Norwich City 1 Stoke City 1 match report: Stoke lose Jonathan Walters but gain what may prove a vital point

Walters struck from the spot for the second week running after John Guidetti was brought down but he was dismissed five minutes later for a dangerous challenge on Alex Tettey

Carrow Road

A match of depressingly low quality but steadily increasing tension ended with a Stoke City side reduced to 10 men hanging on for what may prove to be a critical point.

Having conceded a disconcertingly straightforward goal when they allowed Bradley Johnson to head in a Robert Snodgrass cross, the Potters equalised when Jon Walters converted the penalty after Sebastien Bassong was judged to have fouled John Guidetti. Judged harshly, according to Norwich manager Chris Hughton. Both Bassong and Guidetti were stretching to reach a loose ball, and if the defender’s foot caught that of Guidetti first, contact appeared to be relatively slight.

“I do think it was a very soft penalty,” said Hughton. “It’s a ball Seb didn’t need to go for, but on another day another referee might not have given it.”

 

What added to Hughton’s frustration was it came during a period of the game in which Norwich, having gone ahead, looked relatively comfortable.  But as he acknowledged, once Walters, having put away the spot-kick with some aplomb, was sent off for a foot-up challenge on Alex Tettey, the Canaries never looked remotely likely to break Stoke down.

Unfortunately for Hughton, one of the reasons why was that at 1-0 up he had taken off Wes Hoolahan, by some margin the most creative player on the pitch, and replaced him with a holding midfielder in Jonny Howson. His attempts to defend that decision were more than a little plaintive.

“The thing with Wes is he hasn’t been involved so much this season and has had more football in the last week than he has for some time. I just wanted some fresh legs in there. It seemed like one of those types of games we were going to win 1-0.”

In the circumstances Stoke manager Mark Hughes was happy enough. “After we equalised I thought we could have gone on and got maximum points but Jon’s sending-off changed the game. Jon has accepted he did catch Tettey, but there was an intention to win the ball and both players had their feet high.

“Unfortunately we lose him for three games for one of those challenges in games that are a matter of millimetres.”

The result leaves Norwich just four points above Cardiff in 18th in the table, and means they have scored only six goals in their last nine matches at Carrow Road. Stoke are only two points better off, but face a somewhat less daunting run-in than the East Anglians, who are no doubt sick of being reminded their last four games are against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

As Hughes pointed out, had either Peter Crouch or Marko Arnautovic taken one of the three decent chances Stoke created in the opening 15 minutes the game might have panned out very differently. As it was it sank into a sweating morass of heavy tackling and misplaced passing, in which the quick feet of Hoolahan offered rare moments of skill, most notably when his flicked pass put Snodgrass through just before half-time. The Scot hit his shot from an angle first time, but Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic made a fine save diving to his right.

Begovic was more fortunate after the break, when he let Hoolahan’s hopeful drive burst through his hands and had to turn quickly to scramble the ball away.

Line-ups:

Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson;  Tettey (Elmander, 80), Johnson; Snodgrass, Hoolahan (Howson, 67), Redmond; Van Wolfswinkel (Hooper, 80).

Stoke City (4-4-1-1): Begovic; Pieters, Wilson, Shawcross, Cameron; Odemwingie (Guidetti, 63; Ireland, 80), Whelan, Nzonzi; Arnautovic (Etherington, 74); Walters: Crouch.

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Man of the match: Hoolahan (Norwich)

Match rating: 4/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform