FT: West Ham 4 Reading 2

And that's full-time. It may be a cliché but a real game of two halves at Upton Park, with West Ham allowing a two-goal lead to slip before having too much for Reading. Hope you've enjoyed the commentary, and have a wonderful summer waiting for August. Give me a follow on twitter at @danielstorey85, it's the least you can do!

88
I have to say, this game has been cracking. As Richard Grocott said before kick off, a classic!

87
And that, he says, is that. But well done to Kevin Nolan, now West ham's top scorer and a hat-trick.

86
Goal for Nolan, and that's his hat-trick. No marking from Maiga's cross and he heads home comfortably.

Matt Taylor on for Joey O'Brien

85
Mark Noble shoots, but it's a comfortable save for McCarthy

84
Jack Collison now booked for a challenge on Karacan

83
Kevin Nolan booked for a tackle from behind. No malice but something of a lunge.

81
Maiga on for Vaz Te

80
And so after good work from Reading, they again allow the game to slip away. Story of the season, I'm afraid. Too many goals conceded.

79
Fine clipped ball through from Mark Noble, and Nolan finishes with ease.

78
Goal for West Ham. Second of the game for captain Kevin Nolan.

76
Reading now enjoying a spell of pressure, but too often their final cross just over or under hit as they look for an unlikely winner.

Joe Cole replaced by Jack Collison

74
A dipping shot from Carroll after ball bounces high at the back post. Decent effort, but comfortably over.

73
Joe Cole's shot is deflected wide, as the Hammers try and push on for a winner.

71
Carroll gets through on the left hand side, but fine defending from Kelly sees the ball behind for a corner

69
Vaz Te has had a shot which might well have left Upton Park, shanking it incredibly high over the bar. Rather sums up West Ham's second half.

68
Reading have a 3-on-2 break against West Ham, but just can't pick the right pass to engineer a chance on goal.

66
Gunter this time wastes the cross, but Sam Allardyce is patrolling the touchline, barking orders at his players.

65
Cross driven in from Gunter, and it is begging someone to get themselves on the end of it. Still Reading press.

64
First booking of the game goes to McAnuff for a late one on Demel

63
Shot from distance from McAnuff, but again it's over. Reading very much in the balance here.

62
Sean Morrison has had a torrid time against Carroll today, and gives away another free kick

59
Shot from Carroll from 20 yards is punched away, a stinging effort from the England striker.

58
West Ham just need to get their foot on the ball here. Credit to Nigel Adkins, his substitutions have done the trick here.

57
You know the cliche well enough - but this looks a completely altered game in this second half. Suddenly Upton Park very nervy

57
I did tell you there would be goals!

56
Goal for Reading!!! Adam Le Fondre, the half-time substitute, has scored after a great cross from Blackman. A Complete mood change here.

55
A goal out of absolutely nothing for Reading, and suddenly we have a game on our hands.

54
Goal for Reading. Big deflection but it fires into the net from McCleary. The ball hits Noble and in.

53
Blackman shoots and the ball rebounds over for a corner,

50
Teasing cross from Joe Cole, and Gorkks does well to see it behind for goal kick. West Ham back on the ball after a bright few minutes for the visitors.

49
Karacan shoots from 30 yards and wants a corner. Nothing given and nothing should be.

48
Kevin Nolan flagged offside when through on goal. Fine decision from the assistant.

Hal Robson-Kanu the other man withdrawn.

47
McAnuff shoots but it's a way off target. Brighter start from Reading, which they very much need.

46
Two changes for Reading, Le Fondre and Blackman on for Pogrebnyak and......i'll let you know.

And we are back underway...

And that's half time. West Ham brilliant at times, Reading helpless. Join me for more in fifteen minutes.

45
We will have just added minute.

44
Diame shoots and McCarthy can only parry, but gets lucky and the ball is cleared.

43
When Carroll plays like, it makes you worry just where he 'could' play if consistent.

42
Crossbar hit by Vaz Te!! Yet more great work from Carroll, taking the ball down and playing in his team mate who crashes a ball against the bar. This could be five or six by now.

40
Reading just need half time here. They are being bullied by West Ham all over the park, doing little more than clearing their lines.

