Simon Church scored two and Alex Pearce one as Reading eased to victory over a West Ham side reduced to nine men.

Joey O'Brien was sent off for two yellow cards in the 65th minute and Pearce made the visitors pay a minute later by scoring from eight yards out.

Substitute Church tapped home Adam Le Fondre's chip for his first before Jack Collison was dismissed for a wild challenge on Jimmy Kebe.

Striker Church nodded home Ian Harte's set-piece to complete the scoring.

West Ham would have gone joint top with Championship leaders Southampton if they had won the match, but were on the backfoot from the start.

Noel Hunt almost gave the Royals the lead early on while Kebe and Jem Karacan also went close to scoring in the first half.

Collison blazed over the bar for the Hammers while Papa Bouba Diop thought he had had poked the ball home but Hunt cleared off the line.

The game's scrappy nature continued into the second half before the match exploded into life after O'Brien tripped the dangerous Jobi McAnuff to earn his second yellow card.

From the free-kick given for O'Brien's offence, Harte's delivery was not cleared properly, McAnuff slipped the ball into Pearce's path and the centre-back side-footed home.

Reading dominated from there onwards and went two up when Church tapped home.

West Ham lost all their shape and discipline and were reduced to nine men when Collison needlessly fouled Kebe.

From the resulting free-kick Church headed home Harte's cross to intensify the misery for the Hammers.

Reading boss Brian McDermott: "We are a team that's trying to evolve and we have done that today to the best team in the division.

"They have a lot of Premiership players in their side and you can see why they win so many away games.

"We are all about the team at Reading and never about the individuals. I try to explain that to players who don't play."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "Unfortunately a loss of control by the players that I haven't seen before in my time here, particularly Joey O'Brien, cost us a result today.

"It's not like him and he's not that sort of character. Then we let the opposition score from the free-kick instead of organising ourselves to see it out to a 0-0 draw.

"I wouldn't really quibble about either sending-off but if Jack Collison went then I think Noel Hunt should have gone. He caught Joey and could easily have broken his foot or leg.

"We are in serious trouble now player-wise and will be struggling to get 11 out."

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (5)

Reading

  • 01 Federici
  • 05 Pearce
  • 17 Gorkss
  • 23 Harte
  • 24 Cummings
  • 04 Karacan Booked
  • 08 Leigertwood
  • 11 McAnuff
  • 14 Kebe (Robson-Kanu - 88' )
  • 09 Le Fondre
  • 10 Hunt Booked (Church - 65' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Andersen
  • 07 Tabb
  • 19 Robson-Kanu
  • 28 Antonio
  • 18 Church

West Ham

  • 01 Green
  • 03 McCartney Booked
  • 05 Tomkins
  • 15 Faye Booked
  • 18 Faubert
  • 20 Demel (O'Brien - 4' Dismissed after an earlier booking )
  • 04 Nolan
  • 10 Collison Dismissed
  • 16 Noble
  • 21 Diop (Cole - 57' )
  • 30 Piquionne (Carew - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 29 Stech
  • 17 O'Brien
  • 09 Cole
  • 11 Carew
  • 19 Sears
Ref: Swarbrick
Att: 24,026

Match Stats

Shots

10 3

On target

5 1

Corners

8 4

Fouls

9 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:08 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +4:29

Shot by Hal Robson-Kanu from 20 yards. Robert Green makes a save.

90:00 +3:49

George McCartney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jem Karacan. Shaun Cummings takes the free kick.

90:00 +1:32

Inswinging corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the left by-line played to the near post, Robert Green makes a save.

90:00 +0:20

Simon Church gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on George McCartney. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.

87:31

Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.

87:31 Substitution

Substitution Jimmy Kebe goes off and Hal Robson-Kanu comes on.

87:31

Foul by Simon Church on Abdoulaye Faye, free kick awarded.

85:12

Ian Harte provided the assist for the goal.

85:12 Goal scored

Goal! - Simon Church - Reading 3 - 0 West Ham Simon Church finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Reading 3-0 West Ham.

83:58

Centre by Ian Harte,

83:58 Dismissal

Dismissal Jack Collison sent from the field by the ref for serious foul play.

81:46

Alex Pearce concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlton Cole. Mark Noble produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.

81:46 Booking

Booking The referee shows Jem Karacan a yellow card for dissent.

81:36

The assistant referee flags for offside against Adam Le Fondre.

