Reading vs. West Ham United  1 - 0

Article

Rare Reading win comforts McDermott

29 December 2012 19:51

Brian McDermott did not disguise his relief after seeing Reading record their first victory in nine matches on Saturday.

Pavel Pogrebnyak's fifth-minute goal proved to be the winner for Reading at home to fellow promoted club West Ham United in the English Premier League clash at the Madejski Stadium.

Having suffered a nightmare run of seven defeats in succession during November and December, Reading's much-needed win moves them off the foot of the table at the expense of Queens Park Rangers, who host Liverpool on Sunday.

"It's a great relief and I thought it was a real resilient performance," McDermott said.

"We had to stand up to West Ham today and I thought we did that.

"It was a great finish by Pavel in the first half and Jem (Karacan)'s hit the bar in the second half. I thought we needed the second goal but I thought we managed the game well in the last 10 minutes.

"They have had that one opportunity that they didn't take so every point in this division is precious. We have realised that and it is a good win for us today.

"We are so pleased today because it was a great, great show of strength and show of unity at the club. Our fans will go home happy tonight because they have got the three points and that is the most important thing for us."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce blamed a James Collins mistake at the back and Ricardo Vaz Te's profligacy in front of goal for his team's narrow loss.

"We shot ourselves in the foot from the early stages," he told BBC Sport.

"James Collins has been solid for us this season but he made a basic error and they took full advantage.

"Reading defended deep in numbers and (Ricardo) Vaz (Te) has missed a glaring, glaring chance and two errors mean we have not taken any points against them.

"We are bitterly disappointed not to come away with a point and now we are without James (Collins) and Kevin (Nolan) through suspension for an important game against Norwich."

Article

Premier League: Reading 1 West Ham United 0

29 December 2012 18:08

Reading earned a valuable win in the Premier League relegation scrap, beating West Ham 1-0 at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

James Collins' scuffed back pass allowed Pavel Pogrebnyak to give the hosts the lead early on, and the game failed to take off for the remainder of the first period. Things were much the same after the break, with the Hammers unable to find an answer and the home side holding on.

Both sides were unchanged from their respective Boxing Day clashes, with Pogrebnyak continuing as the lone striker for Reading while Carton Cole was available for the visitors after the red card received against Everton was rescinded. The Hammers also welcomed Ricardo Vaz Te back with a place on the bench.

Just five minutes into the game Hammers' defender Collins was left red-faced when he tried to simply knock the ball back to Jussi Jaaskelainen. However, he ended up assisting Royals' forward Pogrebnyak with a terrible error, his back pass hitting his other foot to play the Russian in for a simple finish.

The Hammers managed to get a bit of a foothold in the game thereafter and conjured up a decent chance when Kevin Nolan crossed from the left, seeing Winston Reid's header denied only by a fantastic reflex save by Adam Federici.

However, the clash then became very scrappy with niggling fouls and misplaced passes taking over and, in part due to the quality of Reading's defending, there were no other real chances of note before the break.

The second half began much like the first ended, with neither side able to cut through the other's defence. Cole had a half-chance for the visitors but his header flew over, while the lively Matthew Jarvis had a strike blocked by Alex Pearce.

With the Hammers looking the better side, and almost pulling one back through substitute Jack Collison, the Royals then nearly doubled their lead through Jem Karacan, the midfielder slamming an effort against the crossbar before Jimmy Kebe's follow up went wide.

Despite some minor pressure late on, and Vaz Te missing an open goal with a free header from all of six yards, McDermott's men proceeded to hold on to the vital win that will give them a much-needed boost in the race for survival.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25