Stoke v West Ham - Live!

02 May 2009 02:05
And that's it! A Diego Tristan freekick has claimed the three points for West Ham and a superb chance for European football next season. Stoke should be safe but will have an anxious wait to see if they can stay afloat in the Premier League having failed to get to the magic 40-points mark.

90+6 We're going into the sixth minute of stoppage time as Kovac is down getting treatment on his ankle.

90+5 But that's surely it, Fuller has his back to goal and his effort is blocked, Stoke try to revive the attack but a misplaced pass gives West Ham time to regroup.

90+5 Its last chance saloon for Stoke as Lawrence surges forward with the ball. Whelan gets the ball and wins a thrown down the right.

90+4 Another fabulous chance for Fuller as he leaves the goal gaping from six yards out and spanks it over!

90+3 Tristan has a glorious chance to settle the game and goes for an audacious chip over the advancing keeper which goes past the post. Sear was unmarked and may have been the better option.

90+2 Shawcross is flagged offside as he leaps to connect with a Liam Lawrence cross towards the backpost. The defender's header sailed over hte bar anyway.

90+1 Five minutes are to be added on - can Stoke make this massive amount of time count??

89 Sonko emulates Delap with a powerful throw into the box. Kovac gets the ref's decision as Whelan is deemed the villain for an infringement on the Hammers midfielder.

88 A break in play gives Sears chance to come onto the pitch for Di Michele.

87 Sonko comes on for Stoke as youngster Freddie Sears gets warming up on the bench ready to come on.

87 Walter Lopez comes on for the impressive Noble.

87 Lawrence and Di Michele have a few handbags as the Italian blocks the winger from getting in a quick throw.

87 As Olifinjana's touch gets away from him in the box, West Ham break.

86 Upson hooks away the following corner for Delap to throw in.

86 Good work from Lawrence sees the winger win a corner for his troubles which he takes and lofts it towards the backpost. Kovac gets in before Faye to give away another corner.

85 Etherington drives in a teasing ball into the box but again the strikers don't seem to be anticipating the cross.

84 Collison gets his first couple of touches in the game and skins one defender to play the ball into midfield.

83 The ball boys are in on helping Delap clean of the ball now as the ref seems to have banned towels!!

82 Green comes out to claim a Delap throw and after a few hot potato moments, the keeper managers to gather.

81 Jack Collison comes on for West Ham's first sub of the game as Boa Morte leaves the field.

80 Lucas Neill gets a booking for time wasting.

79 Kovac goes down hoping for a foul and I think everyone thought it was as the only person to react to the looseball was Faye, however Green was equal to it and got down well to deny the midfielder.

78 Stoke have another throw and Delap's launch meets the head of Fuller but the striker heads over after struggling to get direction on the ball.

77 Stoke fail to capitalise on their amount of pressure - this game is far from over though.

76 Boa Morte does well to challenge the fourth corner and Delap gets a throw.

75 Green goes down from the set-piece to have another corner. Relentless pressure from the home side sees them get another corner for their fourth which is driven in by Lawrence.

74 Faye's header is cleared off the line from Mark Noble. Good header from the Stoke big man as they get another corner.

74 Etherington's cross is charged down by Neill for the corner.

73 Double substitution from Stoke as Henri Camara replaces Beattie and Pugh goes off for Olofinjana.

72 Faye and Shawcross try to put Green off from the resulting freekick but the keeper does fantastically well to collect calmly.

71 Neill gives away a freekick as Etherington goes down on the left.

70 Terrible counter attack from West Ham, they failed to capitalise on a looseball as Tristan and Di Michele both had glorious chances to set up an effort on goal, both failed!

69 Stanislas has a superb chance to put the game to bed as a fantastic run from Lucas Neill down the right sees the defender cut the ball back, a deflection finds its way to an unmarked Stanislas but he blazes well over.

68 Wilkinson hampers a promising West Ham attack and nips in to take charge of a Tristan backheel down the left.

67 Di Michele hastily gives away the ball just as the Hammers work hard to retain possession.

66 Decent chance for Lawrence at the backpost as Delap's throw isn't properly dealt with, however the right midfielder can't get a clean hit on the ball.