39
And the West Ham fans agree, chanting "Andy Carroll, we want you to stay".

38
Andy Carroll has been fantastic thus far. Two assists, and a clear demonstration of why West Ham must be considering stumping up the cash for him.

36
It really is far too easy for the Hammers, and after a spell in which they competed in the match, Reading have fallen away far too easily.

GOAL FOR WEST HAM!!! Ricardo Vaz Te finishes it but Andy Carroll is the man to take the plaudits, controlling a cross and allowing the forward to finish via a deflection. Game over?

34
Just wide from Joe Cole, but West Ham fans are ole-ing their team after 34 minutes. That says something about the passage of play.

32
Play restarts and West Ham clear the free kick

31
Reid fouls McAnuff, and both players go down injured after what appears to be a clash of knees

30
Pogrebnyak beginning to look so isolated up front for the Royals.

29
From the corner, Carroll heads wide from fifteen yards. All West Ham now.

29
Great save from McCarthy, that makes up for the goal. Fantastic header across goal by Carroll, and Nolan head the ball at goal. The keeper tips it onto the crossbar.

27
A familiar feeling for Reading as they have to plot a way back into the game, but a goal completely of their own making.

25
A goal out of absolutely nothing, but on balance West Ham probably deserve that.

24
The Reading goalkeeper clears the ball straight at Andy Carroll, and the ball rebounds to Kevin Nolan who slots the ball into an empty net. Huge error from a goalkeeper who received an England call-up in the week.

Goal for West Ham!! Huge mistake from Alex McCarthy.

22
Big chance for Reading. Great run from Chris Gunter, but he finishes like a full back as he skews the ball wide of the near post. Should have scored.

20
The game has tailed off a touch in truth, some sloppy passes in the last few minutes.

18
Carroll shoots, but it's blocked and the ball goes for a corner. End to end hear without too many clear-cut chances.

17
Guthrie strikes from 25 yards, and it fires perhaps just a yard wide. Better from the visitors.

16
Again Vaz Te gives it away when a simple pass was there.

15
Header from Carroll goes over, but the England forward can't quite stretch to get over the ball. In space, but the ball from O'Brien was just too high.

14
Fine sliding challenge from Stephen Kelly denies Vaz Te when he looked to get away on goal.

13
And followed up by a second...

13
The first corner of the game is won by Robson-Kanu.

12
You can hear Nigel Adkins screaming the word pressure from the touchline. West Ham are having easy possession for the most part here.

12
Vaz Te has started this game in fairly dreadful fashion, giving the ball away on three occasions already.

11
The save was actually reasonably comfortable, but Jaaskelainen did well to push it well away from goal.

9
Great save from Jaaskelainen. A header from Pogrbnyak is going in the far post but for a diving save from the Finn.

8
Diame motors through midfield and at the Reading defence but his final ball is slightly overhit.

7
Half a chance for Reading, but no more than that as former Hammer McAnuff heads well over.

6
West Ham enjoying all of the ball early on, but Pogrebnyak wins a free kick forty yards out.

5
West ham chasing down the ball in midfield, looking very hungry for the ball. Good to see.

4
Offside against Ricardo Vaz Te. That might not be the last time I write that.

3
Fast start here, just what we wanted

2
Immediately a chance at the other end. West ham attack and a Noble cross is clipped wide by Carroll. The big man was stretching for it but it's a good chance.

1
Shot from McCleary easily saved by saved by Jaaskelainen

And we are underway...

West Ham fans launching out their rendition of Blowing Bubbles, as the teams shake hands and we are a couple of minutes away from kick off.

Those inflatables in the Reading end are in all shapes and sizes, including a full dinghy. That's a sizeable effort.

The sprinklers come on to water the pitch, and I am actually quietly confident of a decent passing game today. Reading's last London fixture at Fulham was a cracker, and I'm hoping for goals.

The Reading fans that have made the journey have brough along a wide array of inflatable goodies. What japes.

Very much an end-of-season feel here, demonstrated by the presence of the marching band proceeding around the pitch strutting their stuff.

I am also able to report that West Ham's mascot is a rather scary looking hammer, although I have never seen a hammer so accomplished at dancing.

As an aside, there may be a sparse away crowd at Upton Park today. Many reading fans have decided not to attend the game in protest at the high ticket prices. Interesting to see the away attendance here.

