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WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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2011-12 npower championship

IN THE NEWS : 1st July 2011

Hammers snap up Faye

West Ham United announce the signing of Stoke City centre-back Abdoulaye Faye on a free transfer. The experienced Senegal international is Sam Allardyce’s first signing since becoming manager. Faye will join the Hammers after his contract expires at the Britannia Stadium on 30 June.

IN THE NEWS : 19th July 2011

Alpari (UK) and West Ham United

West Ham United have announced a major three-year partnership agreement with Alpari (UK) a leading global foreign exchange broker. As part of the partnership agreement, the West Stand at the Boleyn Ground will be known as the Alpari Stand.

IN THE NEWS : 23rd July 2011

Taylor made for West Ham

29-year-old midfielder Matt Taylor joins from Bolton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee thought to be £2.2m, becoming Sam Allardyce’s third summer signing after Abdoulaye Faye and Kevin Nolan

RULE CHANGE

Football League clubs have voted to reduce the number of substitutes that can be named on the teamsheet for matches in the npower Football League from seven to five. The vote was taken at an EGM at Leicester City's King Power Stadium.

 

A Football League spokesman said: "This was felt to be a sensible and prudent step given the financial challenges facing many football clubs and the commitment made earlier this summer to adopt UEFA's Financial Fair Play framework." Clubs will still be permitted to name seven substitutes in the Carling Cup and FA Cup.

 

Meanwhile, clubs also voted to increase the minimum number of 'home grown' players that must be named in matchday squads from four to six. Home grown players are defined as those that have been registered, domestically, for a minimum of three seasons prior to their 21st birthday.

IN THE NEWS : 3rd August 2011

Npower logo

Boa Morte departs

Luis Boa Morte has left the club by mutual consent. The Portuguese midfielder had a year left at the Boleyn Ground but his contract was cancelled to allow him to pursue a new opportunity abroad.

IN THE NEWS : 3rd August 2011

West  Ham United statement

An independent barrister’s investigation has revealed its findings regarding preferred bidder status. The investigation has found nothing that compromises the integrity of the decision to make West Ham United the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium. The inquiry was launched to consider the work undertaken by Dionne Knight on behalf of the club in relation to the procurement of a construction partner after the 2012 Olympic Games.

It concluded firmly that Ms Knight’s work had no way affected the integrity of the joint West Ham United – London Borough of Newham bid which was approved by the Olympic Park Legacy Company. The findings – which completely exonerated the club over the matter and showed it acted lawfully at all times.

IN THE NEWS : 6th August 2011

Carew signs

Norway striker John Carew has become the fifth new face to arrive at the club after he signed from Aston Villa on a free transfer. The imposing 6’5” tall forward with a proven Premier League track record will bring vast experience to the forward line. The striker will not be eligible to play against Cardiff City on Sunday, having not been registered in time with the Football League

CARDIFF CITY : npower Championship

Upton Park

0 - 1

7th August 2011

Att: 25,680

Referee: H. Webb

Green

O'Brien

Ilunga

Reid

Tomkins

Noble (Collison)

Parker

Nolan

Sears (Barerra)

Taylor

Piquionne (Cole)

7th August 2011  ON THIS DAY :

JOEY O'BRIEN, KEVIN NOLAN and MATTHEW TAYLOR all make their Hammers debuts against CARDIFF CITY at Upton Park

11_08_07 WHU v. Cardiff City

West Ham's Carling Cup game has been postponed on police advice. Some sports events have been affected by the continuing riots in London.

West Ham United have been asked by the police to postpone the Carling Cup first-round tie with Aldershot Town

The club were contacted the evening before the game was due to take place and told that all major public events in London were to be rearranged because of the need to focus police resources elsewhere. Whilst neither the club or police anticipate any issues around the game itself, the club has to comply with the police request. No date has yet been set for the rearranged match, but the club will be in contact with the Football League and Aldershot.

ALDERSHOT TOWN : Carling Cup (First Round)

Match

Postponed

DONCASTER ROVERS : npower Championship

Sam Allardyce blamed West Ham's poor finishing for their shock last-minute defeat by Cardiff City. Promotion favourites West Ham were in control for long periods but paid the price when Kenny Miller's turn and shot gave the visitors a 1-0 win. "We've created numerous chances and today was one of those days when we were not clinical enough to punish the opposition," said Allardyce. "We paid the ultimate price right at the very end." Frederic Piquionne came closest to scoring when he hit the post, while new signing Matt Taylor was always a threat from set-pieces, testing Bluebirds keeper David Marshall on a number of occassions, it's a hugely disappointing day for everyone. As ever the expectation is high and we haven't lived up to that expectation."

The Carling Cup First Round tie has now been arranged to take place at Upton Park on the 24th August

IN THE NEWS : 5th August 2011

Lee to Daggers, Montano to County

Oliver Lee has re-signed for Dagenham & Redbridge after a successful loan spell last season. Meanwhile Cristian Montano joins Notts county on one-month loan

Upton Park

9th August 2011

IN THE NEWS : 10th August 2011

George McCartney rejoins the Hammers

George McCartney has returned to West Ham United on a season-long loan from Sunderland to become Sam Allardyce's sixth summer signing

Doncaster Rovers (A) Doncater Rovers Away

Keepmoat Stadium

1 - 0 (Nolan)

13th August 2011

Att: 11,344

Referee: S. Mathieson

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Reid

Ilunga (Stanislas)

Parker

Noble

Collison (Sears)

Nolan

Taylor

Piquionne (Cole)

WATFORD : npower Championship

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins (Faye)

Reid

Ilunga

Parker

Noble

Collison (Faubert)

Nolan

Taylor

Cole (Piquionne)

Vicarage Road

4 - 0 (Tomkins, O'Brien, Cole, Parker

16th August 2011

Att: 14,747

Referee: D. Whitestone

Sam Allardyce won as West Ham manager for the first time after masterminding a typically battling success at npower Championship rivals Doncaster. Summer signing Kevin Nolan's fifth-minute strike, his first for the Hammers, was enough to ensure the promotion favourites bounced back from their 1-0 opening-day defeat to Cardiff. But, after a dominant first half, Allardyce's side had to withstand several nervous moments after the interval as they dug in for victory against a Rovers side beset by injury. Allardyce started transfer target Scott Parker, whose industry will be sorely missed if, as expected, he departs, at the heart of a 4-5-1 formation that served to control the opening 45 minutes. The cautious approach was aided by their early goal as Nolan opened his Hammers scoring account in style.

Carlton Cole and Scott Parker were on target to help West Ham to victory at Watford and make it back-to-back wins in the npower Championship. Sam Allardyce gave Cole his first start of the season and the striker, who is still expected to leave before the end of the month, grabbed his first goal since February. England midfielder Parker, another player whose future remains uncertain, put the seal on a convincing display late on. The unlikely figures of defenders James Tomkins and Joey O'Brien had put West Ham two up at half-time. The relegated Hammers won only two away games all last season, but they have matched that tally after just two road trips this term

Adam Clayton's last-minute goal salvaged a dramatic point for Leeds in their npower Championship clash at West Ham. The Hammers led twice and looked to be heading for a third straight win when Patrick Kisnorbo's own-goal made it 2-1 in the second half. But as the clock ticked down Leeds, who earlier missed a penalty through Max Gradel, snatched an equaliser through 22-year-old midfielder Clayton. Sam Allardyce's side, beaten by a last-gasp goal by Cardiff in their last home game, had since recorded two victories on the road by grabbing early leads and they repeated the trick in the sixth minute at Upton Park. Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan had already tipped over headers from Carlton Cole and James Tomkins, but he was beaten when Matt Taylor swung in a second corner. Cole got in front of his marker and guided a volley past Lonergan with the outside of his right boot for his second goal in as many games.

West Ham's home woes continued as they suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to League Two Aldershot in the Carling Cup. For the third match running at Upton Park, the Hammers let in a late goal and this time Danny Hylton's strike fired Dean Holdsworth's Shots to a famous win. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, who says his players are scared of playing at home, made nine changes for the rearranged first-round encounter and all looked well when Junior Stanislas put them ahead in the first half. The midfielder, making his first start of the season, curled in a superb effort from 25 yards after quarter of an hour. But another youngster, defender Callum McNaughton, was sent off just after half-time on his debut for scything down Hylton, to set up a familiar nervy finish. So it was perversely inevitable to see them equalise in the 75th minute when stand-in Hammers keeper Ruud Boffin blocked Alex Rodman's shot and the rebound landed kindly for Luke Guttridge to tuck away. And with two minutes of normal time remaining, a goalmouth scramble saw the ball fall to Hylton 12 yards out and he drove a low, angled shot past Boffin and into the net to send the away fans wild.

LEEDS UNITED : npower Championship

ALDERSHOT TOWN : Carling Cup (First Round)

NOTTINGHAM FOREST : npower Championship

Cardiff City Home Watford Away 11_08_21 WHU v. Leeds United 11_08_24 WHU v. Aldershot Town CC1

IN THE NEWS : 30th July 2011

Joey Joins

Republic of Ireland international signes on a free transfer after being released by Bolton Wanderers

11_08_15 Watford v. WHU

24th August 2011 ON THIS DAY :

CALLUM McNAUGHTON makes his Hammers debut against ALDERSHOT TOWN at Upton Park. Callum also becomes the first West Ham United player to be sent off in his debut game after get his marching orders

IN THE NEWS : 9th August 2100

Matthew Upson joins Stoke City after West Ham release

Stoke City have signed England defender Matthew Upson on a free transfer after his release by West Ham. The 32-year-old has joined on a two-year deal

IN THE NEWS : 18th August 2011

Burnley have completed the signing of striker Zavon Hines from Championship rivals West Ham United. A fee for the 22-year-old, a product of the Hammers' youth system, will be set by a tribunal. The England under-21 international has agreed a two-year deal at Turf Moor after rejecting the offer of a new contract with the London club.

