Norwich City vs. Stoke City: Final score 1-0 as Canaries earn key win

Jamie McDonald

Norwich City earned a vital three points against Stoke City, grabbing a 1-0 lead through Bradley Johnson at the end of the first half and holding on for the victory.

It was a relatively tame opening at Carrow Road, and it in fact took 24 minutes for the first chance of note to arrive. Anthony Pilkington received the ball in space in the Stoke box only to fire straight at Asmir Begovic, who managed to direct the rebound out of harms way. Norwich were certainly the side in control, however, and they managed to earn a deserved lead when Johnson rose above the visitors' defence to glance home a lovely backward header that nestled in the top corner.

After the break, the Potters tried to push forward, but some poor finishing and decent goalkeeping from John Ruddy meant that they couldn't make the breakthrough they needed, despite throwing on Kenwyne Jones in a desperate attempt to earn a point. There were a few half-chances, but nothing that would have concerned that Canaries over-much (apart from a late flare-up between the two sides), and Norwich held on for another important win as they look to escape the relegation battle.

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