Twelve months ago, Reading stormed into Upton Park and took us apart. We were shocking, they were brilliant, and we were consigned to the play offs - a miracle combination of results apart - as Reading chased down the title.
Twelve months on, and Reading arrived with Adkins in charge instead of McDermott and already down. But for 15 minutes at the start of the game they looked the better side, and for the first 20 minutes of the second half, it was like a replay of last season. 2-0 became 2-2 in the blink of an eye and until Noble released Nolan with a brilliant pass, setting up an equally brilliant finish, there was only going to be one winner - and it wasn't West Ham!
But with the arrival of Collison in place of Cole, order returned. The Noble pass for Nolan was, as I said, brilliant and Nolan's control and finish were sublime. Then Maiga came alive! For the first time since October he crossed the ball onto the head of a West Ham player, and Captain Kev did the rest. 4-2. Job done. Game over. Tenth place secured. And poor McCarthy's reputation was in tatters despite a brilliant save from Nolan in the first half. Today showed why you don't want a kid in goal!
The victory was pleasing but flagged up all sorts of concerns for next season. If Carroll doesn't stay, we have problems. Defensively, we struggled when Le Fondre arrived, begging the questions why the hell he doesn't start games for Reading and how the hell we will cope against quality strikers next season. Vaz Te was in and out, but mostly out. Cole looked old and on the wane. Jarvis didn't start. Jussi is getting very old.
There's lots of work to be done!
Player Ratings: Jussi 6; Demel 6, Collins 6, Reid 6, O'Brien 5; Noble 6, Diame 6; Vaz Te 6, Nolan 8, Cole 5; Carroll 8 Subs: Collison 6, Maiga 6, Taylor (Came on!)