Burnley sign Zavon Hines

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Reid

Ilunga

Collison (Faubert)

Parker

Noble (Piquionne)

Nolan

Taylor

Cole (Carew)

Upton Park

2 2 (Cole, o.g.)

21st August 2011

Att: 28,252

Referee: M. Oliver

West Ham tempt giant defender Demel from Hamburg

West Ham have signed Ivory Coast's Guy Demel from German side Hamburg. Demel, a French citizen, has been in the Bundesliga for 10 years - spending four seasons with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Hamburg in 2005. The powerful right-sided international, who can play either in defence or midfield, has joined on a two-year contract with the option of a further year.

Today marks the end of Scott Parker's time in the claret and blue. Having arrived in 2007, his early days were marked by injuries and his £7million price tag was starting to raise some questions. It was only the following season that he moved into a pivotal role within the team. This resulted in him winning the Hammer of The Year award at the end of the 08/09 season. Parker would later go on to retain the award the following season (the first to do so since Julian Dicks in '97), and won the award for a third time in 2001/11. Not even Parker, who also won the 'Football Writers' Player of the Year' award, could save the Hammers from relegation last season. Having signed a contract extension with a considerable pay rise it was clear that the club would not be able to keep hold of him in the Championship.

Ins

 

Free Transfers: Papa Bouba Diop, John Carew, Joey O'Brien, Abdoulaye Faye.

 

Purchased: Guy Demel (SV Hamburg, undisc), Sam Baldock (MK Dons £2m),

Matthew Taylor (Bolton, £2.2m), Kevin Nolan (Newcastle, £4m).

 

Loaned: David Bentley (Tottenham, season), Henri Lansbury (Arsenal, season),

Brian Montenegro (Deportivo Maldonado, season), George McCartney

(Sunderland, season).

 

Total: 12 players (4 on loan).

 

Outs

 

End of Contract: Anthony Edgar, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Daniel Gabbidon, Lars

Jacobsen, Filip Modelski, Jonathan Spector, Adam Street, Matthew Upson.

 

End Of Loan: Victor Obinna, Wayne Bridge, Robbie Keane.

 

Free Transfers: Luis Boa Morte, Kieron Dyer, Zavon Hines, Thomas

Hitzlsperger, Radoslav Kovac, Demba Ba.

 

Sold: Scott Parker (Tottenham, £5m), Manuel Da Costa (Lcomotiv Moscow,

£1.5m).

 

Loans: Pablo Barrera (Real Zaragoza, season), Jordan Spence (Bristol City,

season), Ahmed Adbulla (Swindon, four months), Jordan Brown (Aldershot, one

month), Cristian Montano (Notts County, one month), Oliver Lee (one month)

West Ham confirmed that Scott Parker has handed in a formal written transfer request.

IN THE NEWS : 30th August 2011

Hammers sign Parker replacement

West Ham have wasted little time in signing a replacement for Scott Parker after they confirmed Papa Bouba Diop has penned a one-year deal with an option for an additional 12 months The FA Cup-winning Senegal international joined Fulham in July 2004 before moving onto Portsmouth in 2007 and then AEK Athens in 2010. Diop left the Greek club this summer and West Ham consequently brought him back to England in a free deal

IN THE NEWS : 31st August 2011 (Transfer Deadline Day)

West Ham bring in David Bentley and Henri Lansbury

Spurs seal Parker move Midfielder leaves Upton Park for White Hart Lane

Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of long-term target Scott Parker from West Ham United. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has been tracking Parker all summer and he has now landed his man after a protracted chase for the England international. The 30-year-old was not included in the West Ham squad for last weekend's win at Nottingham Forest as the deal drew ever closer. Parker handed in a transfer request at Upton Park on Tuesday in a bid to force through the move to White Hart Lane and both clubs have now finalised the switch.

WEST HAM have signed Tottenham winger David Bentley and Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury on season-long loan deals. Bentley, 27, moves on the same day Scott Parker completed his permanent move in the other direction. Lansbury, 20, is looking for regular first-team football having failed to make a breakthrough at the Emirates. The duo join Sam Allardyce's Upton Park revolution will be joined in the Hammers' midfield by Papa Bouba Diop, who signed a one-year contract yesterday.

Paolo Di Canio has raided his former club West Ham to land Ahmed Abdulla. The Saudi Arabian-born striker is highly rated at Upton Park, but is yet to make his first-team debut with the Hammers after joining from Arsenal earlier in his career. The 19-year-old is now set to get his first taste of senior football with Di Canio at the County Ground. Abdullah has agreed a six-month loan with the League Two side.

Abdulla set for Swindon

Brown joins the Shots on loan

Jordan Brown 19-year-old who made his comeback from injury yesterday in the development squad's 3-1 win over a Brentford XI at Little Heath has joined Aldershot Town the League Two club for a month.

Dean Holdsworth masterminded the 2-1 win over West Ham in the first round of the Carling Cup earlier this month

Junior Stanislas has joined Burnley on a permanent deal, signing a three-year contract. The 21-year-old winger, who has been in and out of the West Ham team ever since breaking through to the first team squad under Alan Curbishley has joined the Clarets, having been told he was surplus to requirements by new Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.

Junior departs on permanent deal

Sam Allardyce, the manager's view: Avoid the sacking buy and it can be a good day

Manager's in my position dread the final few days of the transfer window. It is the fear of losing one of your best players, and losing them so late in the day that it becomes difficult to find a replacement. In the end, this transfer deadline day went well for us at West Ham United. We've obviously known for some time that Scott Parker could be moving on. He's 30 years old and he feared he could lose his England place if he did not play in the Barclays Premier League this season. But we managed to respond by bringing in three good players — an experienced performer in Papa Bouba Diop, someone involved in Norwich City's promotion last season in Henri Lansbury, and David Bentley. If we can get Bentley back to the level he has reached in the past, he will be an exciting signing. For other managers, though, I'm sure it was more frustrating. They might now be staring at gaping holes in their squad, forcing them into a major rethink after months of hard work.

This is the problem with the transfer window. It is hugely disruptive and a massive distraction. But I can't see a solution. Bringing the transfer window forward and closing it a month earlier would create new problems.

A club like West Ham might release players at the end of May but we'll still be paying their wages until the end of July, so my finance director will be reluctant to let me bring in many new players until those leaving are off the wage bill. I just see it as a fact of life. It makes the job harder but you have to deal with it, buy well and avoid a panic buy that becomes a sacking buy. One that haunts you.

IN THE NEWS : 29th August 2011

Hammers add yet more firepower after completing Montenegro loan deal

West Ham United have boosted their forward line with the signing of Paraguay Under 20 international Brian Montenegro. Montenegro, 18, has joined the Hammers on a season-long loan from Uruguay-based Club Deportivo Maldonado.

The teenager, who previously came through the ranks at Paraguayan side club Tacuary, starred for his country at the South American Youth Championships in Peru earlier this year.

PORTSMOUTH : npower Championship

City Ground

4 - 1 (o.g., Nolan, Cole, Reid)

28th August 2011

Att: 21,379

Referee: G. Salisbury

 

Green

Reid

Tomkins

McCartney

O'Brien

Faubert

Noble

Nolan

Taylor

Cole (Piquionne)

Collison (Faye)

IN THE NEWS : 9th September 2011

Callum McNaughton is off to league newcomers AFC Wimbledon for a month to become the fifth homegrown Hammer to be loaned out from the development squad.

McNaughton loaned to Wimbledon

Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole were amongst the goals as West Ham strolled to a third consecutive away win, comfortably brushing past a stuttering Nottingham Forest. The experienced duo, accomplished Premier League players over recent seasons, headed home in the first half after Forest captain Luke Chambers had put through his own goal. The hosts hit back when substitute Joel Lynch fed Robbie Findley to reduce the deficit midway through second half, but Winston Reid's goal left manager Steve McClaren in no doubt about the huge task facing him at the City Ground when he tapped in a fourth for the Irons with 13 minutes remaining. With both sides heavily backed for promotion in pre-season, West Ham are already demonstrating their intent to secure a return to the top flight, while Forest continue to flounder in front of a frustrated home faithful. Despite a run of only two losses in their opening seven competitive matches, McClaren's men remain winless by the River Trent so far.

11_09_10 WHU v. Portsmouth

Green

O'Brien

McCartney

Tomkins

Reid

Noble

Lansbury

Nolan

Faubert (Bentley)

Taylor

Cole (Piquionne)

Upton Park

4 - 3 (Taylor, Lansbury, Noble [pen], Cole)

10th September 2011

Att: 33,465

Referee: R. East

West Ham kicked off life without Scott Parker with an enthralling 4-3 victory against 10-man Portsmouth at Upton Park - their first home win in more than six months. The reigning Football Writers Association player of the year joined Tottenham on transfer deadline day, but the Hammers responded with a spirited performance in which debutant Henri Lansbury and goalkeeper Robert Green shone.

After the visitors took the lead through a Luke Varney effort that deflected off Carlton Cole, West Ham equalised a minute later through former Portsmouth midfielder Matthew Taylor's free-kick. Despite the Hammers dominating first-half proceedings, they had Green to thank for pulling off a number of good saves before Lansbury netted eight minutes into the second period. Portsmouth equalised in the 60th minute after David Norris' header was adjudged to the cross the line, but then had skipper Liam Lawrence sent off for a second bookable offence.

