Filed: Friday, 13th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham will be just three points away from the automatic promotion places should they beat Brighton at the Boleyn Ground tomorrow afternoon.
Reading's remarkable run continued at St Mary's this evening as they brushed aside Nigel Adkins' Southampton 3-1 - a result that takes the Royals three points clear at the top of the Championship table, despite having been under the cosh for the majority of the game.
The win means that Brian McDermott's side need just four points from their remaining three games to be absolutely certain of promotion to the Premier League - but it was a result that also gives West Ham a lifeline in the race for automatic promotion.
Southampton, who have led the table for most of the season are currently six points ahead of West Ham albeit having played a game more. And Sam Allardyce's side have the opportunity to halve that gap when they face the Seagulls at the Boleyn tomorrow afternoon.
The Saints, who were promoted from League One last season have now won just one of their last four fixtures, having been thrashed 3-0 at Blackpool on March 31st before conceding a last minute equaliser at home to deadly rivals Portsmouth that cost them a further two points.
Sandwiched between those games and tonight's defeat was a 2-0 win at a woefully out-of-form at Crystal Palace.
Unfortunately for West Ham, Southampton's superior goal difference - +34 compared to United's +25 - could yet be worth an extra point come the end of the season, meaning that two wins from their final three games of the season - away to Peterborough and Middlesbrough then at home to Coventry - will, bar a miracle, be enough to see them promoted.
However the Saints' recent disappointing form, combined with a win for West Ham against Brighton tomorrow could mean that their return to the Premier League is not quite the foregone conclusion it appeared to be just a week ago.
Benitez, Noble, Lyall and Cole: Monday's news [18th May 2015]
€15m price tag slapped on Hammers target [14th May 2015]
Our fate in Liverpool's hands [5th May 2015]
West Ham's wage bill in the comfort zone [29th Apr 2015]
Sears, Song, Allardyce and Cresswell: Friday's news [24th Apr 2015]
Allardyce: 'nervous' players have let themselves down [17th Apr 2015]
West Ham register 12 point improvement on last term [31st Mar 2015]
In brief - Sunday's news round-up [22nd Mar 2015]
'Not good enough' Zarate failing to prove Allardyce wrong [20th Mar 2015]
by Stoyan Deckoff
06:10AM 14th Apr 2012
''I think this result was the best possible from tonight's game. If one of these teams is going to slip, this is Southampton, IMHO. Still, we need to win all four games!''
10:23PM 13th Apr 2012
''Goal difference will make no difference, West Ham will draw with Brighton tomorrow. WH will be five behind with three to play... Last day at home to Coventry may end up deciding... Squeaky bum time!''
09:36PM 13th Apr 2012
''Dream on. Not taking into account WHU's poor recent form. Dream on.''
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