Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by minute live commentary below.
Hello and welcome to Sports Mole’s live minute-by-minute text commentary of the Premier League clash between Reading and West Ham United. The match kicks off at 3pm and promises to be an interesting one, so stay on this page for all the action as it happens.
Heading into the game at the Madejski Stadium, Reading find themselves second from bottom with just 10 points from 19 matches.
On the other hand, the Royals’ visitors, West Ham, are 12th in the standings with 23 points but with a game in hand.
Team news coming up now...
Reading Starting Lineup: Federici; Gunter, Harte, Mariappa, Pearce; Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Kebe; Guthrie; Pogrebnyak
Reading Subs: Taylor, Cummings, Morrison, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Le Fondre
West Ham United Starting Lineup: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Reid, Collins, O'Brien, Noble, O'Neil, Nolan, Taylor, Jarvis, Cole
West Ham United Subs: Spiegel, Demel, Spence, Diarra, Collison, Vaz Te, Maiga
So the big team news for Reading is that they have none! Brian McDermott’s side are unchanged from the lineup that drew 0-0 with Swansea City at home on Boxing Day, meaning that Danny Guthrie will start his second successive match for the Royals.
West Ham too are unchanged from the side that lost 2-1 to Everton on December 22.
It’s just over 40 minutes to kickoff at Madejski Stadium to what promises to be an interesting match between two sides desperate for a win.
Reading will be slightly more confident than West Ham perhaps, as they put an end to their seven-game losing streak on Wednesday when they drew 0-0 with Swansea City. Manager Brian McDermott will be pleased that his side kept a clean in that match that was utterly dominated by the Swans.
McDermott is also confident that Reading will survive the drop from the Premier League this season despite a poor performance in the first half of the campaign. He said: “We have got to do whatever we have to to get results. I've learned a lot about this league in 19 games. In the Championship we tried to win every single game because we wanted to entertain, but our fans want to see points and results. The players want points - we try to get three points from every game - but we're all sensible because we don't want to lose.”
McDermott continued: “We have got to be resilient as a group and a team. It is obvious we can't be giving four or five goals away at home. It is a better place to play from. In the last three seasons we have had relative success. We have been to a playoff final, two quarter-finals and we won promotion. At the moment it is tough but the fans have stuck with the players and I am grateful they have stuck with me. They saw real fight and spirit from the players against Swansea.”
More from McDermott: “People talk to me about history and positions in the table, points and what have you, but it's irrelevant. With 19 games to go this is definitely doable for us. We enjoy and relish the challenge. We can do this.''
Interesting there from McDermott, who will have just Pavel Pogrebnyak as his only striker this afternoon. Perhaps he will initially set out to play a cautious game and then become more adventurous as the match progresses.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce too will play with just one upfront - Carlton Cole being the chosen one as his red card against Everton was overturned. The Hammers have scored just five goals away from home in the Premier League this season, so they might be gunning for a draw at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.
It will also be curious to see how Allardyce reacts to refereeing decisions today. Big Sam has been critical of the officials’ performance this season. He said recently: "There's not enough referees. If there's more referees, there's more competition. If there's more competition there's more competition for your game."
Allardyce continued: “A referee hates not refereeing on a Saturday. The biggest punishment for a referee is not to be refereeing on a Saturday - like a player not to be playing. They love it. They enjoy doing what they're doing. They're professional now and they're full-time. But if we have more high quality numbers and more professional referees, and you look at fatigue, which I think there's a problem now. I don't think a referee can be rested or left out at the moment, and that's one of the problems."
Time for some interesting stats now, as we approach kickoff time (3pm). Reading have won five of the last seven matches against West Ham, having won both their clashes in the Championship in 2011-12.
More interesting facts. Reading have conceded more goals than any other Premier League team this season - 37 goals in 19 matches (almost two every game). That is something that they need to address!
West Ham have picked up more cards than any other Premier League side this campaign (37 yellows and one red).
Want some more interesting facts and stats? Here you go: West Ham have scored only five away goals this season in the Premier League - the fewest of any side in the English top flight. Want to bet that they will fail to score today?
Just over 10 minutes to go before the game between Reading and West Ham United kicks off at the Madejski Stadium. I think it will end in a draw, but you never know, do you?
Just five minutes to kickoff and anticipation is building up. It does not promise too many goals, I will be honest, but it should be an intriguing affair. I predict a 1-1 draw today.
And here we go. The match kicks off!
Reading are looking very enthusiastic and lively in the opening minutes, as Ian Harte’s free kick causes some problems inside the West Ham penalty area.
Good defending there from Harte, as he closes in on Matthew Taylor, who is forced to shoot quickly and sees his effort sail high over the Reading crossbar.
GOAL! Reading 1-0 West Ham United (Pogrebnyak)
Reading go 1-0 up after just five minutes and what a terrible defending that was from West Ham’s James Collins! His truly awful backpass to his goalkeeper sees Pogrebnyak get a free run on goal and place the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will be terribly angry with Collins there, as his side concede after just five minutes. The Hammers already struggle for points and goals on the road and this early goal is only going to make their task more difficult.