66 Great defending from Lucas Neill as his perfectly timed tackle denies Fuller a fre run at goal.

65 Di Michele's misplaced pass breaks down the flow of a good West Ham move on the edge of City's box but they still have the ball, however nothing comes from the good possession in the end.

64 Stoke are beginning to enjoy some more pressure now and string a few passes together.

63 Lawrence is screaming for a handball decision as he connects with a volley from Delap's throw - the effort could have been going in but Stanislas blocks - not sure it was an intentional handball though, infact it looks like its rolled up off his chest and goes out.

62 Fuller hobbles back on just in time for a Delap special down the left.

61 Fuller is back on his feet but groggily walks off for treatment as Stoke take the freekick 40 yards out.

60 Upson crunches into Fuller in a late tackle. The Jamaican stays down clutching his shin.

59 Fuller fires in a snap shot on the bounce from 25 yards out as he curls his foot too far around the ball and drags it wide. Half-chance.

58 Faye has taken a knock to the head during his jinking run and hardwork but he shakes it off (not the head, just the injury) and carries on regardless.

57 The game's getting a bit scrappy with challenges flying in from everywhere. Faye clams down play and works hard to push the ball out of his side's final third.

56 The strangest of screams - almost cat-like - comes from the mouth of Boa Morte as Pugh challenges the forward!

56 Shawcross looks like he's struggling with an injury but waves away treatment.

55 Green has a bit of a flap at a lofted ball into the box, having to parry it downwards before collecting the second time around.

55 The Hammers are caught in possession as Delap goes for an ambitious strike from 35 yards out but he loses his footing and the effort is dragged wide.

54 Delap strides into the West Ham half once more and lays it to Etherington who plays the ball into Whelan - but the attack breaks down as the midfielder overhits the throughball.

53 Finally a dangerous throw from Delap but nobody gets on the end of it! All it needed was the slightest of touches from the big two for Stoke but no-one anticipated it.

52 Shawcross takes the ball on the halfway line. The ball falls to Pugh down the left and the former Manchester United man forces a throw-in.

51 Ironic cheers go around the stadium as Delap wins a freekick!

51 West Ham are pressurising well and win the ball back in midfield, Stoke are sloppy in some of their play at the moment.

50 Easily gathered by Green once more as Delap lofts the ball too close to the England keeper.

49 Whelan breaks and plays a ball into the box, Ilunga gets to it first and the ball eventually bobbles out down the right for a Stoke throw - any guesses who'll take it?!?

48 Kovac plays a blind ball back to Tomkins as Fuller nips in but the young centre-back recovers well.

47 Stoke gather the ball and launch it straight up the field to Fuller and Beattie but United clear.

46 West Ham have started well again and are getting the tricky Stanislas on the ball early.

46 We're off for the second half and Tristan has a go from the halfway line! Cheeky .

Remember to keep sending in your thoughts of the season so far and how you think today's game will go. Are The Potters' faithful hopeful of a quick revival? Do the Hammers fans want more goals to put the tie to bed? Let me know at:

Sky Bet odds have slightly changed and are now 7/5 for the Stoke win, 12/5 for the Draw and a West Ham victory remains at 21/10.

Diego Tristan's superb freekick separates the two sides as the Hammers go into the interval ahead. Both sides have had goals disallowed as Fuller was adjudged to have fouled Robert Green in the box and a West Ham handball which led to Di Michele firing home was also not given.

46+1 Lawrence gets a booking after the winger goes down in the penalty box - but on the replay it looks like the Stoke man has made a meal of an Upson challenge.

46 Boa Morte is in the thick of the action again as a Beattie freekick breaks down and West Ham go on the attack. The Portuguese winger gets forced wide though and didn't take advantage of West Ham's 4 v 2 situation.

45 Players surround Boa Morte and Delap after a forceful challenge from the West Ham man. Delap reacts and kicks out at Boa Morte. Peter Walton has a word with his linesman and both players go into the book.