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce handed a debut to on-loan Arsenal starlet Lansbury and named fellow new boys David Bentley and Sam Baldock on the bench. The visitors continued to press but were reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute when Lawrence received a second yellow card for a lunge at substitute Bentley. Lansbury earned the home side a penalty by flicking the ball into Pearce's hand, allowing Noble to step up and strike home from the spot. West Ham wrapped up the victory in the 76th minute when Taylor fired in a superb ball that Cole managed to head home. Lansbury almost grabbed a second as the clock wound down, before substitute Piquionne was red-carded against his former club for raising his hands to Greg Halford off the ball deep into stoppage time. Despite the clock winding down, Portsmouth reduced the deficit to one goal with the last kick of the game as Halford scored after Tal Ben Haim was brought down in the box.

11_09_10 WHU v. Portsmouth 11_08_24 WHU v. Aldershot Town

Upton Park

1 -2 (Stanislas)

24th August 2011

Att: 19,879

Referee: G. Scott

Boffin

Faubert

McCartney

McNaughton

Reid

Sears

Barerra (Taylor)

Stanislas

Nolan

Piquionne (Nouble)

Carew (Ilunga)

10th September 2011 ON THIS DAY :

HENRI LANSBURY and DAVID BENTLEY (Sub 63mins) make their Hammers debuts against PORTSMOUTH at Upton Park

MILLWALL : npower Championship

The Den

0 - 0

17th September 2011

Att: 16,078

Referee: L. Mason

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins (Reid)

Faye

McCartney

Faubert

Nouble

Lansbury (Baldock)

Nolan

Taylor (Bentley)

Cole

17th September 2011 ON THIS DAY :

SAM BALDOCK (Sub 74 mins) makes his Hammers debut against MILLWALL at the Den

11_09_24 WHU v. Peterborough

PETERBOROUGH UNITED : npower Championship

The Hammers twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, who were ahead after just six minutes. Darren Ambrose opened the scoring with his second goal in a week, but Kevin Nolan equalised 10 minutes later. Glenn Murray restored the lead for Dougie Freedman's side just after the restart, only for Carew to grab a point with 10 minutes remaining. Manuel Almunia was making his debut in goal for the visitors but he could do nothing to prevent Ambrose opening the scoring, the former Charlton man firing home from six yards out after being teed up by Jonathan Williams. But Nolan restored parity when George McCartney's cross was only cleared as far as Carlton Cole, who headed back across goal for Nolan to fire in his third of the season. Nolan should have done better with two more chances before the break - and he was made to pay just after the break when Murray, who himself had spurned a glorious first-half chance, beat Almunia from 15 yards after Wilfried Zaha set him up. Palace looked to be holding out for all three points until Carew struck, heading McCartney's cross past Julien Speroni for his first goal for the club.

IPSWICH TOWN : npower Championship

CRYSTAL PALACE : npower Championship

Lee Bowyer scored his first Ipswich goal a minute from time to inflict a first defeat in seven matches on his former club West Ham. The midfielder tapped in after Keith Andrews' header from Jimmy Bullard's corner had hit the post. Bowyer had come close to opening the scoring when his 12-yard effort hit a post in the first half. The closest West Ham came was when Kevin Nolan's close-range header was cleared by Aaron Cresswell. The goal from Bowyer, who had two spells at Upton Park, earned Ipswich a second win in three games to hand manager Paul Jewell, who turns 47 on Wednesday, an early birthday present. It ended the Hammers' seven-game unbeaten run in the Championship as the hosts, who have made their best start to a league season in 28 years, squandered the chance to move top of the table.

Ipswich made a bright start and Michael Chopra's close-range effort was saved by Robert Green. Bowyer's shot then hit an upright before West Ham had a chance as Henri Lansbury fired a 30-yard shot off-target. That seemed to spark Sam Allardyce's side into life but Abdoulaye Faye could not keep his header down from David Bentley's corner - and at the other end Green was forced into another save when Grant Leadbitter shot from 18 yards.

West Ham made a better start to the second half and, within five minutes, Carlton Cole tested Ipswich goalkeeper David Stockdale with an 18-yard strike. Another long-range Leadbitter strike was easily dealt with by Green before Cresswell's excellent block kept out Nolan's header. With eight minutes left, Green was at full stretch to tip Cresswell's 30-yard free-kick over the crossbar. Just as the game was seemingly heading for a goalless draw, Bowyer popped up to stun the Hammers.

Mark Noble's 11th-minute penalty was enough for a laboured West Ham United win over Peterborough. West Ham were awarded the spot-kick when Lee Frecklington was adjudged to have pushed Henri Lansbury after a low cross from Julien Faubert. Carlton Cole curled wide as West Ham looked to add to their lead and then Lee Tomlin came close for the visitors. David Bentley forced Peterborough keeper Paul Jones into a save, but West Ham rarely threatened. At least Sam Allardyce's side can console themselves with the fact that they are now seven games unbeaten - but there will be concern that they dominated the opposition without managing to kill the game off. George Boyd looked sharp for the visitors, but he was restricted to long-range efforts which rarely threatened Robert Green in the West Ham goal. Peterborough's top scorer Tomlin was brought on at half-time and he almost equalised early in the second half but, as the West Ham defence backed off, his well-struck effort zipped past the post. Bentley forced Jones into action when his effort stung the palms of the Peterborough keeper as the home fans grew continually more restless with their side's lack of creativity. Despite the disapproving jeers from the home support, Peterborough could not fashion any chances and West Ham held on for an unconvincing win.

11_08_28 Nottingham Forest v. WHU 11_09_24 WHU v. Peterborough United 11_09_27 WHU v. Ipswich Town 11_10_01 Crystal Palace v. WHU 11_10_01 Crystal Palace v. WHU

Almunia

Faubert

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Collison (Baldock)

Nolan

Diop

Lansbury

Bentley (Sears)

Cole (Carew)

Selhurst Park

2 - 2 (Nolan, Carew)

1st October 2011

Att: 20,074

Referee: K. Wright

David Bentley missed a sitter as West Ham dropped points on their travels for the first time this season after a bruising derby at Millwall. The Hammers made the short trip across the Thames to face their bitter rivals on the back of three straight away wins and looking to go top of the npower Championship, at least temporarily, following their noon showdown. But they could not find a way past the Lions with on-loan Tottenham winger Bentley blowing the best chance of the afternoon on only his second appearance. Henri Lansbury also had an effort cleared off the line but Millwall missed plenty of chances too, with Liam Trotter the main culprit, as a fixture traditionally not for the faint-hearted ended all-square. Millwall have been eagerly awaiting the renewal of hostilities, so much so that some fans chartered a plane to fly over Wigan's ground trailing a banner with the words 'Avram Grant, Millwall Legend' as the Hammers' relegation was confirmed last season. And while the atmosphere crackled, there was thankfully no repeat of the crowd trouble which marred the Carling Cup meeting between the sides at Upton Park two years ago. There were plenty of casualties on the pitch, though, with James Tomkins limping off, Julien Faubert spitting out blood after a whack from a stray elbow and Tamika Mkandawire bandaged up with a head injury - all in the first 20 minutes. But Grant's replacement, Sam Allardyce, has added the steel the Hammers were evidently missing last term as the teams went toe-to-toe in a fiercely contested encounter.

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Noble [pen])

24th September 2011

Att: 29,895

Referee: A. Bates

Green

O'Brien

Faye

Reid

McCartney

Lansbury

Noble

Nolan

Faubert (Bentley)

Cole (Carew)

Taylor (Tomkins)

IN THE NEWS : 19th September 2011

West Ham United would like to clarify the club has no plans to rename the Olympic Stadium as the Ann Summers Stadium. A story reported in two newspapers this morning [Monday 19 September] came about as a result of a light-hearted comment made by a supporter at a fans forum held by Joint-Chairman David Gold last week. There are no discussions taking place in this regard as part of the club's proposals for the Olympic Stadium.

Stadium story clarification

The club has clarified the situation with regard to press reports this morning

Upton Park

0 - 1

27th September 2011

Att: 27,709

Referee: K. Stroud

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Bentley

Nolan

Noble (Faubert)

Lansbury (Collison)

Baldock

Cole (Carew)

11_08_28 Nottingham Forest v. WHU

BLACKPOOL : npower Championship

11_10_15 WHU v. Blackpool

Almunia

Faubert

Tomkins (Faye)

Reid

McCartney

Collison

Nolan

Diop

Taylor (Sears)

Baldock

Carew (Noble)

Upton Park

15th October 2011

4 - 0 (Carew, Baldock 2, Collison)

Att: 31,448

Referee: A. D'Urso

1st October 2011 ON THIS DAY :

MANUEL ALMUNIA and PAPA BOUBA DIOP make their Hammers debut against CRYSTAL PALACE at Selhurst Park

Stech on trial

IN THE NEWS : 27th September 2011

Goalkeeper Marek Stech has joined Burnley on trial. The 21-year-old Czech goalkeeper was hailed by former goalkeeping coach Ludo Miklosko as his country's potential successor to Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech upon joining West Ham back in 2006 at the age of just 16. However five years on, West Ham are preparing to part company with the 6'3 stopper who has refused to sign a new contract due to his desire for first team football. Stech - who is currently fourth in the pecking order at the Boleyn behind Rob Green, Peter Kurucz and Ruud Boffin - has been unable to play for the club in rcent months as any future appearances will trigger an additional payment to the player's former club Sparta Prague. With West Ham being unwilling to pay a further instalment due to the player's refusal to agree a new contract, Stech has been left in limbo; his most recent appearance for the club came way back in October of last year, in the 3-1 Carling Cup win over Stoke.

IN THE NEWS : 30th September 2011

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has joined on a one-month emergency loan from Arsenal

West Ham United have signed vastly-experienced goalkeeper Manuel Almunia on an initial one-month emergency loan from Arsenal. Manager Sam Allardyce moved quickly to secure the services of the Spanish stopper after learning that Robert Green faces around six weeks out with a knee cartilage injury. The 34-year-old joined up with his new team-mates on Friday ahead of this weekend's npower Championship visit to Crystal Palace. He will wear the No13 shirt.