The Hammers are pressing on and looking to bounce back immediately, but the Royals are soaking the pressure and keeping the opposition at bay.
An interesting stat... Every time Reading have taken the lead this season, they have failed to win! That is something they will like to avoid today for sure!
West Ham are responding strongly at the Madejski Stadium and have gained two quick free kicks inside the Reading half of the pitch. However, on both occasions they have failed to trouble Adam Federici between the Royals posts. They have control over possession, but are lacking any incisiveness and imagination.
YELLOW CARD Mark Noble is shown the yellow card for a bad challenge on Jimmy Kebe. It was a really awful challenge and needless as well.
Another attack from West Ham fails to yield anything productive. Matthew Jarvis, who has started to get into the game, gallops down the left flank and tries to whip in a cross that is easily cleared away by the Reading defence.
CHANCE! Reading come so close to making it 2-0! A ball over the top releases Kebe down the right. He crosses in, trying to find Pogrebnyak inside the West Ham six-yard box, but it is cleared away with relative ease.
Another free kick to Reading that Harte takes from the right side. He loops it at the far post, but it is eventually cleared by the Hammers defence.
CHANCE! Oh, once again Kebe floats in a cross from the right at the far post after playing a quick one-two with Pogrebnyak, but there is no Reading player there. The home side have come back into the match and are forcing their visitors to drop deep and defend.
We have played the first half of the first half, and it is Reading who lead at the Madejski Stadium. And deservedly so, although their goal was a gift from West Ham United defender James Collins.
CHANCE! West Ham come inches close to restoring parity! Kevin Nolan floats in a delivery that Winston Reid heads towards the Reading goal, but Federici tips it over the crossbar for a corner, which yields nothing for the visitors.
Things are becoming quite intense at the Madejski Stadium, as both sides are testing each other. This is proving to be a competitive game of Premier League football but is lacking class and finesse. Having said that, I should point out that this is a match between a relegation candidate and a mid-table team.
CHANCE! Another good chance for West Ham there! Matthew Taylor is released down the right and he sweeps in a cross on to the path of Carlton Cole, but Federici eventually collects the ball. But there is a collision between him and Alex Pearce, who is down injured at the moment.
Pearce is back on his feet now and will continue. Play resumes at the Madejski Stadium.
Half an hour gone in this match and it is still 1-0 to Reading, thanks to Pavel Pogrebnyak’s strike in the fifth minute. Both sides have had chances to add to the tally, as the game has picked up momentum and become very interesting.
The match has gone a bit pale in the last three or so minutes, but is being evenly contested.
A Harte free kick is delivered from inside the Reading half intended for Jobi McAnuff on the left side, but it is too heavy and the midfielder fails to get to it.
Good defending there from West Ham defender Joey O'Brien, who finds himself surrounded by three Reading players on the left near his penalty area but is still able to pass it back to his goalkeeper Jaaskelainen, who clears the danger with ease.
YELLOW CARD Pavel Pogrebnyak becomes the second player to go into the referee’s book this afternoon for a needless challenge on Winston Reid.
Good goalkeeping from Reading’s Federici. The ball ping-pongs inside his penalty area and finally Kevin Nolan hoops it towards the goal hoping for a West Ham teammate to get a touch, but the 27-year-old makes a cool and important catch.
We are inching towards the half-time interval. This has been a highly competitive match with a number of chances, but has been devoid of any magical moment.
Oh, West Ham were on the verge of conceding another goal, thanks to another horrific backpass! This time it is Reid, who fails to get a proper touch on the ball while playing it back to Jaaskelainen, who is quick enough to shoot it to avert any danger.
Two minutes to half-time at the Madejski Stadium. Still 1-0 to Reading.
CHANCE! Kevin Nolan tries a shot on the turn but Federici makes a good save. Moments later Gary O'Neil tries his luck from 25 yards, but fails to keep his shot on target.
Two minutes of injury time have been awarded here.
YELLOW CARD James Collins is shown the yellow card for his challenge on Pavel Pogrebnyak. The referee had actually played advantage for the challenge to Reading, who are also denied a penalty appeal after Jobi McAnuff goes down under a challenge on the edge of the Hammers’s penalty area.
HALF-TIME: Reading 1-0 West Ham United
It is half-time at the Madejski Stadium where Reading lead West Ham United 1-0, thanks to a fifth-minute goal from Pavel Pogrebnyak, who took advantage of a horrific backpass from James Collins to slot home from close range. It has been a hugely competitive match in which both have created a plethora of chances to add to the scoreline.
So Reading are halfway through to winning only their second Premier League game of the season, while West Ham have 45 minutes to add to their tally of five away goals this campaign.
Let’s go through the stats now. In the first 45 minutes, Reading had just one shot on target from which they scored, just 35% of the possession, one yellow card, no corner kicks and goalkeeper Adam Federici was forced to make two saves.
On the other hand, West Ham took five shots in the opening 45 minutes out of which only two were on target. Allardyce’s side also had one corner kick, 65% of the possession, two yellow cards and goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen did not have a single save to make.
We are just minutes away from the start of the second half. Reading lead West Ham 1-0 from the first half.
