Date: 2nd October 2006 at 2:03pm
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WEST HAM: Carroll, Spector, Dailly, Gabbidon, Konchesky,Benayoun, Mullins, Reo-Coker (Harewood 85), Etherington,Cole (Zamora 72), Tevez (Sheringham 71).
Subs Not Used: Green, Mascherano.

READING: Hahnemann, De la Cruz, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey,Ki-Hyeon (Hunt 79), Harper, Sidwell, Convey (Gunnarsson 77),Lita (Long 67), Doyle.
Subs Not Used: Stack, Bikey.

Reading fans with long memories were delirious after this match as a goal out of ‘Roy Of The Rovers’ heaped more pressure on their former manager Alan Pardew.

There certainly was no love lost between them and Alan Pardew, and after a stunning goal inflicted a fifth straight defeat on struggling West Ham at Upton Park, the Hammers manager had to face the flak.

Pardew couldn’t have woke up to worse headlines, hearing he would be replaced by Portugal manager Luiz Felipe Scolari if a takeover of the club went ahead. But let’s be honest here, he has hardly helped his cause in recent weeks.

The stats do not make pleasant reading for West Ham fans, not having not won since the opening day of the season, and Pardew can hardly say he hasn’t been backed with heavy finance. The board (just like the fans) want results, and the gaffa will today find himself the favourite to be the next Premiership manager to get the boot.

West Ham have not scored in 488 minutes of football and are yet to keep clean sheet all campaign.

It took the Reading fans one minute and 19 seconds to goad their ex-manager, when Seol Ki-Hyeon turned Yossi Benayoun inside out and beat Roy Carroll with a drive from 25 yards. It was so good even some Hammers fans thought about applauding. You could almost hear Benayoun saying: ‘Go on … try a dig from there … Carroll will have it in his back pocket’.

Unfortunatelly, he did … and Carroll didn’t!

For newly-promoted Reading, they held the mighty Manchester United last week, and this was a fourth successive Premiership game unbeaten.

Pardew’s decision to leave Reading for West Ham in 2003 reached the door of the High Court before a compensation deal was settled. The West Ham fans took a long time to take to the man, but after promotion and of course last season’s charge up the Premiership and FA Cup final, everything has seemed happy in the camp. Until now.

Things have gone sour but not the fault can be laid at Pardew’s door – he only has four fit defenders in the squad.

The Hammers dominated the game but were largely restricted to long-range efforts from Carlos Tevez, Jonathan Spector and Hayden Mullins.

Tevez created plenty of opportunities from deep but West Ham were impotent in front of goal. Even when Pardew made changes for the last 20 minutes luck abandoned them.

Matthew Etherington’s low cross from the left flew inches ahead of Bobby Zamora’s despairing dive and Benayoun’s looped effort was cleared off the line by Reading’s Steve Sidwell.

Pardew sent on Teddy Sheringham and Zamora for Tevez and Cole but it was Benayoun who came closest to rescuing a point. But Sidwell cleared the Israeli’s looped effort from under his own bar.