IN THE NEWS : 3rd October 2011

Rovers to land Ilunga, Saunders to snap up Hammers defender

Doncaster are poised to sign West Ham defender Herita Ilunga on loan. New Doncaster boss Dean Saunders has lined up a deal for the full-back as he looks to bolster his defensive options. Ilunga has found himself down the pecking order at West Ham with George McCartney first-choice left-back under Sam Allardyce. The 29-year-old has not featured in the Hammers first team since the shock Carling Cup defeat to Aldershot and Sam Allardyce is thought to be willing to loan him out. Doncaster are thought to have agreed a three-month loan deal for the left-back

INTERNATIONAL NEWS : 2nd September 2011

JOHN CAREW is 1st Hammer to represent NORWAY as sub against ICELAND a European Championship Qualifier Ullevaal Stadium 1-0 (89 caps)

INTERNATIONAL NEWS : 6th September 2011

JOHN CAREW wins his 2nd NORWAY cap as sub against DENMARK a European Championship Qualifier Parken Stadium 0-2 (90 caps)

INTERNATIONAL NEWS : 11th October 2011

JOHN CAREW wins his 3rd NORWAY cap against CYPRUS a European Championship Qualifier Ullevaal Stadium 3-1 (91 caps)

INTERNATIONAL NEWS : 1st September 2011

HENRI LANSBURY wins England Under-21 cap against AZERBAIJAN a UEFA Euro 2013 Qualifier at Vicarage Road 6-0

INTERNATIONAL NEWS : 5th September 2011

HENRI LANSBURY wins England Under-21 cap against ISRAEL an International Friendly at Oakwell Stadium 4-1

INTERNATIONAL NEWS : 6th October 2011

HENRI LANSBURY wins England Under-21 cap against ICELAND UEFA Euro 2013 Qualifier in Reykjavik 3-0

INTERNATIONAL NEWS : 10th October 2011

HENRI LANSBURY wins England Under-21 cap against NORWAY UEFA Euro 2013 Qualifier in Drammen 2-1

Manager : Sam Allardyce

11_08_21 WHU v. Leeds United

IN THE NEWS : 14th October 2011

Sam Allardyce has allowed Marek Stech to gain first-team experience at Yeovil Town

Marek Stech is the latest Hammers youngster to go out on loan with a temporary switch to League One side Yeovil Town. The Czech Under-21 international, who kept a clean sheet for his country in a 1-0 win against Wales this week, has moved to Huish Park until 19 November. Stech has been allowed to leave with Manuel Almunia and Ruud Boffin occupying the first-team spots in the absence of Robert Green. Peter Kurucz has also returned to action after 14 months out with a knee injury. Stech has previously been on loan to Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Bournemouth

Three goals in eight second-half minutes ensured a comfortable victory for West Ham as Blackpool's defence endured a torrid afternoon. John Carew set the Hammers on their way with a 12th-minute header and Blackpool collapsed after the break as a Sam Baldock double and Jack Collison's strike completed the rout. Blackpool had gone into the game high on confidence after winning 5-0 last time out and they actually looked the better team until West Ham opened the scoring. Julien Faubert crossed from the right and Carew showed good strength to hold off Matt Hill and find the bottom corner with his header. That gave the Hammers a huge boost and they could have added a second almost immediately but Baldock was denied by Matt Gilks. West Ham were angered when Collison split the Blackpool defence and was put through on goal but referee Andy D'Urso failed to play advantage and instead blew for a free-kick in the centre circle. Gilks was called into action again just before the half-hour mark when his smart save spared the blushes of Hill , whose poor touch allowed Carew a clear run at goal. West Ham continued to look threatening and Gilks again denied them a second when he saved with his right leg from Carew, before Baldock fired over. West Ham goalkeeper Manuel Almunia was finally called into action just before the interval but had no trouble holding a low drive by Jonjo Shelvey. A second goal looked like it would be enough to kill off the visitors and West Ham needed just two minutes of the second half to double their lead. Blackpool tried to play a high offside trap but were left waiting for a flag that never came as Matthew Taylor's header put Baldock clean through, and the striker held his nerve to slot coolly past Gilks. It was certainly all over four minutes later and Hill was again at fault as the ball was allowed to bounce in the area before Carew flicked the ball over Gilks and Baldock tapped in on the line. The Seasiders conceded a fourth in the 55th minute when the ball fell to Collison on the edge of the area and his deflected volley again left Gilks with no chance. It was a case of damage limitation for Blackpool from then on and Gilks again came to the rescue with a superb save to prevent Baldock completing his hat-trick.

SOUTHAMPTON : npower Championship

Southampton maintained their 100% home record and stretched their lead at the top of the npower Championship as Jos Hooiveld's header proved enough to end second-placed West Ham's unbeaten away record. On-loan Celtic defender Hooiveld powered home the winner on the stroke of half-time in front of a St Mary's record crowd of 32,150, but they were put under immense pressure by the Hammers, who hit the post late on through Mark Noble's cross-shot. The visitors started brightly, with Matt Taylor testing Kelvin Davis with a low drive inside the opening minute. Saints' response came from returning skipper Dean Hammond who fizzed a shot over the crossbar from 30 yards and then tried his luck again from distance but with the same outcome shortly afterwards. West Ham were forced to make an early substitution when Taylor limped off to be replaced by Frederic Piquionne with what looked to be a recurrence of a calf injury. It was the home side who were on top as the half progressed. Richard Chaplow should have done better with a close-range volley. The Hammers hit back as Piquionne sent John Carew clear down the left. He picked out captain Kevin Nolan but his 22-yard curling shot flew inches past the upright. Striker Sam Baldock, who scored his first goals for West Ham on Saturday, looked set to get his name on the scoresheet again in the 36th minute but his hooked effort from eight yards was well blocked by the legs of Davis. That sparked Southampton back into life, and after David Connolly saw a first-time volley gathered by Manuel Almunia, they opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time. Hammond's corner from the right picked out Hooiveld and the on-loan Celtic defender powered a header past the keeper. It was the home side who bossed the opening stages of the second half, with a succession of corners ending with Winston Reid blazing over. A Rickie Lambert free-kick was deflected wide for Saints and at the other end Baldock found himself one on one with Davis but sent his curling strike past the post as the game opened up. A slip from Papa Bouba Diop allowed Connolly to race forward and bend a shot just wide, and the same player spurned another chance moments later. Sam Allardyce's side continued to press, though, and a well-worked free-kick saw Nolan roll his marker and bring another good stop from Davis. Chaplow was not too far away with an angled drive and Guly Do Prado curled an effort past the far post as Saints came back into it. Guly was presented with another opportunity when a mix-up between George McCartney and Noble allowed Lambert to pick him out, but the Brazilian saw his shot blocked by Almunia. In a frantic finish, Noble saw a free-kick tipped onto the roof of the net and from the resulting corner his cross flicked off the head of a defender and came back off the far post but Southampton held on.

11_10_18 Southampton v. WHU 11_10_18 Southampton v. WHU Ticket

St Mary's Stadium

0 - 1

18th October 2011

Att: 32,152

Referee: D. Deadman

Almunia

Faubert

Faye

Reid

McCartney

Lansbury

Nolan

Baldock

Diop (Noble)

Taylor (Piquionne)

Carew (O'Brien)

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION : npower Championship

11_10_24 Brighton v. WHU Ticket 11_10_24 Brighton v. WHU

American Express Community Stadium

1 - 0 (Nolan)

24th October 2011

Att: 20,686

Referee: K. Friend

Almunia

O'Brien

Reid

Faye

McCartney

Faubert (Baldock)

Diop (Sears)

Noble

Collison

Nolan

Carew (Piquionne)

Kevin Nolan fired West Ham up to second in the npower Championship with a 1-0 victory over Brighton. The Hammers skipper crashed in his fourth goal of the season to lift his side to within three points of leaders Southampton. Brighton's early-season pace-setters have, by contrast, tumbled down the table after their winless run was extended to seven games. The Seagulls could count themselves unfortunate, though, having created a host of chances to cancel out Nolan's 17th-minute strike. And they were architects of their own downfall after a bad mistake from Liam Bridcutt gifted West Ham what proved to be the winner. Brighton manager Gus Poyet likes his team to play the ball out from the back, but not when they end up handing it on a plate to a player of Nolan's ability on the edge of the area. Bridcutt's heavy touch allowed the midfielder to nick the ball off him, stride forward and lash his shot past his old Newcastle team-mate Steve Harper. Veteran keeper Harper had only joined Brighton on loan a few hours earlier and obviously did not have time to get his bearings, standing far too close to his near post and offering Nolan the rest of the goal to aim at. Yet in a game littered with errors on a slippery pitch, Brighton had already squandered a chance to go ahead when Winston Reid's slip allowed Craig Mackail-Smith a run at goal, but the Scotland striker's angled shot flew wide. As the first half wore on Brighton grew in confidence, and West Ham were just about clinging on to their lead by the time the half-time whistle blew. Ashley Barnes headed Matt Sparrow's cross wide, John Carew blocked a goalbound shot from Bridcutt and Craig Noone's drive hit the side-netting. And in stoppage time West Ham's on-loan Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia had to pull off a superb diving save to keep out Mackail-Smith's stinging volley. After the interval Harper did well to deny Carew after a smart turn and shot, and substitute Freddie Sears fired wide. At the other end Bridcutt's long-range effort did not trouble Almunia, although Mackail-Smith did when he slid into the Spaniard feet first trying to chase a long ball. Almunia was able to continue and Sam Allardyce's side had to see out eight minutes of stoppage time, following a nasty injury to Brighton's Gary Dicker. Allardyce's direct style of play may not have endeared him to some of the West Ham faithful, but a quick glance at the league table surely will.

