Sam Allardyce, the West Ham manager, admitted he had suffered his "worst day" since taking over at the club in the summer as they were overrun 3-0 at Reading after being reduced to nine men, Joey O'Brien and Jack Collison both getting sent off.
"It's been our worst day of the whole season," Allardyce said. "One, the way we lost it. Two, we had two men sent off. Three, sustaining injuries. We haven't got many [players] left. Nothing went right for us.
"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."
A tight and scrappy game was turned on its head in the 65th minute, O'Brien receiving his second yellow card and Alex Pearce giving Reading the lead just a minute later. Reading dominated thereafter, the second dismissal also having a direct affect on the game – Simon Church turned in his second goal from a free-kick after Collison had recklessly lunged at Jimmy Kébé.
The Blackpool manager, Ian Holloway, could only express his bemusement with the officials after his side conceded a late equaliser in the 2-2 draw at league leaders Southampton. "I don't know where the officials got five minutes extra [from]," he said. "How on earth they reached that number, I just don't know. It is a bitter pill for us to swallow because I thought we were going to win and nobody has done that down here for a year."
Southampton's record of 21 consecutive home victories came to an end but they preserved their unbeaten home record through Rickie Lambert's14th league goal of the season.
Paul Jewell dedicated Ipswich's 5-3 win over Barnsley to the club's fans after a remarkable second-half comeback at Oakwell ended their run of seven straight defeats. "When you have been on a run like we've been on, it's hard for everyone connected to the club, the supporters as well. That win was for them." Five second-half goals, including two for loan signing Keith Andrews, helped Ipswich put three points between themselves and the relegation zone.
Nottingham Forest remain in the bottom three after a 1-0 loss at home to Crystal Palace.Reuse content