44 Boa Morte cuts inside from the right to capitalise on uber amounts of space Stoke have left the winger, but rather than spread the play but he goes for a speculative effort and fires wide.

43 Etherington has the ball and tries to feed in Fuller down the right but Neill gathers and goes on the attack.

42 The Hammers' forwards are causing Stoke problems at the back with some great movement up top.

41 West Ham are starting to string a few passes together. The flag is raised from a Lucas Neill throughball into the box as Di Michele connects late and fires over, but he's deemed offside.

40 Green receives treatment but is back on his feet.

39 The touch just gets ahead of Fuller as the striker launches himself in desperation to latch onto an Etherington throughball. Green is brave and dives in to save the danger, superb keeping - but he gets a Fuller kneecap in the face for his troubles.

38 West Ham are continuing to press as Tristan cuts inside on the left and spansk an effort towards goal, great block by Stoke.

37 Di Michele has the ball in the middle of the box but rather than striking the ball first time, the Italian lays it into Stanislas' path down the left however the ball is overhit and goes for a goalkick.

36 Etherington is up for this game against his former club as he gets back again to help his fullback and covers.

35 Can Stoke get back in early? Well Delap seems to think so as he piles into the West Ham final third and takes a couple of searching throw-ins, but Kovac easily clears.

34 Di Michele could've made it 2-0 as Stanislas back heels it to the Italian forward who tries a powerful effort first time just inside the box - the strike just blazes over.

33 GOAL TRISTAN!!! Pure class of a freekick from Diego Tristan. The big striker whips it into the far corner, quality set-piece and West Ham are ahead!

32 Faye gives away a freekick as Noble and Tristan step over the ball just outside of the box.

31 Neill plays a great ball to Ilunga on the left as the fullback tries to cut into the box, Stoke do well under pressure and clear.

30 Stoke are playing the ball around nicely and trying to turn defence into attack.

29 Etherington fails to make anything from the resulting freekick just before the halfway line and the Hammers go on the attack - its a very stop-start game at the moment.

29 Neill and Bao Morte both lean into Pugh who was surging down the left, the foul is given.

28 Fuller gets a warning for a push on the halfway line as West Ham regroup.

27 The visitors are trying to calm play down by passing amongst their defence. Tomkins spreads to Stanislas who looks dangerous down the left. He lays it into Di Michele but play breaks down.

26 What an opportunity for Faye to head a Lawrence corner home - I think he expected Shawcross to get on the end of the ball and meets it late heading well over the bar. Should've been 1-0 Stoke.

25 Green goes for a clearance and plants the ball into the Stoke fans for a throw in. Fuller eventually gets the ball and powers into the box after some good skill to force a corner.

24 Great cross from Lawrence but nobody reacts quick enoug. The ball falls to Etherington who aims a good ball into the bonce of Beattie but again the Hammers clear.

23 Delap strides over to take the throw in deep into the United half on the left, he launches another effort into the box and West Ham do well to clear.

22 Di Michele looks dangerous, he's trying to use his speed to good affect but just needs a few better passes into his feet to cause any problems.

21 West Ham can break after Stoke commit players forward but a lofted ball from Stanislas goes straight into Sorensen's arms.

21 Pugh gives the ball away but Delap is on hand to take the ball from Di Michele's toes who was just about to stride towards the Stoke goal.

20 Shawcross again is the target man for Rory Delap's throw but the on-loan defender heads over.

19 Delap plays a superbly weighted throughball to Etherington who tries to get in behind the West Ham back line, he only had Beattie to aim for and gets a throw.

19 Stoke have a freekcik about 40 yards out, Lawrence takes aiming for the big man Shawcross, West Ham spring highest and clear the danger.

18 Stanislas lifts in a good ball into the box, it goes all the way to Boa Morte down the right but Stoke clear.

17 West Ham are continuing to attack well, especially down the left flank, but Stoke are remaining stalward in their defence and hardly giving the Hammers any time on the ball.

16 Tristan has a snap shot on the edge of the box, it takes the slightest of deflections off Faye and Sorensen collects.

16 Ilunga's getting forward well for the Hammers and is linking up play between midfield and Tristan especially who looks lively.

