Norwich see red as Clattenburg plays key role
West Ham 2 Norwich City 1:Sam Allardyce said this match would be a test of West Ham’s nerve after a recent wobble but by the end of it no one could quite remember what all the fuss was about.
However they were given a huge helping hand by a curious refereeing performance from Mark Clattenburg, who infuriated Norwich City with a number of questionable decisions.
Clattenburg awarded West Ham a controversial early penalty and failed to spot a foul on Alex Tettey in the build-up to the second goal, while Norwich also argued they should have had two penalties, one for handball and the other for James Tomkins’s clumsy challenge on Harry Kane. They could not hide their anger.
“You accept sometimes referees get it wrong or they don’t see it,” Hughton said after a fourth successive defeat.
“But the one that really hurts is when penalties are given when they shouldn’t be. Even if the penalty stands, you’re not going to tell me the Alex Tettey one wasn’t a foul.”
The home side began in a frenzy and when Guy Demel looped a high ball towards Winston Reid, Clattenburg pointed to the spot after deciding that Ryan Bennett had a chunk of his shirt. While Norwich raged, Noble sent Mark Bunn the wrong way from 12 yards.
West Ham’s dominance merited a second goal but when it arrived Norwich were once again left with a sense of injustice as Carlton Cole flattened Tetty with a flailing arm. Yet Clattenburg waved play on though Tettey required treatment, Noble wriggled into the Norwich area and his low cross was deflected to former Republic of Ireland international Joey O’Brien, who finished clinically.
An astonishing miss from Cole followed, the striker somehow putting Demel’s cross over the bar from two yards out and Russell Martin made it an anxious finale for the home fans by volleying home Elliott Bennett’s cross for Norwich’s goal in the 90th minute.