West Ham 4-2 Reading: Sloppy Royals punished

West Ham captain Nolan finished the season with a hat trick - Matthew Lewis

Despite a spirited second half comeback, Nigel Adkins' side ended their Premier League season with a defeat, thanks to a Nolan hat trick and Vaz Te strike.

The final game of the season was played away at Upton Park, where they're apparently "forever blowing bubbles". The Royals briefly popped their bubbles but it wasn't to be final day celebrations as Nolan hammered home the win late on.

Nigel Adkins surprisingly named Kaspars Gorkss in the starting line-up, with his loan at Wolves coming to an end. Mariappa dropped to the bench and Harte was left out.

The match started with West Ham in the ascendency, with Carroll volleying inches over in the second minute. Pograbnyak, perhaps the biggest flop of the season, had a header saved by Jaaskelainen and then failed to connect with a drilled cross shortly after.

In the 14th minute West Ham countered Reading effectively, only to be denied by a superb Stephen Kelly tackle when a goal looked certain. Carroll skied a header into Row Z before Guthrie had a pop from range, only to see it go a foot or so wide.

The opening goal came as a result of England's latest call-up Alex McCarthy's error, who had a poor attempted clearance hit Carroll and bounce to Nolan, who had the simple task of stroking the ball home.

McCarthy redeemed himself for his error with a superb save close to the half hour mark. It wasn't long before West Ham had their second, the impressive Andy Carroll flicked the ball on to set up Vaz Te in the area with a good finish into the bottom corner of the net.

The half time whistle went and it looked bad for the Royals, who looked sloppy and were making several mistakes in possession. It looked a side that were still getting used to the change in playing style.

Adam Le Fondre and Nick Blackman were on in place of Pavel Pogrebnyak and Hal Robson-Kanu.

The second half started brightly for the Royals, with some good possession play and a new spark to the side. It was in the 53rd minute that McCleary smashed home from the edge of the area. Just minutes later super-sub Adam Le Fondre equalised after a good pull back by fellow substitute Nick Blackman.

Chances fell to Blackman and McCleary but it was to be West Ham who took the lead once more, with Carroll feeding Noble who in turn played in Nolan, who finished with just over ten minutes left.

With five minutes to go, Nolan completed his hat trick with a header after Maiga was given all the time in the world to pick his spot for the cross.

Sam Allardyce's men ended the season unbeaten in five; while Reading ended the season being punished for their sloppy defending and toothless attack - much like the rest of the season.

Adkins will have already started planning for next season; we can only hope that it is nothing like this season we've witnessed.

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