Richard Grocott has been in touch on Twitter. "Gonna be a classic!" he tells me. I hope so Rich, I really do.

The interesting bit of team news for the neutral is surely a start for Joe Cole. Starts have been hard to come by for the 31-year-old, and it will be interesting to see if he is able to click straight into gear today

The teams are out in the sunshine, with West Ham wearing "Thank you for your support" t-shirts as they warm-up

West Ham's Jussi Jaaskelainen has faced more shots on target (211) and has made more saves (162) than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this term

Jobi McAnuff has attempted 39 shots (inc. blocked) without scoring in the Premier League this season; more than any other player

Reading have scored a league-high proportion of 39% of their goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League games this season

Some stats for you:

Killian's right, I was critical, as I felt that Sam was just offering a plan A without much invention. Whether or not that was a fair cop, there is no doubting that Allardyce has been fantastic this season. If you offer any promoted side a top ten finish they snap your very hand off, and for that Allardyce deserves that new contract with bells on.

Killian has been in touch on Twitter: "I know you were a bit critical of WHU in there blip mid-season, good to get your views now we have a bit of form again..."

And me, what do I think? If you twist my arm (don't), I'd plump for a 2-0 home win at 8/1.

Tenth-placed West Ham are odds-on to compound a miserable campaign for relegated Reading by sealing a victory that will maintain their lofty league position. The Hammers are 8/13 to earn three points, with the Royals 5/1 to leave the top flight on a high. Our tipster Jamie Redknapp has backed Andy Carroll to open the scoring at 9/2 and Sam Allardyce's side to win to nil (9/4) at Upton Park.

Here's what Skybet have to say on the game:

Well, maybe not, Reading have won their last three matches against West Ham, with a Pavel Pogrebnyak winner giving the Royals three points in December.

Does it all point to a home victory, therefore?

West Ham have lost just two of their last eight games, whilst Reading have won one in their last 13, losing ten of those 13.

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

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

The teams are in:

While I prepare myself emotionally for a few minutes, make sure you take the chance to get in touch and follow me on Twitter @danielstorey85. I want your thoughts, predictions, hopes and dreams (mainly on the game, please).

Could this also be time to say goodbye to Andy Carroll? Allardyce has stated his desire to keep the striker at the club, but with rumours surrounding an approach from Monaco, amongst others, the forward's future looks less than certain.

For West Ham, a chance to cement a place in the top ten with victory, a target that would have been more than satisfactory at the start of the season, and saw Sam Allardyce rewarded with a new contract.

It has been a tough campaign for the Royal's both before and after the appointment of Nigel Adkins, who will be hoping to bring his back up to the top table next season.

It is an afternoon of goodbyes in the Premier League. But whilst other grounds may see farewells being said to Alex Ferguson, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and Steve Harper, Reading will say so long to the Premier League.

Good afternoon, and welcome to live commentary from Upton Park on the last day of the season, where West Ham host Reading

Premier League Fixtures

Saturday, 04 October 2014
15:00
Hull City v C Palace  
Leicester v Burnley  
Liverpool v West Brom  
Sunderland v Stoke  
Swansea v Newcastle  
17:30
A Villa v Man City  
Sunday, 05 October 2014
12:00
Man Utd v Everton  
14:05
Chelsea v Arsenal  
Tottenham v Southampton  
16:15
West Ham v QPR  
Saturday, 18 October 2014
12:45
Man City v Tottenham  
15:00
Arsenal v Hull City  

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 6 12 16
2 Southampton 6 7 13
3 Man City 6 5 11
4 Arsenal 6 4 10
5 Swansea 6 2 10
6 A Villa 6 -3 10
7 Man Utd 6 2 8
8 Tottenham 6 1 8
9 C Palace 6 0 8
10 West Brom 6 0 8
11 Stoke 6 0 8
12 Leicester 6 -1 8
13 West Ham 6 0 7
14 Liverpool 6 -1 7
15 Everton 6 -2 6
16 Hull City 6 -2 6
17 Sunderland 6 -1 5
18 QPR 6 -9 4
19 Newcastle 6 -7 3
20 Burnley 6 -7 3

Updated Tue, 30 Sep 2014

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