West Ham United vs. Norwich City: Final score 1-0, Hammers deal Norwich a crushing blow

Ian Walton

James Collins struck late to give West Ham a vital win over Norwich that leaves the Canaries in trouble and continues the Hammers' great escape.

West Ham gained a late win against Norwich City in a vital relegation battle at Upton Park.

The Hammers had not won two consecutive league games since 2011, but against Norwich they made it three in a row thanks to James Collins' late winner.

Norwich started the game on the front foot as Nathan Redmond went on a typically mazy run down the flank before floating in a cross for Gary Hooper, but the former Celtic forward saw his header well saved by Adrian in the West Ham goal. The Canaries had a second chance not too long afterwards through Robert Snodgrass after an excellent passing move involving Hooper and Redmond, but once again Adrian denied him with another fine save.

The last act of the first half was Adrian yet again denying Norwich as he tipped away a decent effort from Alexander Tettey, with Norwich having been the better side, but having found nothing to show for their dominance. West Ham responded by replacing the beleaguered Carlton Cole with Marco Boriello, but it did them little good.

Adrian had to be alert to deny Hooper once more after Snodgrass put him through on goal, but the second half was largely a dull one until the last 15 minutes, when both sides had chances to win it.

First Mohamed Diame missed the chance to score after being put through by Kevin Nolan when John Ruddy came flying out to deny him, before Joseph Yobo headed narrowly over from a corner. Yet as a draw was looking increasingly certain, Diame was allowed to cross from the left and James Collins, of all people, headed home, taking advantage of John Ruddy's uncertainty to give West Ham a vital lead.

Chris Hughton thrust on Ricky van Wolfswinkel in an attempt to salvage something, but Norwich looked beaten, and Diame doubled their lead late on to secure the win, firing in a shot which took a deflection off Russell Martin to creep past Ruddy and condemn Norwich to a worrying defeat.

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