Norwich City picked up its second Premier League home win in a row on Saturday with a battling 1-0 win over Stoke City at Carrow Road.
In an even match the only goal came in the first half as Bradley Johnson headed in a free-kick from the right, but Stoke had more than its share of the chances, particularly after the break.
Jonathan Walters and Kenwyne Jones both could have at least levelled the scores for the visitors, but on the whole their finishing was not up to standard on the day.
The opening 30 minutes was very much a battle taking place in midfield, with the two teams enduring a never-ending power-struggle which neither side was particularly dominating, but the hosts really should have taken the lead around the 25 minute mark.
Wes Hoolahan jinked down the left, playing a one-two with Anthony Pilkington before finding the winger again in the area, but his close-range effort was stopped well by Asmir Begovic.
The hosts had definitely been the better side and eventually took the lead just before halftime. Robert Snodgrass did well to win a free-kick down the right before delivering it himself and Bradley Johnson rose to produce an excellent back-header that looped into the top corner of the net.
After the break Stoke showed a little more urgency and nearly equalized when Peter Crouch flicked a high ball on to Jonathan Walters, but under pressure from Sebastien Bassong, the shot was parried away by John Ruddy.
Stoke continued to look more interested and was pressing, but Norwich almost doubled its lead on the counter-attack, but the brilliant move ended with Pilkington hammering Grant Holt’s back post cross well over.
The visitors went close again with 15 minutes left of the match, as the more-involved Crouch headed a cross on for Kenwyne Jones, and after bringing the ball down on his chest, the forward lashed a volley just wide of the far post, with Ruddy helplessly beaten.
Stoke piled on the pressure in the dying stages, but with Norwich holding firm the hosts managed to secure the three points and the win.