LEICESTER CITY : npower Championship

11_10_29 WHU v. Leicester City

Upton Park

3 - 2 (Baldock 2, Faubert)

29th October 2011

Att: 30,410

Referee: J. Linington

Green

O'Brien

Faye (Tomkins)

Reid

McCartney

Faubert

Noble

Collison

Nolan

Baldock (Sears)

Carew (Piquionne)

Two goals from Sam Baldock sent managerless Leicester spinning to defeat as West Ham's promotion bid gathered pace. The Foxes had Academy boss Jon Rudkin and coach Mike Stowell in charge following Sven-Goran Eriksson's departure earlier this week. But there was to be no respite for City under the makeshift management duo as Baldock's double, either side of Julien Faubert's rare strike, secured victory for the Hammers. The hosts were hanging on at the end, though, after Andy King's two goals kept Leicester in the game and only the woodwork denied them a point late on. Nevertheless, Sam Allardyce's second-placed side have now won three of their last four outings to keep the pressure on leaders Southampton. They bossed the opening stages and made the breakthrough after 20 minutes when Mark Noble surged forward unchallenged to the edge of the area before playing in John Carew. The big Norwegian striker chipped the ball across goal from the byline and Baldock outjumped Lee Peltier at the far post. And Leicester had barely kicked off when they found themselves two goals behind, Faubert collecting the ball from Joey O'Brien 20 yards out and thumping his first goal since February 2010 past Kasper Schmeichel. It could have been three five minutes later when Baldock took aim from the edge of the box but his deft curler came back off the crossbar. Leicester finally woke up towards the end of the first half, and Robert Green, back in the West Ham goal after a knee operation, pulled off a fine point-blank save to deny Jermaine Beckford.

After the break substitute Freddie Piquionne should have added a third after a mazy run into the area but the Frenchman dawdled on the ball and his shot was eventually blocked. Instead Leicester pulled one back on the hour when former Hammer Paul Konchesky crossed from the left and King nodded the ball back past Green. West Ham almost hit straight back but Schmeichel pulled off a stunning save to deny Baldock from six yards out. Leicester claimed they should have had a penalty when King theatrically tumbled in the area but referee James Linington was not fooled. And their chances looked bleak with 15 minutes left as Baldock ran through on goal and coolly beat Schmeichel for his fourth goal for the Hammers. But King smashed a fine 20-yard effort into the top corner to set up a tense finish, and they came agonisingly close to snatching a point but James Tomkins deflected Steve Howard's header onto the crossbar.

11_09_27 WHU v. Ipswich Town 11_10_29 WHU v. Leicester City 11_10_15 WHU v. Blackpool Ticket

BRISTOL CITY : npower Championship

Upton Park

0 - 0

1st November 2011

HULL CITY : npower Championship

11_11_05 Hull City v. WHU 11_11_01 WHU v. Bristol City

KC Stadium

2 - 0 (Baldock, Collison)

5th November 2011

Att: 21,756

Referee: N. Miller

DERBY COUNTY : npower Championship

11_11_26 WHU v. Derby County

West Ham lost further ground to npower Championship leaders Southampton after drawing a blank against lowly Bristol City. Boss Sam Allardyce has this week brushed off criticism of his side's style of play, claiming teams that gain promotion need to know how to win ugly. But a stalemate at home to the side who kicked off propping up the division will be hard to stomach for the second-placed Hammers. In fairness they would surely have won at a canter had Frederic Piquionne's radar not deserted him in front of goal, while Kevin Nolan was twice denied by David James and Freddie Sears was a whisker away when he rattled a post. But City, full of confidence after a first win under new boss Derek McInnes on Saturday, were themselves a threat on the break and also hit the woodwork. Allardyce was forced into an early reshuffle when Winston Reid suffered a nasty shoulder injury defending a City corner in the seventh minute and had to be replaced by Abdoulaye Faye. Nevertheless, the hosts almost opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour when young striker Sears curled his shot from outside the area onto the foot of the post Unfortunately, it was to be the closest they came all game. Former Hammers keeper James kept out Piquionne's downward header with an extravagant diving save and also stuck out a hand to divert Nolan's low shot, but West Ham did not have everything their own way in the first half. Robert Green was fortunate to see Marvin Elliott's shot deflected straight at him and was even more relieved when Neil Kilkenny's daisy-cutter wrong-footed the home defence but clipped the side of the post. West Ham should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Julien Faubert's cross was met by Piquionne but the French striker's header was too close to James. Moments after the restart Piquionne fired another good opportunity into the side-netting and then headed straight at James again. None of skipper Nolan's four goals this season has come at Upton Park but he must have thought he was about to break his home duck when put through by Piquionne, only for James to spread himself well and save with his legs. Still the chances came and went, with Faubert blazing over the top and substitute Carlton Cole following suit. But the winner just would not come - and it could have been a whole lot worse for Allardyce but City sub Yannick Bolasie fired narrowly wide in the 89th minute and Green had to finger-tip a deflected corner wide in stoppage time. Nonetheless, City celebrated a hard-earned point to leave Allardyce and an increasingly disgruntled home faithful frustrated.

Sam Baldock and Jack Collison struck early in the second half as West Ham kept pace with npower Championship leaders Southampton with their fifth away win of the season. Striker Baldock volleyed home his fifth goal for the Hammers since arriving from MK Dons in August in the 49th minute and Collison applied a cool finish eight minutes later after the visitors had withstood a first-half bombardment at the KC Stadium. Hull completely dominated the first 45 minutes, but squandered several chances, while former England goalkeeper Robert Green was in fine form for the Londoners. Green pulled off fine saves to deny Robert Koren and Matty Fryatt in the first half and turned away Aaron Mclean's goalbound effort in the second, but Sam Allardyce's side refused to yield and clinically despatched their chances to maintain their impressive away form this season. Dele Adebola made his first start since the opening day of the season for Hull, up front alongside Fryatt, and Peter Gulacsi replaced injured goalkeeper Adriano Basso who was out with a knee injury. Defender Abdoulaye Faye, striker John Carew and midfielders Papa Bouba Diop and Collison all returned for West Ham following their goalless midweek draw with Bristol City. Green was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening exchanges. The former England number one turned away Koren's angled drive at full stretch in the fourth minute and twice denied Fryatt, holding his shot from inside the penalty area and then the striker's header from Liam Rosenior's cross. Hull made all the early running and Green was at his best again in the 28th minute when keeping out another long-range effort from Slovenia international Koren. West Ham's travelling fans had to wait until the 31st minute before their side's first effort on goal, defender James Tomkins heading Kevin Nolan's corner wide. Nolan then headed off target himself soon after following Julian Faubert's cross, but Hull finished the first half on top and only a timely intervention from Faye prevented Adebola's goalbound shot from inside the area giving the home side a 42nd-minute lead. Green did well to hold another shot from Fryatt and Mclean squandered a gilt-edged chance from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time. Hammers boss Allardyce withdrew Carew in favour of Carlton Cole at the break and the switch appeared to pay dividends when the visitors snatched the lead. Bouba Diop's headed pass teed up Baldock inside the area and he lashed home a volley high into the roof of the net from six yards. Hull were rocked having dominated the first half, but worse was to follow for Nigel Pearson's side. Forced to chase the game in search of an equaliser, the Tigers were caught on the counter-attack as West Ham doubled their lead. Cole's neat pass caught the home defence flat-footed and sent Collison clear on goal and the Hammers midfielder kept his composure to bury the ball into Gulacsi's bottom right-hand corner. Hull rallied and Hammers defender Faubert blocked Jack Hobbs' angled drive and Green turned away Mclean's left-footed effort from the left side of the area. Green held another effort from Koren in the 82nd minute and kept out Hobbs' header, while Tigers substitute Robbie Brady dragged a shot wide as Hull slipped to a second successive defeat.

COVENTRY CITY : npower Championship

11_11_19 Coventry City v. WHU

Green

Faubert

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Noble

Collison

Nolan

Diop (Sears)

Baldock (Piquionne)

Carew (Cole)

Ricoh Arena

2 - 1 (Cole, Piquionne

19th November 2011

Att: 20,524

Referee: K. Stroud

Green

Faubert

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Noble

Diop (Piquionne)

Nolan

Baldock (O'Brien)

Carew (Cole)

Collison

11_11_19 Coventry City v. WHU WHU v. Derby WHU v. Bristol City

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Reid (Faye)

McCartney

Faubert

Nolan

Noble

Sears (Diop)

Baldock (Cole)

Piquionne

West Ham staged a second-half comeback to avoid an upset at struggling Coventry in a thrilling npower Championship clash at the Ricoh Arena. The promotion-chasing Hammers, backed by over 6,300 travelling supporters - their largest following since 2004 - were seriously tested in an entertaining, albeit occasionally niggly, encounter which was much closer than the second-tier table would have suggested. City, second-bottom with only two wins to their name all season, took a deserved lead into half-time courtesy of Clive Platt's well-taken turn and finish. Carlton Cole stepped off the bench at the break and, much to the relief of the packed away end, duly pulled the Hammers level in the 69th minute having latched on to Robert Green's long kick. And Frederic Piquionne ensured West Ham kept up the pressure on leaders Southampton when he somehow converted Julien Faubert's cross just six minutes later to cap an improved second-half display. Jack Collison lodged his contender for miss of the season in injury time but it mattered little as West Ham took all three points. Sam Allardyce named an unchanged Hammers XI from the side who won 2-0 at Hull prior to the international break. Fit-again Coventry duo Martin Cranie and Chris Hussey returned to Coventry's starting line-up along with rookie midfielder Gael Bigirimana, upon completion of his three-match suspension, and the recalled Platt. The hosts showed no signs of intimidation inside the opening exchanges, with both sides contributing towards a free-flowing encounter played at pace. In fact, it was Coventry who dominated possession in the first quarter and they went on to deservedly break the deadlock in the 33rd minute, full-back Cyrus Christie sending in a low cross from the right which Platt did well to control, turn on and fire home from 12 yards. City went close to doubling their lead through Platt's header before Gary McSheffrey was denied by some last-ditch Hammers defending as he launched himself at the ball, with the hosts given a standing ovation by their supporters at the interval. Allardyce turned to Cole at half-time and the substitute entered proceedings with the tempo of the encounter continuing where it had left off. McSheffrey and Lukas Jutkiewicz tried their luck from distance for the Sky Blues, the latter being denied by a super parried save from Green. The outcome was anything but certain as the game continued to flow from end to end, with the Hammers starting to take a hold. And it was they who drew level in the 69th minute through Cole, who latched on to Green's long kick upfield, shrugged off the attention of Richard Keogh and fired past Joe Murphy. The turnaround was soon complete as Faubert sent over a cross from the right and Piquionne, somehow, connected with the ball at the back post and beat Murphy. Coventry rallied in search of an equaliser, Platt heading wide before Conor Thomas and Sammy Clingan both saw efforts blocked by Kevin Nolan. Collison was then presented with the simplest of chances to wrap matters up in added time but he could only fire over from six yards, although it proved inconsequential.

