Johnson strikes against Stoke
Alexander Tetty (AFP Photo)
Norwich - Bradley Johnson's header a minute before half-time proved the difference as Norwich beat Stoke 1-0 in the Premier League at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Victory saw the Canaries stretch their unbeaten run to four matches across all competitions following their midweek win over Tottenham which took them into the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
And it left Norwich six points clear of the bottom three.
Stoke though could consider themselves unlucky not to have taken at least a point from a match which came in a week marking the 10th anniversary of manager Tony Pulis's initial appointment as Potters boss.
Norwich were bolstered by the return of captain Grant Holt and first choice goalkeeper John Ruddy but it was the visitors who nearly opened the scoring when Charlie Adam curled a low shot wide.
However, the hosts broke the deadlock in the 44th minute when, from a free-kick by Robert Snodgrass following a foul on the Scotland winger, Johnson headed the ball into the corner.
Snodgrass almost made it 2-0 before the break, just failing to get on the end of a cross from Anthony Pilkington.
Early in the second half, Norwich's Wes Hoolahan tried to catch Asmir Begovic unawares with a shot from the halfway line which the Stoke keeper had to tip behind from a corner.
Stoke might have equalised but Ruddy parried Sebastien Bassong's shot from point-blank range.
Pulis sent on Kenwyne Jones for fellow striker Jonathan Walters and the Stoke substitute saw a header gathered by Ruddy before dragging a close-range shot wide of the target.
Despite four minutes of stoppage time, Stoke couldn't find a way through and Norwich held on for only their second league win of the season.