• English Barclays Premier League
  • 29 December 2012, 3:00pm
  • Madejski Stadium
  • Attendance: 24,183
ReadingReadingvWest HamWest Ham
  • Pogrebnyak, 5

live commentary


89 mins:Reading are desperately trying to play down the clock as West Ham grow more and more frustrated.

87 mins:Reading are penned back in their own half and the home fans are desperate for the final whistle.

85 mins:Vaz Te wastes a great chance to equalise, somehow contriving to head wide from four yards out.

83 mins:It's certainly not been a classic but this could be a very welcome three points for McDermott's Reading side.

81 mins:The rash of bookings continues - this time it's Ian Harte who picks up a yellow card.

80 mins:A sixth yellow card of the afternoon is handed out - this time to Nolan.

79 mins:It's all West Ham now, can Reading hold out for the last few minutes?

78 mins:Modibo Maiga comes on for Noble.

77 mins:As the minutes tick by, Reading are getting more and more nervous.

75 mins:The Royals bring on Hal Robson-Kanu for Kebe.

73 mins:West Ham still aren't showing enough quality as they toil away in midfield.

70 mins:Tomkins is booked for dissent in the aftermath of that close shave for Allardyce's side.

69 mins:Jem Karacan goes close to making it 2-0 as his shot hits the underside of the bar and Kebe fires the rebound over.

67 mins:West Ham bring Ricardo Vaz Te on for O'Neil.

66 mins:Collison forces Federici to make another excellent save.

65 mins:Reading make a change, Chris Guthrie making way for Noel Hunt.

64 mins:Mike Oliver doesn't book anyone after the fracas and play eventually continues.

62 mins:Cole steps on Chris Gunter. The Reading players swarm around the referee who needs to calm things down.

60 mins:Pearce is booked for climbing on Nolan.

58 mins:West Ham have improved since half time, Reading seem a little nervous now.

56 mins:Cole sends a glancing hedaer from Jarvis' pinpoint cross wide, good chance for the visitors.

55 mins:West Ham bring Jack Collison on for the ineffective Matt Taylor.

54 mins:Not much sign of the match improving as both sides continue to give the ball away at regular intervals.

52 mins:Matt Jarvis sees a shot blocked after the former Wolves man had cut in from the wing. Better by the Hammers.

50 mins:Cole had a very quiet first period, surely he'll see more of the ball in this half.

48 mins:No changes by either manager at the break, here's hoping for a better 45 minutes of football after a grim opening half.

46 mins:The second-half action is underway at Reading.


45 mins:Collins is booked after colliding with Pogrebnyak.

43 mins:Federici makes a routine save to keep Kevin Nolan's low drive out.

41 mins:There's not been a lot of quality on show today with clear-cut chances at a premium.

39 mins:West Ham can't be as bad as this after the interval but as it stands Reading remain on course for only their second Premier League victory of the campaign.

37 mins:Pogrebnyak picks up a yellow card for his illegal aerial challenge.

36 mins:Allardyce will have his work cut out at half time trying to lift what has been a very sluggish Hammers outfit.

34 mins:Kebe is unable to collect Mikele Leigertwood's long ball forward but Reading remain worthy leaders at this stage.

32 mins:Pearce is eventually able to continue after receiving lengthy treatment.

30 mins:Alex Pearce requires treatment after taking a knock to the head.

28 mins:West Ham are the better side now as Gary O'Neil heads a presentable chance narrowly wide.

26 mins:Federici makes a smart stop to deny Collins an equaliser.

24 mins:West Ham haven't got going in midfield at all, giving the ball away far too regularly.

22 mins:Better by Reading as Kebe and Pogrebnyak combine well to create an opening.

20 mins:It's very scrappy at the moment and, apart from the goal, very little has happened on the pitch.

18 mins:The match has settled down now but it's Reading that remain the better side at this juncture.

15 mins:Mark Noble picks up the first yellow card of the afternoon for a nasty tackle on Jimmy Kebe.

14 mins:Adam Federici confidently claims a free-kick as the Hammers finally settle.

12 mins:West Ham have started today's game very poorly, they're really struggling in the opening stages.

10 mins:A win today would do very nicely for Reading and continue their fine form over the festive period.

7 mins:The Royals have started brightly and deserve to lead.

5 mins:READING 1-0 WEST HAM. PAVEL POGREBNYAK latches onto James Collins' poor back-pass before firing his left-footed shot home.

5 mins:It's been a scrappy opening to the match with several free-kicks conceded already.

3 mins:This match was of course a Championship fixture last season.

1 mins:We're underway at the Madejski Stadium.