Upton Park

3 - 1 (Cole, Nolan, Noble [pen])

26th November 2011

Att: 27,864

Referee: C. Webster

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Faubert (Taylor)

Nolan

Noble

Collison

Baldock (Piquionne)

Cole

MIDDLESBROUGH : npower Championship

Riverside Stadium

2 - 0 (Piquionne, Cole)

29th November 2011

Att: 18,457

Referee: M. Dean

BURNLEY : npower Championship

Upton Park

1 - 2 (Nolan)

3rd December 2011

Att: 26,274

Referee: F. Graham

Green

Demel (O'Brien)

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Noble

Nolan

Diop

Faubert

Piquionne (Cole)

Taylor

Green

O'Brien (Carew)

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Faubert

Noble

Nolan

Collison

Taylor (Piquionne)

Cole

Substitute Sam Vokes secured a shock win for Burnley as West Ham blew the chance to go top of the npower Championship. The Wales striker scored with virtually his first touch as Burnley came from behind to end the Hammers' seven-game unbeaten run. All appeared to be going to plan for Sam Allardyce's promotion favourites when Kevin Nolan fired them ahead just after half-time, especially with leaders Southampton losing at lowly Doncaster. But things are never simple at Upton Park and Chris McCann grabbed a leveller against the run of play before Vokes popped up with the winner. The Hammers had dominated the first half but could not make the breakthrough. The first real chance fell to Matt Taylor in the 27th minute, the midfielder heading Julien Faubert's cross over the top. Moments later Nolan fluffed the best chance of the first half. Jack Collison took advantage of a slip in the Burnley defence to play in Carlton Cole and the striker squared for Nolan, right in front of goal, eight yards out. The midfielder got his left foot to the ball but his effort rolled just the wrong side of the post. Burnley's first shot came 10 minutes before the interval, Keith Treacy's long-range effort not troubling Robert Green as it fizzed wide. West Ham's pressure finally told seven minutes after the interval, and came from a long clearance from keeper Green. Cole flicked the ball on and Nolan coolly lifted his finish over the advancing Lee Grant and into an empty net. But far from the goal signalling the opening of the floodgates, Upton Park was stunned five minutes later when Burnley grabbed an equaliser. Former Hammers winger Junior Stanislas, sold by Allardyce in the summer, swung in a cross from the right and McCann was on hand to bury his header past Green. Shell-shocked West Ham went straight back on the attack and Frederic Piquionne headed Faubert's cross straight at Grant before a shot from Collison was blocked in front of goal. But Burnley remained dangerous on the break and Ross Wallace had Green scrambling across his goal with an effort which rolled just wide. The warning was not heeded by the West Ham defence and in the 74th minute Burnley took a surprise lead, Wallace swinging in a corner and Vokes, who had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes, climbing highest to nod past Green. Cole shaved a post as West Ham attempted to haul themselves level but the Clarets held on for a third straight win.

11_12_03 WHU v. Burnley 11_11_29 Middlesbrough v. WHU

West Ham unveiled their new club mascot Hammerhead at Saturday's 1-0 win over Barnsley - to a mixed reaction from supporters. The story behind the semi-robotic character is that he came to be when a bolt of lightning struck the old Thames Iron Works, where West Ham were originally formed over 100 years ago. The club website describes him as being 'as strong as iron, as fast as [double FA Cup winning captain and club record appearance maker] Billy Bonds and blessed with the goalscoring prowess of [club record goalscorer] Vic Watson, some say he was a shipbuilder at the Thames Iron Works while others say he is a knight from the historic Bolyen Castle [on the club badge].

West Ham United unveil new club mascot Hammerhead

Goals from Frederic Piquionne and Carlton Cole put paid to Middlesbrough's unbeaten home record and ensured West Ham kept the pressure on npower Championship leaders Southampton. The Hammers claimed a fourth straight league victory, and a fourth on the road, as Tony Mowbray's Boro lost for the first time at the Riverside this season. A home record stretching back to February last year came undone as Piquionne nodded Mark Noble's cross home with nine minutes played. West Ham dominated throughout and, despite a spirited second-half performance from their opponents, Cole took advantage of a late Matthew Bates error to slot in a second. Sam Allardyce had promised to shake up his team, and did so, making four changes at the Riverside. Ivory Coast international Guy Demel made his debut, with Piquionne, Matt Taylor and Papa Bouba Diop also included. Boro drafted in Merouane Zemmama for the injured Barry Robson. Tony Mowbray had intended to give the visitors an uncomfortable night on Teesside, but Allardyce's men looked the more assured side for most of the first half. Taylor forced Jason Steele to parry clumsily with his dipping free-kick as the match sparked into life. The hosts laboured to recover the ball as the Hammers set up camp, and within nine minutes their poor retention had cost them dearly. Nicky Bailey dithered in possession in his own half, only for Noble to ghost in and supply a killer cross for Piquionne to nod home. With seven league goals to his name going into this encounter, Marvin Emnes was repeatedly forced out onto the flanks by the wary Hammers defence. But in the 26th minute, he turned this to his advantage, whipping in a cross which Faris Haroun might have tucked away with a better connection. Scott McDonald then weaved in from the right wing to alarm Rob Green with a snapshot that the former Norwich stopper could only bundle away for a corner. Their renewed vigour afforded Boro the best opportunities before the break, Zemmama given time and space to blast narrowly above the target, with Emnes forcing a stunning fingertip save from Green as he cut in once more from the left. West Ham led the Championship table at the half-time interval by merit of Southampton's losing position at home to Hull. Perhaps softened by reports from St Mary's, Allardyce's charges relaxed their complete dominance as the second half began. Haroun was unlucky to fire wide after Joe Bennett had sent a dangerous ball into the penalty box. And on the hour mark, Rhys Williams glanced Tony McMahon's cross carelessly off target with the goal gaping. The spectre of Boro's last meeting with the east London side arrived as Cole was introduced for Piquionne with 20 minutes remaining. Cole was among the scorers as the north east club bowed out of the Premier League with a 2-1 defeat at Upton Park in May 2009. Iron skipper Kevin Nolan, making his 400th career league appearance, marshalled his midfield superbly as Boro grew in confidence and began to run into channels towards the final whistle. And Mowbray's side finally waved goodbye to their excellent record as Cole seized on the loose ball exposed by Bates' slip to round Steele and pass into the net. But with the Saints recovering to beat Hull, the quest for top spot continued for Allardyce and his fluent Hammers outfit.

West Ham narrowed the gap at the top of the npower Championship to just two points after coming from behind to win 3-1 against Derby. Sam Allardyce's side extended their unbeaten run to six games and closed the gap on leaders Southampton with victory over the Rams at Upton Park. The visitors had taken the lead nine minutes before half-time when debutant Tamas Priskin scored his first goal for the club just two days after arriving on loan from Ipswich. Carlton Cole's header ensured the Hammers were back on level terms before half-time and Kevin Nolan's spectacular volley put them ahead after 64 minutes. Mark Noble scored a third from the penalty spot midway through the second half to hand Derby their fourth successive loss. The Hammers' evening started badly when Sam Baldock had to come off with a hamstring injury. Shortly afterwards, Jack Collison nearly caught goalkeeper Frank Fielding out with a shot on the turn, but the Rams stopper was able to keep hold of the ball at the second attempt. That, after 28 minutes, was West Ham's first shot on target and Derby responded by scoring with the game's next chance six minutes later. Collison was caught in possession on the halfway line and that presented Jamie Ward with the chance to cut in from the left flank and find Priskin. James Tomkins remained static, losing the Hungary international, and he fired the ball into the far corner to open his account for the Rams. The Hammers were back on level terms one minute before half-time thanks to Cole. The visitors had cleared Abdoulaye Faye's free-kick but Joey O'Brien sent a first-time cross back in which Cole directed past John Brayford who was covering on the line. Baldock's replacement Frederic Piquionne nearly put the hosts ahead early in the second half. Julien Faubert lofted a ball over the defence and the French striker brought the ball down expertly but his shot was blocked by Fielding. Allardyce's side continued to press and they got their reward when Nolan fired them into the lead with a sublime piece of technique 19 minutes after the break. Collison diverted the ball in the midfielder's direction and he waited patiently for it to drop before planting a first-time volley into the bottom corner of the net from 25 yards out. The hosts then wrapped up the points 10 minutes later through Noble's spot-kick after Craig Bryson had pushed Piquionne in the box. The contact was close to being just outside the box but referee Colin Webster appeared to have made the right decision in awarding the penalty which Noble slammed into the top corner. It could have been worse for Derby had full-back Gareth Roberts not cleared Piquionne's glancing header off the line near the end.

