Reading 0 West Ham United 3

Saturday, 1st September 2007
by Jacob Steinberg

Reading were never in more danger of conceding in this game than when they were in West Ham’s half. Foolish as that may sound, they consistently left themselves open to the swift counter attacks of the away side- and the acres of space were eagerly capitalised upon by Matthew Etherington and Craig Bellamy.

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Player Ratings

Robert Green
A comfortable game mostly for Green. He relieved pressure during aerial onslaughts and made up for his foul by saving Doyle?EUR(TM)s penalty.

Lucas Neill
Poor against Bristol Rovers, he was a strong presence yesterday. Adds a bit of nastiness to the side- but he can defend as well.

George McCartney
Desperate to show there was no need for a new left-back, he defended well and attacked with ambition.

Anton Ferdinand
Imperious. He was woeful in last year?EUR(TM)s 6-0 and scored an own goal. No chance of that yesterday. Lita was in his back pocket.

Matthew Upson
Rarely troubled on the ground, but Doyle is not an easy striker to contend with. Upson thrived on the challenge.

Hayden Mullins
In the absence of Parker and Dyer, he?EUR(TM)s been given a chance to make his mark. A bustling display suggests he?EUR(TM)s getting back to his best.

Mark Noble
Not eye-catching but endeavoured to ensure Reading stamped no authority and his passing was quietly effective.

Lee Bowyer
Followed up last week?EUR(TM)s goal with a decent, industrious performance. Missed a sitter but set up Bellamy?EUR(TM)s goal well.

Matthew Etherington
Well. Fantastic. Two great goals, took the full-back on, full of running. Even got a knock and got up straight away.

Craig Bellamy
I was initially unsure but this has won me over. Pace in abundance and got what he needed- service. Good finish and a good assist for Etherington?EUR(TM)s first.

Dean Ashton
His first start and understandably rusty. But he was better than Zamora and we need that. Looks like he can build an intelligent and dangerous partnership with Bellamy. Booked for doing up his shoe laces, the ingrate. Needs match fitness.


Carlton Cole
(replaced Ashton, 64) On for Ashton, he was average- which is a compliment. It got to his head a bit and he tried a backheel to Etherington. It was interesting.

Jonathan Spector
(replaced Bowyer, 81) Play him in the hole, we?EUR(TM)ll reap the benefits.

Luis Boa Morte
(replaced Bellamy, 90) On too late to make any impression.

Richard Wright
Did not play.

Danny Gabbidon
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Robert Green, Lucas Neill, George McCartney, Anton Ferdinand, Matthew Upson, Hayden Mullins, Mark Noble, Lee Bowyer, Matthew Etherington, Craig Bellamy, Dean Ashton.

Goals: Craig Bellamy 6 Matthew Etherington 48 Matthew Etherington 90              .

Booked: Robert Green 55          .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Duberry, Fae, Harper, Gunnarson, Hunt, Lita, Doyle.

Subs not used: Federici, Bikey.

Goals: .

Booked: None booked..

Sent off: None.

Referee: H.Webb.

Attendance: 23,533.

Man of the Match: Craig Bellamy.