15 Neill coolly chests the ball back to his keeper after hoards of pressure by Beattie running in at the backpost.

14 Both sides are opening out the game with their attacking play - it looks like it will be an eventful afternoon for the two shot-stoppers.

13 Its West Ham's turn to have the ball in the net as Diego Tristan goes to chest the ball but it ricochets off his hand into the path of Di Michele, the forward fires into the net but Peter Walton had already blown for the handball.

12 On the replay it looks like Green has misjudged the flight of the ball so the goal should've stood - at least that's what a chorus of Stoke City fans feel as they boo every West Ham pass.

11 The balls in the net from Fuller after he goes up with Green to latch onto a Delap long throw. The striker's challenge doesn't look too harsh as he knees the ball into the net but the ref gives Green the benefit of the doubt.

11 Beattie goes down under a challenge from Tomkins as the striker looks to go past the defender but gets obstructed along the way - however Peter Walton waves play on.

10 There's the first chance as Fuller stretches for a teasing cross but Green gathers. The Jamaican practically had a free header.

9 I feel privileged as I've just received an email from "the king of the bling" Mark from Southend-on-sea who says: "I am West Ham season ticket holder and I predict The Potters are going to bag this one. The irons have lost a lot of key players towards the end of this season and I feel the will struggle away 2-1 stoke."

8 A mix-up with Green and Tomkins means the defender has to think quick and play the ball out for a throw-in.

7 It looks like that challenge from Etherington has resulted in the tricky winger picking up a painful injury, he's down for treatment on his right leg.

6 Luis Boa Morte wriggles free from his man but Etherington has the pace to cover and pressures the forward to rush a cross.

5 Sorensen has the ball and clears deep into the Hammers' half, Lawrence tries to jink past his man but United clear.

4 Upson gets his first touch of the ball by launching it out of play right on the halfway line.

3 Both sides are getting stuck in early and not giving each other a minute on the ball

2 Etherington gets floored for the freekick down the left flank, Lawrence curls in a lofted effort but its easy for Green

1 West Ham are looking good on the ball but Stoke are pressuring them as soon as the first touch goes in.

And we're off! Can Stoke claim the vital win which should ensure their Premier League status for next season, can the Hammers push on for Europe, can Ricardo Fuller stay on the pitch and try not to slap his own players?! Let's wait and see.

Three minutes until kick-off, keep those emails coming in and I'll put the best ones up for all to see!

Early doors we have a score prediction and thoughts from Hammers fan Mike who is glad to see Czech midfielder Kovac in the starting XI and fancies a 2-1 win over The Potters with Di Michele to bag the glory and Beattie to snag a late consolation!

In a season where both sides have majorly impressed, I'm wondering what the fans think of the league campaign so far, the team selections and the changes made for today's game. Are you City fans 'potty' to see Beattie return to the fray? Do you happy Hammers think it is going to be a worthwhile trip to the Britannia? Let me know at:

Stoke have had a major boost in their bid to reach the magical 40-point mark with the return of striker James Beattie from a thigh injury. He is one of two changes to the team that lost to Fulham last weekend. Andy Wilkinson is also included after a shaking off a back problem, as Richard Cresswell and Stephen Kelly step down to the bench.

Stoke are aiming to stretch their unbeaten home league record to eight games and cement their place in the top flight.

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has made one change to the side that went down to Chelsea as Radoslav Kovac is preferred to Kieron Dyer at the Britannia Stadium.

West Ham line-up: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Boa Morte, Noble, Kovac, Stanislas, Tristan, Di Michele. Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, Spector, Sears, Collison, Payne and Hines.

Stoke line-up: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye. Pugh, Lawrence, Whelan, Delap, Etherington, Fuller and Beattie. Subs: Simonsen, Olofinjana, Cresswell, Kelly, Tonge, Camara and Sonko.

Sky Bet odds are: Stoke win 5/4, Draw 12/5, Hammers win 21/10.

Welcome to today's live Premier League clash as West Ham travel to Stoke. Follow our minute-by-minute commentary and send in your thoughts on how you think the game will go:

Source: SKY_Sports