Potters scramble past Norwich with Etherington's late finish
Stoke 1 Norwich 0
Saturday 03 March 2012
Matthew Etherington scored the winner as Stoke edged past a stubborn
Norwich side to claim all three points at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters enjoyed the better of the first half but were unable to convert the opportunities that came their way, with John Ruddy making saves to deny Jon Walters, Dean Whitehead and Peter Crouch.
Tony Pulis' men continued to press after the break and Etherington struck in the 72nd minute after collecting the ball from substitute Cameron Jerome, who had flicked on a throw-in it appeared the hosts had been fortunate to be awarded.
The result means Stoke continue their recent recovery from a four-match losing streak in the Barclays Premier League, following up last week's 2-0 win against Swansea.
The Staffordshire outfit are up to eight in the table, while Norwich drop to 10th.
The only change to the Potters starting line-up from the Swansea game saw defender Robert Huth return after serving a three-match suspension, replacing Matthew Upson.
Norwich's first XI showed three adjustments from their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, manager Paul Lambert bringing in midfielder Jonny Howson for his Canaries debut, as well as Elliott Bennett and Russell Martin, with Simeon Jackson, David Fox and Adam Drury the men making way.
Walters made the game's first attempt on goal in the ninth minute, getting the better of Kyle Naughton and unleashing a fierce strike which goalkeeper Ruddy initially parried before gathering.
Six minutes later, Huth came forward to get on the end of Ryan Shotton's cross but the German could not direct his header on target.
Referee Michael Oliver waved for play to continue when Shotton went down in the area under the attentions of Naughton, and then penalised Crouch for committing a foul as the forward jumped to head the ball at Ruddy.
Howson picked up a booking for a challenge on Glenn Whelan, before Walters slipped in Whitehead, who could not get sufficient power on his effort to trouble Ruddy.
Stoke were forced to make a substitution in the 25th minute, with Andy Wilkinson having to come off for Jermaine Pennant, and Huth then swung a wild attempt into the stands.
Norwich had offered little going forward, but called Asmir Begovic into action on the half-hour mark when Grant Holt met a free-kick with a header at the far post.
Holt hacked a shot wide from outside the box five minutes later, but it was the Potters who went close just before the break, Crouch having a header blocked by Bradley Johnson and then a shot kept out by Ruddy.
Lambert changed things around at half-time, substituting Anthony Pilkington for Jackson.
Crouch tried to connect with an Etherington cross but was beaten to the ball by Naughton, with Ruddy punching away the resulting corner, and at the other end a tame shot from Bennett rolled through to Begovic.
Crouch flicked a header wide before Holt won a free-kick in a useful position which was taken by Andrew Surman and caught by Begovic.
Pulis refreshed his attack by replacing Walters and Crouch with Jerome and Kenwyne Jones, and within three minutes the hosts finally broke Norwich's resistance.
From a throw-in - which replays suggested perhaps should have been given to the Canaries - Jerome headed the ball to Etherington, who touched it past Elliott Ward before firing beyond Ruddy.
The lively Etherington then delivered a cross which looped wide off Jones' head.
Martin got in the way of a shot by Jerome in the final 10 minutes, but Stoke had done enough.
Latest in Sport
Joey Barton joins Burnley: Ex-QPR midfielder signs one-year deal, immediately regrets tweet criticising living the Lancashire town last year
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: Wolfsburg admit they can't compete with 'astonishing' £200,000-a-week offer as £58m deal nears
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn