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Premier League

  • September 29, 2013
  • • 15:30
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 26184
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Stoke City 0-1 Norwich City: Howson strike gets Hughton back to winning ways

Stoke City 0-1 Norwich City: Howson strike gets Hughton back to winning ways

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The former Leeds midfielder netted in the first half to prevent the Canaries from slipping to their third successive defeat, relieving the pressure on the club's 54-year-old coach

Johnny Howson's first-half strike was enough to earn all three points for Norwich City as they recorded a 1-0 win over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The 25-year-old midfielder netted the only goal of the game, latching onto Anthony Pilkington's lay-off and rifling a shot past Asmir Begovic from the edge of the area, with the Potters unable to mount a response.

Both sides headed into Sunday's game without a win in their previous two top-flight contests, with Norwich boss Chris Hughton under pressure following his side's home defeat to Aston Villa last weekend.

Potters boss Mark Hughes selected the same side that slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal last time out, while opposite number Hughton elected to ring the changes.

MATCH VIEW
By Kris Voakes
Having acquitted themselves so well against Arsenal last week, Stoke City will be hugely frustrated to say the least by a real no-show on this occasion. Norwich were more keen, more composed, more vibrant and always looked the more likely to score.

Jonny Howson's goal - the Canaries' first in September - was the very least they deserved and will lift some of the pressure off the shoulders of Chris Hughton. For Mark Hughes, there are plenty of issues to ponder.
Ryan Bennett replaced the injured Sebastien Bassong in the centre of defence, while Martin Olsson, Alexander Tettey and Pilkington came in for Javier Garrido, Nathan Redmond and Johan Elmander respectively.

Norwich started quickly, and should have taken the lead after nine minutes, Bennett crashing a strike against the crossbar after meeting Olsson's corner.

The visitors dictated the game from midfield throughout the first half, but Stoke were solid in defence and did not allow Hughton's men much in the way of attacking openings.

It took Stoke over half an hour to create their first goalscoring opportunity, Austrian attacker Marko Arnautovic lashing over from the edge of the area.

However, less than a minute later, Norwich took the lead their play deserved, Howson finding space in midfield before firing home with a swerving low effort that deceived a despairing Begovic.

Jermaine Pennant replaced Jonathan Walters at the interval as Stoke searched for a way back into the game, and the hosts were aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty after Kenwyne Jones was pulled back in the area by Leroy Fer.

Still it was Norwich who continued to create the better opportunities, with Pilkington firing wide with a speculative effort from range before Robert Snodgrass curled a left-footed effort over the bar.

Jones went close for Stoke as the Trinidad and Tobago international began to cause the Norwich backline problems but, despite his best efforts, Hughes' side were unable to truly threaten John Ruddy's goal.

The game became more open in the closing stages as Steven N'Zonzi tested Ruddy from distance, before Snodgrass forced Begovic into a fine save with a curling effort from the edge of the area.

Howson's strike was to be enough, however, as Norwich comfortably held on to ensure a much-needed victory that sees them leapfrog the Potters in the Premier League table.

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