READING : npower Championship

Simon Church's double and an Alex Pearce strike saw Reading past nine-man West Ham. All the goals came in the final half-hour as the Royals capitalised on a Hammers implosion, with both Joey O'Brien and Jack Collison seeing red. Centre-back Pearce beat visiting keeper Robert Green from eight yards out midway through the second period, following good work from Jobi McAnuff, to hand the hosts the lead. West Ham, who have now lost back-to-back npower Championship matches after their home defeat to Burnley last weekend, could not generate any momentum over the course of the 90 minutes and were not helped by the dismissal of O'Brien moments before Reading's first strike. O'Brien received the first red card of his career for a second, needless yellow card after a trip on McAnuff and the Hammers struggled to contain their hosts without him. Once Pearce had slotted home it was all one-way traffic at the Madejski Stadium, and substitute Church tapped home Adam Le Fondre's chip to seal the victory for the Royals before Collison was dismissed for a wild challenge on Jimmy Kebe late on. Not satisfied with one goal after coming off the bench, Church nodded home Ian Harte's set-piece with four minutes left to round off the scoring. Reading had the first significant chance of the game after just seven minutes. Le Fondre fizzed the ball across the face of the goal and Noel Hunt, back in the starting line-up after a head injury, narrowly failed to connect as he slid in. West Ham's best opportunity of the first half-hour came when Collison blazed over from inside the area, while at the other end Jimmy Kebe had a good chance to open the scoring. The Mali winger, although a long way from goal, had the net at his mercy when Green missed opposite number Adam Federici's long free-kick. However, Kebe could not control his effort on the half-volley and shot wide. Jem Karacan also failed to hit the target with a curling effort from distance as neither side were able to work the goalkeepers over the course of the first 30 minutes. The visitors were struggling to reach their fluent best, but almost claimed the advantage in the moments before the break. Collison's corner was headed across goal and Papa Bouba Diop thought he had poked home, only for Hunt to get in the way on the line and clear. Almost straight away the Royals rallied, and Karacan was within centimetres of finding the net with his flying header from Kebe's whipped centre. The scrappy nature of the contest continued into the second period and West Ham took almost 20 minutes of the half to have their first shot on target before the match then exploded into life. O'Brien foolishly tripped McAnuff to earn his second yellow card of the afternoon and moments after he left the field, Reading went a goal up. From the free-kick given for O'Brien's offence, Harte's delivery was not cleared properly, McAnuff slipped the ball into Pearce's path and the centre-back side-footed home from eight yards out. In an instant the home side were dominant and went two up when Church was on hand to tap home Le Fondre's chipped centre from close range. West Ham lost all their shape and discipline, and soon found themselves reduced to nine men when Collison needlessly raked his studs down Kebe's legs. From the resulting free-kick Church headed home Harte's cross to intensify the misery for the Hammers.

11_12_10 Reading v. WHU

Madejski Stadium

0 - 3

10th December 2011

Att: 24,026

Referee: N. Swarbrick

Green

Demel (O'Brien)

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Faubert

Nolan

Noble

Diop (Cole)

Collison

Piquionne

BARNSLEY : npower Championship

11_12_17 WHU v. Barnsley

A rare goal from Papa Bouba Diop sent West Ham joint top of the npower Championship with victory over Barnsley. The veteran Senegal midfielder found the net for the first time in English football since he scored for Fulham against Blackburn - exactly six years ago to the day. The Hammers wasted numerous chances to add to Diop's early header, but Barnsley could not take advantage and a sell-out Upton Park was able to celebrate victory after two successive defeats had dented their promotion bid. The win moved Sam Allardyce's side level on points with leaders Southampton, who play at south-coast rivals Portsmouth tomorrow. West Ham went into the clash riddled with injuries and suspensions, so boss Allardyce could have been forgiven for thinking the world was against him when Abdoulaye Faye pulled out of the warm-up. That meant left-back George McCartney filled in at centre-half with 17-year-old Daniel Potts, son of former Hammers skipper Steve, fast-tracked into his debut. However, the home side shrugged off that early blow and took the lead after just six minutes, Mark Noble swinging in a corner and Diop launching his considerable frame above the Tykes defence to crash his header past Luke Steele. Potts only signed a professional contract the day before the game, and his first appearance came just two years after he was given the all-clear after a battle with leukaemia. The youngster was showing no signs of letting the occasion get to him and twice almost set up another goal with fine left-footed crosses which Carlton Cole and James Tomkins failed to make the most of. The Hammers shouted for a penalty after 18 minutes when Fredi Piquionne's run into the box was halted by Jay McEveley, but referee Scott Mathieson was not impressed. Cole should have doubled the lead on the half-hour when, having run on to Noble's through-ball, he appeared to have done the hard work in holding off two defenders and side-stepping Steele only to screw his shot wide. And just before the break a last-ditch challenge from Rob Edwards prevented Piquionne from finding the net. Allardyce has bemoaned his side's lapses of concentration for letting in crucial goals this season and they dozed off again at the start of the second half, moments after a stray cat had interrupted proceedings, but Rob Green made a fine save from Edwards' header. With seven minutes left Allardyce felt Freddie Sears should have had a penalty as the youngster tumbled in the area, and in his frustration aimed a kick at some plastic bottles before being sent to the stands by referee Mathieson. But Allardyce took his seat among the fans and watched his side see out a nervy ending to get back to winning ways.

17th December 2011 ON THIS DAY :

DANIEL POTTS makes his Hammers debut against BARNSLEY at Upton Park

29th November 2011 ON THIS DAY :

GUY DEMEL makes his Hammers debut against MIDDLESBROUGH at the Riverside Stadium

BIRMINGHAM CITY : npower Championship

11_12_26 Birmingham City v. WHU

St Andrews

1 - 1 (Cole)

26th December 2011

Att: 20,214

Referee: D. Deadman

West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold were denied the perfect post-Christmas present on their return to former club Birmingham. The Hammers joint-chairmen were back at St Andrew's together for the first time since selling to Carson Yeung in November 2009 and subsequently taking charge at Upton Park the following January. And they were celebrating after just four minutes as Carlton Cole capitalised on hesitancy from Pablo Ibanez to put the Hammers ahead, just as he had done in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg between the two sides at the start of 2011. Birmingham launched a remarkable fightback to turn that tie around and, after an impressive albeit not quite repeat comeback, defender David Murphy headed home an 81st-minute leveller to grab a deserved share of the spoils from what was a thoroughly entertaining npower Championship encounter. Victory could easily have gone to either side but a point apiece was a fair reflection and extended City's unbeaten run on home soil while West Ham, boasting the best away record in the second tier, moved back into second place behind leaders Southampton. Amid a blistering start to proceedings, both teams created early openings as Chris Burke sent a header off target before Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan narrowly failed to connect with Julien Faubert's low, teasing cross. And the deadlock was soon broken out of nowhere as Cole nicked the ball of a hesitant Ibanez before racing clear and dispatching the perfect finish past Boaz Myhill. It was proving to be a free-flowing, open encounter in front of the 20,214 present, both defences snuffing out half-chances at either end, although West Ham were enjoying the better of proceedings with Cole causing City all sorts of problems. Faubert somehow missed a great headed chance to put the visitors 2-0 ahead midway through the half before Ibanez cleared Frederic Piquionne's nodded effort off the line from the resulting corner. Murphy's goalbound free-kick forced Robert Green into action for the first time before Keith Fahey's volley tested the Hammers stopper during a sustained spell of pressure from the home side. The visitors had gone quiet over the second quarter but Myhill was called into a great stop in first-half injury time to deny Cole's quickfire effort. The second half started in the same fashion as the first as Burke curled an effort inches wide before Steven Caldwell and Joey O'Brien made last-ditch tackles at either end. Blues boss Chris Hughton turned to Nikola Zigic in an attempt to change things around. Caldwell saw a header cleared to safety from Burke's corner before Myhill was again called upon to to parry substitute Henri Lansbury's strike to safety. Zigic looped a header on to the roof of the net from Murphy's cross and, after Fahey tested Green, the Serbian somehow missed a gilt-edged chance from close range after James Tomkins' sliced clearance. But a leveller finally arrived nine minutes from time as Murphy converted Burke's corner to send the home crowd into raptures, with Marlon King missing a late chance to snatch all three points.

