: McCarthy; Gunter, Gorkss, Morrison, Kelly; McCleary, Karacan, Guthrie, McAnuff; Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak. Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Mariappa, Akpan, Carrico, Blackman, Le Fondre.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Reid, Collins, O'Brien; Noble, Diame; J. Cole, Nolan, Vaz Te; Carroll. Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Taylor, O'Neil, Collison, Maiga, Wellington Paulista
Still, it's Allardyce who is laughing now, as West Ham sit in a comfortable 10th-placed position, with Reading once again facing Championship football next season. Here's the team news...
Sam Allardyce has also labelled Reading a "bogey team" for his side, and he's quite right. The Royals have won the last three meetings between the two sides, including a 1-0 home win (only their second of the season at the time) in both sides' final match of 2012.
It probably won't be a classic, but the two sides do have a little bit of history. Reading's impressive end-of-season form in last year's Championship campaign meant West Ham had to settle for promotion through the play-offs.
Hello, I'm Brett Curtis and this is West Ham vs Reading on the final day of the Premier League 2012/13 season.
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