Howson the hero for Norwich

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:16

Howson the hero for Norwich

Jonny Howson’s first-half goal, Norwich’s first away from home this season in the Premier League, proved to be enough to give the visitors all three points.
Stoke struggled to impose themselves in the game as Norwich comfortably kept them at bay to inflict Mark Hughes’ first home defeat.
Norwich started the brighter of the two sides and were unlucky not to make the breakthrough after just nine minutes when Ryan Bennett shrugged off Ryan Shawcross to get on the end of Martin Olsson’s corner only to see his shot come back off the crossbar.

Stoke had to wait until 33 minutes to create their first opening of the game when Charlie Adam teed up Marko Arnautovic on the edge of the box and the Austrian thumped his shot just over the crossbar.
A minute later Norwich broke the deadlock their early enterprise deserved as Howson rifled home from 25 yards, although Asmir Begovic will be unhappy that he did not get down to the shot quickly enough.
Stoke tried to respond and Shawcross had a sight of goal on 39 minutes when Adam whipped in a corner, but under pressure the Stoke skipper could not direct his header on target.
Stoke boss Hughes made two changes at the break with Jermaine Pennant and Stephen Ireland coming on for Jon Walters and Adam as he looked to shake things up after a below-par first half.
The home side had strong claims for a penalty turned down five minutes after the break when Leroy Fer appeared to tug Kenwyne Jones to the ground, but referee Anthony Taylor waved away their appeals.

Jones fashioned a chance for himself on 65 minutes when he showed great skill to beat two Norwich challenges to burst his way into the box, but with the angle against him he could only fire his left-footed shot straight at John Ruddy.
Norwich continued to frustrate the home side, but Steven N’Zonzi did test Ruddy on 79 minutes with a shot from 25 yards out which the Norwich keeper comfortably saved.

Begovic kept Stoke in the game 10 minutes from time when he produced a flying save to keep out Robert Snodgrass’ curling effort from the edge of the box.
Stoke huffed and puffed in the closing stages in a bid to get something from the game, but Norwich held on for a deserved three points.

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