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Bristol City v West Ham Utd: half time report

Filed: Tuesday, 17th April 2012
By: Staff Writer

It's all square at the break in tonight's Championship clash at Ashton Gate.

In the first of three must-win games for Sam Allardyce's team at the end of a long and arduous season, West Ham took the lead after 25 minutes through James Tomkins.

However United's lead was to last for just five minutes when the usually-reliable Robert Green made an uncharacteristic error allowing Cole Skuse's long-range effort to find the back of the net.

West Ham, missing Carlton Cole through injury made a strong start to the game and could have been ahead inside four minutes when Tomkins' strong header was well saved by City 'keeper Dean Gerken.

The Hammers had the ball in the net some 10 minutes later when Ricardo Vaz Te, who has scored eight goals in his last five games converted a Kevin Nolan cross. However West Ham's celebrations were cut short when referee Craig Pawson penalised the Irons' captain for hand ball.

However there was no flag on 25 minutes when Tomkins went one better than his earlier chance when he nodded home a Mark Noble free kick. The centre half, in an advanced position headed across Gerkin to find the back of the net.

At that stage West Ham were looking comfortable and were looking the more likely to score next. But the game was to take a dramatic turn when Skuse, having beaten Mark Noble to a ball in midfield stepped forward before firing a hopeful effort at goal.

Inexplicably Green, who has saved West Ham's skin on a number of occasions this season allowed the ball to beat him, bringing the home side level.

Bouyed by the restoration of parity the Robins pushed on with renewed optimism but failed to seriously threaten West Ham's rearguard. The final chance of the half fell to Winston Reid who was inches away from getting the final touch on a Kevin Nolan shot.

Elsewhere in the promotion race, Southampton hold a 2-0 lead at Peterborough whilst current leaders Reading's match against Nottingham Forest remains goalless at the break.

We'll have more for you at the final whistle...

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