The players are out on the pitch now and the second-half action will begin in a matter of moments. It is pouring now in Reading!
And West Ham kick off proceedings in the second half...
It has been a slow start to the second half at the Madejski, as the two sides are getting accustomed to the rain.
It has been a really start to the second half, as both sides are making mistakes, misplacing passes and hardly doing anything productive or creative.
Good defending from Reid, who puts in a great challenge to stave off an attack from Reading that was the brainchild of Kebe.
GOAL!, No, disallowed! Pogrebnyak is sent through on goal by Mikele Leigertwood and he slots it home, but the whistle has already been blown for offside. Correctly.
CHANCE! The Hammers go close for the first time in the second half, as Matthew Jarvis whips in a cross that Carlton Cole turns towards the Reading goal but fails to keep his attempt on target.
SUBSTITUTION West Ham make the first change of the game. Matthew Taylor goes off and on comes Jack Collison.
Reid goes down under a challenge from Pogrebnyak. The Reading striker needs to be careful as he is already on a yellow card. The West Ham players believes that he should have been shown his second yellow card, but the referee is having none of it.
Disappointing in the end from Jem Karacan, who runs down the right wing and puts in a shot that is neither a shot nor a cross. It goes wide without troubling Jaaskelainen at all.
YELLOW CARD Things are heating up at the Madejski. Reading defender Alex Pearce is shown the yellow card for his foul on Kevin Nolan. West Ham, though, fail to create anything from the resulting free kick.
There are too many bad challenges going around at the moment and there is no flow to the game at all, Carlton Cole the latest in a long line of players to have committed a bad challenge. It has been a largely disappointing second half so far. Reading lead West Ham 1-0.
CHANCE! Oh, West Ham create a chance out of nothing and amidst a series of fouls, as Collison whips in a low cross from the right across the face of the Reading goal. All it needed was a touch from a West Ham player, as Federici clears the danger away.
SUBSTITUTION Reading make their first chance of the afternoon. Danny Guthrie is replaced by Noel Hunt.
OFF THE BAR! So, so unlucky for Reading who come literally centimetres from making it 2-0. A good attacking move sees Karacan get the ball from McAnuff and then shoot on goal from just outside the West Ham penalty box. However, his strike comes off the crossbar and from the rebound Kebe strikes high.
SUBSTITUTION Another change for West Ham. Ricardo Vaz Te comes on for Gary O'Neil.
Vaz Te immediately shows what he can do, as he releases Collison, whose cross falls to Jarvis but his eventually volley is cleared.
Less than 20 minutes of normal time remain at the Madejski. Reading lead West Ham 1-0, but it is the visitors who have the upperhand in the match at the moment. The Royals are holding their fort nicely, though.
It seems that Modibo Maíga could be brought on by Allardyce soon as West Ham continue their search for the equaliser.
West Ham have earned a series of free kicks in the last few minutes but have always contrived not to make use of them. Noble’s delivery on the last one is once again poor and Reading have no real problem in clearing it away.
SUBSTITUTION Reading make their second substitution of the match. Hal Robson-Kanu comes on for Jimmy Kebe. 15 minutes of normal time remain.
Reading are going on the defensive mode now. They know that they need to hold on to their slender lead and not try anything adventurous.
YELLOW CARD Ian Harte goes into the referee’s book for his challenge on Noble.
SUBSTITUTION Mark Noble is replaced by Modibo Maíga.
CHANCE! Maiga gets on to the action right from the start as he finds himself at the end of Vaz Te cross-cum-shot, but Chris Gunter puts in a brilliant challenge to put the ball away for a corner.
YELLOW CARD Kevin Nolan is cautioned for a cynical challenge on Robson-Kanu.
CHANCE! How could be miss that! Vaz Te squanders arguably the easiest chance of the second half to equalise for West Ham - he finds himself at the end of a Jarvis delivery but fails with his head just six yards from goal!
Reading push forward on the counterattack with Karacan once again at the heart of it. However, he fails to maintain his momentum and eventually loses the ball.
Three minutes of normal time remain in this match. West Ham are still on top and are desperately pushing forward for the goal that will see them go back to London with a point.
Corner to Reading in the final minute of normal time. Can they score their second goal of the afternoon and bag maximum points at home?
No, they cannot. Reading earn a free kick from that corner but squander it away. Four minutes of injury time have been awarded.
West Ham are failing to move out of their own half at the moment. Reading are controlling possession and territory in the final minutes of this match. That miss from Ricardo Vaz Te seems to have flattened them.
FULL TIME: Reading 1-0 West Ham United
It’s all over at the Madejski Stadium as Reading have defeated West Ham United 1-0. Pavel Pogrebnyak’s goal in the fifth minute proved to be the difference between the two sides. It was a highly competitive match and the second half was hugely intense during which Jem Karacan hit the crossbar for the hosts and Ricardo Vaz Te missed a sitter for the Hammers.
The result means that the Royals have now picked up four points from their last two league matches and have also kept a second successive clean sheet. The win was Reading’s second in the Premier League this season, while West Ham continue their search for their sixth away goal of the campaign.
I hope that you enjoyed our live coverage of the game. Have a good evening. It’s goodbye from me for now.