79:15

Adam Le Fondre provided the assist for the goal.

79:15 Goal scored

Goal! - Simon Church - Reading 2 - 0 West Ham Simon Church grabs a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Reading 2-0 West Ham.

78:35

Mikele Leigertwood challenges Mark Noble unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Abdoulaye Faye.

77:21

Corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the right by-line played to the near post, Ian Harte has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.

76:33

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Noble on Jimmy Kebe. Shaun Cummings takes the free kick.

74:57

Short corner taken by Jimmy Kebe from the right by-line.

71:39 Substitution

Substitution John Carew is brought on as a substitute for Frederic Piquionne.

70:47

Corner taken by Jobi McAnuff from the left by-line played to the near post.

69:02

Simon Church has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide right of the target.

66:00

Assist by Jobi McAnuff.

66:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Alex Pearce - Reading 1 - 0 West Ham Alex Pearce finds the back of the net with a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Reading 1-0 West Ham.

64:53

Ian Harte crosses the ball in from the free kick, James Tomkins makes a clearance.

64:53 Dismissal

Dismissal The referee shows Joey O'Brien a red card.

64:43

Unfair challenge on Jobi McAnuff by Joey O'Brien results in a free kick.

64:16 Substitution

Substitution Simon Church replaces Noel Hunt.

61:46

Free kick awarded for a foul by Julien Faubert on Ian Harte. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.

61:05

Robert Green takes the free kick.

61:05 Booking

Booking Noel Hunt is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

60:45 Booking

Booking Joey O'Brien is booked.

60:44

Noel Hunt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joey O'Brien.

58:40

The offside flag is raised against Frederic Piquionne. Indirect free kick taken by Adam Federici.

57:13

Noel Hunt concedes a free kick for a foul on George McCartney. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.

56:08 Substitution

Substitution Carlton Cole is brought on as a substitute for Papa Bouba Diop.

55:14

Noel Hunt takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.

52:00

Ian Harte shoots direct from the free kick.

52:00 Booking

Booking George McCartney is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

51:44

Unfair challenge on Jimmy Kebe by George McCartney results in a free kick.

48:11

Corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Joey O'Brien.

46:40

Foul by Adam Le Fondre on Abdoulaye Faye, free kick awarded. James Tomkins takes the direct free kick.

45:40

Kevin Nolan fouled by Kaspars Gorkss, the ref awards a free kick. Jack Collison crosses the ball in from the free kick.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +3:08 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +0:18

Header from close in by Jem Karacan misses to the right of the goal.

42:56

Ian Harte takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Frederic Piquionne.

41:57

Headed effort from deep inside the area by Frederic Piquionne misses to the right of the goal.

40:51

Frederic Piquionne is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.

39:50

Jimmy Kebe challenges George McCartney unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Mark Noble, Shaun Cummings manages to make a clearance.

36:01

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jack Collison from the right by-line, Abdoulaye Faye challenges Ian Harte unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Adam Federici.

34:48

Unfair challenge on Shaun Cummings by Jack Collison results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Adam Federici.

34:07

The offside flag is raised against Noel Hunt. Robert Green takes the indirect free kick.

29:46

Kevin Nolan is caught offside. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.

26:53

Jem Karacan has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.

25:52

Ian Harte takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Kevin Nolan.

23:36

The official flags Jack Collison offside. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.

21:07

Frederic Piquionne is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Adam Federici.

17:26

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Collison on Jem Karacan. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.

16:16

Free kick crossed left-footed by Ian Harte from left wing, Frederic Piquionne manages to make a clearance.

16:16 Booking

Booking The referee shows Abdoulaye Faye a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

16:11

Foul by Abdoulaye Faye on Adam Le Fondre, free kick awarded.

15:31

Mark Noble takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Mikele Leigertwood.

13:53

Ian Harte takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post.

10:59

Corner taken by Jack Collison from the right by-line, clearance by Mikele Leigertwood.

9:18

The referee blows for offside against Noel Hunt. Abdoulaye Faye takes the free kick.

7:26

Foul by Kevin Nolan on Noel Hunt, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Ian Harte from right wing, save by Robert Green.

6:27

Jack Collison is ruled offside. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.

5:09

Jack Collison takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.

4:44

Corner from the left by-line taken by Mark Noble, clearance made by Ian Harte.

3:43 Substitution

Substitution Joey O'Brien joins the action as a substitute, replacing Guy Demel.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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