Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Adam effort enough in Canaries defeat

Charlie Adam, second left, netted just after the break as Stoke claimed a much-needed victory over Norwich
Charlie Adam, second left, netted just after the break as Stoke claimed a much-needed victory over Norwich

Charlie Adam ended a five-month goal drought to give Stoke back-to-back victories for the first time since December and leave the club on the brink of safety after a 1-0 victory over Norwich.

Adam's first goal since November 24 was enough to further ease the Potters' relegation fears following last weekend's 2-0 win at QPR. Although Stoke have now hit the 40-point mark long heralded by boss Tony Pulis as enough to guarantee safety, mathematically they cannot count their chickens just yet.

As for Norwich, six points clear of the bottom three, they too will still be looking over their shoulders, particularly with a vital game now looming large next Saturday against Aston Villa.

Arguably the best moment of the game for Norwich came early on as Snodgrass, Grant Holt and Kei Kamara all combined to tee up Bradley Johnson for an edge-of-the-area left-foot shot that again cleared the woodwork.

After Peter Crouch back flicked a deep cross into the heart of the area from Adam on 15 minutes, Stoke's best chance of the opening half followed eight minutes later.

Again Adam was the supplier, this time with another corner that was struck on the volley by Cameron Jerome from eight yards out and into a crowd of players in front of him. There were muted cries of handball, but it was not a Norwich arm that was in the way, instead that of Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi.

The half-time whistle could not come quick enough, but then at least the second period was spiced up after just 50 seconds. It was typical route one stuff from Stoke as a long ball pumped forward from Robert Huth found the head of Crouch for a knockdown into the area.

As Jerome blocked off Sebastien Bassong's attempt to clear, Adam stole in for a simple left-foot shot underneath Mark Bunn from seven yards.

The Canaries should have been dead and buried in the 63rd minute but for a miss-of-the-season from Crouch who failed to connect from four yards out with a low ball into the six-yard box from Adam. Comically, six minutes from time Crouch missed another sitter from eight yards after Bunn had blocked a stinging drive from Nzonzi.

The gangly striker could afford a smile, but only just as in injury time Kamara planted a header inches over from a long throw in what was City's only meaningful second-half attempt as Stoke deserved the win.

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