Carlton Cole starts for the Hammers after having his red card in the recent game against Everton overturned.

Both teams are unchanged from their Boxing Day starting line-ups.

Reading attempt to win only their second game of the season when they entertain West Ham United this afternoon.

  • English Barclays Premier League
  • 29 December 2012, 3:00pm
  • Madejski Stadium
  • Attendance: 24,183
ReadingReadingvWest HamWest Ham
  • Pogrebnyak, 5

match report

Reading gained their second victory of the season after Pavel Pogrebnyak's goal sealed a 1-0 win over visiting West Ham.

Reading came into the game with the worst winless run in the Premier League (eight games without victory), and the game paired together the worst home defence against the worst travelling attack.

It was the hosts who took the lead after five minutes, Pogrebnyak capitalising on a poor error from James Collins in defence, and the visitors struggled to gain any fluidity in attacks, all too often losing the ball in midfield.

The second half followed the same pattern. West Ham did enjoy spells of dominance, but their final ball and set-piece delivery continued to hold them back. Their best chance fell to substitute Ricardo Vaz Te three yards out, but he could only head wide. It merely summed up the day for the Hammers.

Sam Allardyce was able to call on Carlton Cole after his red card against Everton was overturned, and the West Ham boss chose to operate a 4-5-1 formation, with Kevin Nolan operating behind Cole. Brian McDermott chose to match his opposite number, with Pavel Pogrebnyak utilised as a lone striker with Adam Le Fondre and Noel Hunt on the bench.

It took just five minutes for the home side to take the lead. Collins struggled to control a high ball and compounded his error with an awful back pass to Jussi Jaaskelainen. Pogrebnyak gratefull advanced on goal, and with the goalkeeper venturing out, guided it home with his left foot.

It was, in truth, one of the only action points of a sloppy first half. Pogrebnyak continued to be effective whilst Carlton Cole worked hard in his lone role for the visitors, but both were left slightly isolated through a lack of runners from midfield.

Quite whether it was due to the prolonged break after a postponed Boxing Day fixture or otherwise, Allardyce would have been less than impressed by his side's first-half display. There were mistakes and confusion in defence, and in midfield effort had led to little end result. A header from Winston Reid tipped over the bar by Adam Federici was the closest the Hammers came to equalising as half-time approached.

West Ham improved during the second half, but their final ball consistently let them down, and too many set pieces hit the first man, a fact that will frustrate their manager. It was Reading that had the first chance of the half, with Pogrebnyak firing low into the bottom corner, only to see an offside flag deny him, correctly so.

As the game wore on, an element of needle was introduced. With seven players booked in total, all too often individuals reacted to challenges, causing unnecessary headaches for referee Michael Oliver, who officiated the game admirably under considerable pressure from both sets of players.

Halfway through the half and Reading again had the opportunity to increase their lead, with Jem Karacan hitting the underside of the bar from the edge of the area with Jaaskelainen beaten. Jimmy Kebe could only fire over from the rebound.

For the last 20 minutes, however, West ham had all the pressure as the home side seemed happy to sit on their valuable lead, and the Hammers should have taken a point on 84 minutes. A cross was played high into the box where substitute Vaz Te found himself completely unmarked just three yards out. Inexplicably, he tried to be cute with the header and allowed it to slide wide of the goal.

The game meandered to a close without any more chances amidst moments of timewasting and tension, and Reading held on for just their second victory of the season in the Premier League. They were not at their best, but were not forced to be by a West Ham side that have now won just one in eight. Sam Allardyce will be deeply disappointed in the way his side could not play with a fluidity often seen when playing at home.

team line-up

1Adam Federici
23Ian Harte
6Adrian Mariappa
5Alex Pearce
2Chris Gunter
8Mikele Leigertwood
11Jobi McAnuff
14Jimmy Kébé77
4Jem Karacan
20Danny Guthrie66
7Pavel Pogrebnyak


9Adam Le Fondre
19Hal Robson-Kanu77
24Shaun Cummings
41Stuart Taylor
10Noel Hunt66
15Sean Morrison
16Jay Tabb


Michael Oliver

team line-up

22Jussi Jääskeläinen
5James Tomkins
17Joey O'Brien
2Winston Reid
19James Collins
7Matthew Jarvis
14Matthew Taylor54
32Gary O'Neil67
16Mark Noble80
4Kevin Nolan
9Carlton Cole


12Ricardo Vaz Te67
10Jack Collison54
27Jordan Spence
23Alou Diarra
30Raphael Spiegel
11Modibo Maiga80
20Guy Demel


Michael Oliver

match stats

possession %3366
shots on target23
shots off target18
tackles won1118