Norwich City 1 Stoke City 0

By Mark Burchett
Last updated : 03 November 2012

City's resurgence continued sending Stoke City home from Carrow Road with nothing to show for their efforts. Chris Hughton's side are now unbeaten in four games that includes victories over Arsenal in the Premiership and Tottenham in the Capital One Cup.

A solitary goal from Bradley Johnson just before half-term was enough to give the Canaries the three points and move them two further places away from the relegation zone, leapfrogging Stoke in the process.

The home side started the game the more livelier, forcing three early corners, although none of them caused the Stoke defence any real problems. City continued to take the game to Stoke, with the mercurial Wes Hoolahan and hardworking Robert Snodgrass looking to split open the opposition defence. But when they did Alexander Tettey and Anthony Pilkington found the Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic more than a match for anything they fired his way.

In the 25th minute, referee Andre Mariner, caused controversy on the Stoke bench when he booked Charlie Adams for diving, when those of a red persuasion thought he was fouled!

After this both sides were guilty of some passes going astray with clear-cut chances at a premium and as Stoke were becoming increasingly frustrated, there were further bookings for Dean Whitehead and Andy Wilkinson. The latter was for a foul on Snodgrass, which the Stoke bench once again got airiated about, feeling yet again they were hard done by as they felt the City midfielder was guilty of diving. 

This led to that all important breakthrough for the home side. Adding insult to injury for Stoke, Snodgrass delivered the resulting free-kick, which midfielder Johnson rose to meet and direct his glancing header past the stranded Begovic.

HALF-TIME: City 1 Stoke 0

City suffered a setback early on in the second half, with defender Michael Turner having to go off injured and to compound Hughton's woes he soon after had to replace Garrido as well.

Although Ryan Bennett and Leon Barnett came in and City reshuffled their defence, they were struggling to deal with the increasing number of long balls from Stoke. This became more of a problem after Kenwyne Jones' 69th minute introduction, as the Potters went in search of that elusive equaliser.

Although Pullis' side finished the game with three strikers none of them showed the composure needed to grab what would have been an undeserved goal. Peter Crouch, who the City fans have fond memories of his loan spell with them, was a shadow of the player during that Championship winning season in 2004. Jones had the best opportunity late on, when with just John Ruddy to beat, he could only put his effort wide.

With five minutes remaining the City boss made his last change, bringing on striker Steve Morison, for Man-of-the-Match Hoolahan, who deservedly received a standing ovation.

In stoppage time, Etherington was very lucky to escape with just a yellow card when he appeared to hit Bassong in the face in the home penalty area, while the home crowd with On The Ball City ringing out round Carrow Road urged their side over the finishing line.

FULL-TIME: City 1 Stoke 0

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