DERBY COUNTY : npower Championship

11_12_31 Derby County v. WHU

Pride Park

1 - 2 (Nouble)

31st December 2011

Att: 28,067

Referee: J. Moss

Teenage striker Callum Ball and Paul Green struck early in the first half as Derby closed in on the npower Championship's top six with a second successive win over the Christmas period. Ball, 19, struck his second senior goal from the edge of the penalty area in the second minute and midfielder Green, who returned from a long-term knee injury in November, headed his first goal in over a year eight minutes later. Hammers striker Frank Nouble pulled one back for the visitors with a rasping drive just before the break, but Nigel Clough's side created other chances and defended valiantly in the second half to claim another prized scalp by following up their Boxing Day win over Leeds. Derby have won three of their last four league games to climb within two points of the play-offs. West Ham, depleted by injuries and suspensions, have won only one of their last five league games. Derby were unchanged from the side that beat Leeds 1-0 on Boxing Day, while Hammers manager Sam Allardyce was without eight first-team players. Skipper Kevin Nolan, winger Julien Faubert, defender George McCartney and midfielder Jack Collison all missed out through suspension, while Abdoulaye Faye (thigh), Guy Demel (thigh), Matt Taylor (calf) and David Bentley (knee) are currently injured. Midfielder Gary O'Neil and striker Nouble both made their first league appearances of the season for the Hammers but Derby caught the visitors cold by racing into an early lead. Striker Nathan Tyson slipped the ball inside from the right side of the penalty area and Ball rammed an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 18 yards. The visitors had barely had time to catch breath when the Rams doubled their advantage. Left-back Gareth Roberts stormed forward and supplied a fine cross for former Doncaster team-mate Green to head firmly downwards beyond West Ham keeper Robert Green into the bottom corner in the 10th minute. West Ham midfielder Noble, skipper in Nolan's absence, lifted his side with a 25-yard shot that flew just wide and Papa Bouba Diop headed over the crossbar. Hammers striker Frederic Piquionne also went close with a header and at the other end Derby striker Jamie Ward flashed two shots just off target. Derby goalkeeper Frank Fielding saved brilliantly twice to deny Nouble and O'Neil in quick succession in the 39th minute, but could do nothing to prevent Nouble reducing the deficit three minutes later. Piquionne played the ball inside from the left and Nouble arrowed a shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards. Rams midfielder Craig Bryson fired wide early in the second half and Ball dragged his effort off target from similar distance inside the area. Allardyce sent on strikers Sam Baldock and Carlton Cole with an hour gone, but it was Derby who threatened to add to their lead. Green's goalbound header from John Brayford's cross was blocked by West Ham defender James Tomkins and Ward lashed a shot from the edge of the area wide. The action continued to flow from end to end, with Noble and Cole this time pulling shots wide for the visitors. Noble's late corner prompted Fielding into another sprawling save and Cole headed wide in the 90th minute, but Derby held on.

31st December 2011 ON THIS DAY :

ROBERT HALL makes his Hammers debut (Sub 78 mins) against DERBY COUNTY at Pride Park

Hammerhead

Green

Faubert (Lansbury)

Tomkins

Potts

McCartney

Noble

Diop

Nolan

Piquionne

Carew (Sears)

Cole

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Diop)

17th December 2011

Att: 34,749

Referee: S. Mathieson

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Potts

McCartney

Faubert (Sears)

Nolan

Diop

Noble

Cole (Carew)

Piquionne (Lansbury)

Green

O'Brien

Reid

Tomkins

Potts

Lansbury

Diop (Hall)

Noble

O'Neil (Baldock)

Piquionne (Cole)

Nouble

CONTINUE 2 11_12_10 Reading Ticket 11_12_26 Birmingham City v. WHU Ticket 11_12_31 Derby County v. WHU Ticket 11_11_29 Middlesbrough v. WHU 11_12_17 WHU v. Barnsley

SECOND-HALF

11_11_05 Hull City v. WHU 11_12_03 WHU v. Burnley

Cardiff City:

Marshall, McNaughton, Hudson, Gerrard, Taylor, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Conway (Mason 75), Earnshaw (Gestede 67), Miller.

 

Doncaster Rovers:

Gary Woods, Dumbuya, Naylor, Friend, Spurr, Coppinger, Gillett (Hird 82), Oster, Bennett (Baxendale 76), Brown, Barnes (Keegan 76).

 

Watford:

Loach, Doyley, Taylor, Mariappa, Dickinson, Eustace, Yeates (Deeney 74), Forsyth, Jenkins, Iwelumo (Massey 56), Sordell.

 

Leeds United:

Lonergan, Lees, Kisnorbo, O'Dea, White, Gradel (Sam 88), Howson, Clayton, Snodgrass, Keogh, McCormack (Nunez 77).

 

Aldershot Town:

Young, Herd, Jones, Morris, Straker, Vincenti (McGlashan 65), Collins, Guttridge, Hylton (Pulis 90), Taylor (Rankine 55), Rodman.

 

Nottingham Forest:

Camp, Gunter, Morgan, Chambers, Cohen, Majewski (Derbyshire 64), Boateng (Lynch 58), Greening, McGugan (Reid 64), Miller, Findley.

 

Portsmouth:

Ashdown, Mokoena, Pearce, Halford, Ben-Haim, Lawrence, Mullins, Norris, Varney, Huseklepp (Ward 78), Mwaruwari (Futacs 83).

 

11_09_17 Millwall v. WHU 11_09_17 Millwall v. WHU

Millwall:

Forde, Dunne, Stewart, Robinson, Ward, Bouazza (Simpson 64), Trotter, Mkandawire (N'Guessan 87), Abdou, Feeney (Henry 64), Marquis.

 

Peterborough United:

Jones, Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock, Frecklington (Kearns 90), McCann, Tunnicliffe (Tomlin 46), Sinclair, Boyd, Rowe, Tomlin (Taylor 75).

 

Ipswich Town:

Stockdale, Edwards, Collins, Sonko, Cresswell, Andrews, Bullard, Leadbitter, Bowyer, Chopra (Delaney 90), Scotland (Ellington 85).

 

Crystal Palace;

Speroni, Parr, McCarthy, Gardner, Moxey, Williams (Scannell 66), Jedinak, Wright, Ambrose (Ramage 70), Murray, Zaha (Easter 84).

 

Blackpool:

Gilks, Baptiste, Evatt, Hill, Crainey, Shelvey (LuaLua 73), Southern, Ferguson, Ince (Ormerod 72), Kevin Phillips (Bogdanovic 73), Taylor-Fletcher.

 

Southampton:

Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Do Prado (De Ridder 86), Hammond, Schneiderlin, Chaplow (Harding 74), Connolly (Cork 82), Lambert.

 

Brighton & Hove Albion:

Harper, Greer, Dunk, Painter, Jara Reyes, Sparrow (Buckley 71), Dicker (Harley 82), Bridcutt, Noone, Mackail-Smith, Barnes (Hoskins 59).

 

Leicester City:

Schmeichel, Peltier, St. Ledger, Bamba, Konchesky, King, Wellens, Abe, Beckford (Howard 55), Vassell (Dyer 45), Nugent, Dyer (Johnson 73).

 

Bristol City:

James, Skuse, Fontaine, Cisse (Wilson 81), McGivern, Adomah, Elliott, Kilkenny, Nyatanga, Woolford (Bolasie 67), Maynard (Clarkson 87).

 

Hull City:

Gulacsi, Rosenior, Chester, Hobbs, Dudgeon, Evans, McKenna, Koren, Fryatt, Adebola (Brady 61), Mclean.

 

Coventry City:

Murphy, Christie (Wood 80), Keogh, Cranie, Hussey, Clingan, Bigirimana, Thomas, McSheffrey (Baker 76), Jutkiewicz, Platt.

 

Derby County:

Fielding, Brayford (O'Brien 77), Barker (Hendrick 76), Shackell, Roberts, Green, Bryson, Bailey, Ben Davies, Ward (Doyle 79), Priskin.

 

Middlesbrough:

Steele, McMahon, Bates, McManus, Bennett, Haroun, Bailey (Ogbeche 74), Rhys Williams (Arca 84), Zemmama (Nimely 84), Emnes, McDonald.

 

Burnley:

Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Stanislas (Vokes 69), Bartley, Marney, McCann, Treacy (Wallace 58), Rodriguez.

 

Reading:

Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe (Robson-Kanu 88), Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Le Fondre, Hunt (Church 65).

 

Barnsley:

Steele, Wiseman, Edwards, McNulty, McEveley, Ranger (Haynes 67), Perkins, Addison, Vaz Te (O'Brien 66), Butterfield, Davies.

 

Birmingham City:

Myhill, Spector, Caldwell, Ibanez, Murphy, Burke, N'Daw, Fahey, Beausejour (Redmond 70), King, Wood (Zigic 56).

 

Derby County:

Fielding, Brayford, Barker, Shackell, Roberts, Green, Bailey, Bryson, Ward (Davies 73), Tyson (Robinson 46), Ball (Buxton 90).

 

Sam Allardyce was appointed as the new manager and his first signings were four of his old Bolton players, midfielders Kevin Nolan and Matt Taylor, together with defenders Joey O'Brien and Abdoulaye Faye. The aim this season was to gain promotion at the first attempt, so it was a shock to lose 1-0 in the opening home game against Cardiff City. The side then bounced back with successive away wins at Doncaster Rovers and Watford. The League Cup brought another setback when League Two side Aldershot came to the Boleyn Ground and won 2-1. There were further signings with the acquisition of forwards John Carew, David Bentley and Sam Baldock together with midfielder Henri Lansbury and full-back Guy Demel. Leaving West Ham - to the dismay of the fans - was Scott Parker, who joined rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The side started to adjust to life in the Championship and the goals began to flow. A 4-1 win at Nottingham Forest was followed by a 4-3 home victory against Portsmouth. Sam Baldock scored twice in the 4-0 thrashing of Blackpool as the side moved into second place. The good form continued through November with four successive victories and despite three defeats in December the Hammers went into the New Year in second place.

West Ham fielded a weakened side at Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup and lost 1-0 to the League One side. Two more league games were won before the Hammers slumped to their worst defeat of the season in losing 5-1 away to Ipswich Town. This was a wake-up call, and the Hammers responded by going on an 11-game unbeaten run, including victories against Millwall and Blackpool playing with ten men. Going into April the side were on top form, beating Barnsley 4-0 away and Brighton 6-0 at home, where Vaz Te scored a hat trick.

Finishing in third place, they qualified to play Cardiff City in the playoffs. Two goals from Jack Collison at Cardiff saw the Hammers win 2-0 in the first leg. Back at home in the second leg the Hammers cruised to a 3-0 victory and now looked forward to the playoff final with Blackpool at Wembley. Promotion to the Premier League was achieved as goals from Cole and Vaz Te gave the Hammers a 2-1 win before their 40,000 delirious fans. The pride was back at West Ham as they prepared for a return to the big time.