Ryan Bennett's late header earned struggling Norwich City a vital victory over Hull and eased the pressure on manager Chris Hughton.

Bennett headed in from a corner to secure a first home Premier League success since November and relieve the tension after a frustrating afternoon.

Tigers debutant Nikica Jelavic hit the post inside two minutes, but the hosts had the better chances after that.

Canaries deserved break - Hughton

Hull's miserable day got worse when Tom Huddlestone was sent off late on.

The midfielder was dismissed for a second yellow card, seemingly ending Hull's hopes of an equaliser, but they might still have salvaged something in injury time only for Curtis Davies to head wide when well placed.

Hull's shocking away record - just five points on the road this season - hardly gave cause for much pre-match optimism, even against a Norwich side who had not won at home since beating Crystal Palace on 30 November.

But the Tigers started in the same impressive manner they had maintained for long spells before eventually succumbing to an Eden Hazard-inspired Chelsea last Saturday.

Jelavic looked busy and dangerous throughout but spurned a wonderful chance to make an impact inside two minutes of his debut, hitting the outside of the post with a left-footed strike after a fine move involving Liam Rosenior and Robert Koren.

Travelling struggles

Along with Stoke, Hull still have the joint worst away record in the Premier League, picking up only five points on their travels this season

Rosenior then had a difficult opportunity at the far post, which he volleyed wide.

But the hosts began to settle and Hull's early rhythm seemed further affected by a defensive reshuffle that saw the injured James Chester replaced by Maynor Figueroa.

With Robert Snodgrass increasingly influential in midfield, Norwich started to dominate possession and create chances.

Summer signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel was unlucky not to grab his second Canaries goal with a smart turn and half-volley, but he could not swivel in time to get his close-range effort on target following a Snodgrass header.

We didn't do enough to win - Bruce

Snodgrass and Bradley Johnson also both had decent long-range strikes saved.

And Scotland international Snodgrass sent over a series of teasing crosses, two of which could easily have resulted in headed goals for van Wolfswinkel.

Hull, whose other recent signing Shane Long, was denied a debut because of an ankle injury, ended the first half strongly but Norwich were the more threatening side after the interval.

Nevertheless, a series of blocked shots was as close as the hosts had come to a goal, despite mounting pressure, until Bennett rose to head in his first goal for the club when Tigers keeper Allan McGregor flapped at a late corner.

Davies could still have earned an unlikely point after Huddlestone was sent off, but the Canaries held on to pick up the three points that move them up to 12th, level on points with Hull.

Analysis

"It might not have been thrill-a-second stuff but what a result for Norwich. They could have gone bottom had other results not gone for them this weekend but now they are up to mid-table. The fans were beginning to get disgruntled here but this relieves so much pressure."

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton:

"I saw it as a big win. It is so tight down there it is very difficult to talk about must-win games, but I know it is an important win - for the fact the opposition are close to us in the division and it is a close game.

"You have to not panic and be composed. Things can change over one game or a two-game period.

"It is never nice when there is a lot of criticism around, but it is part and parcel of the game and for any criticism that I might have had or feelings about my job, maybe next week it will be someone else.

"On the balance of the game I don't think there is anybody that could not agree that we deserved to win the game. I thought we were the better team over 90 minutes, but they are a good side and defend very well.

"We perhaps didn't create enough clear-cut chances, but we put them under a lot of pressure. At that stage of the game there is a part of you that thinks, 'It isn't going to be our day', but the lads were resilient."

Hull City manager Steve Bruce:

"We had a big chance in the first couple of minutes when Jelavic hit the post and Liam Rosenior had a really big chance, but overall in the second half we were a touch disappointed with how we handled the ball.

"He [Jelavic] has done everything right. His connection with it was right, he struck it really well and I was expecting it to nestle in the back of the net. It has hit the post and missed by two inches. What a start that would have been for the lad.

"When you play like that away form home, to come away with a point would have been terrific for us, another point on the board, but it wasn't to be.

"It is about expectation. We are a newly promoted club. Everybody expects us to be in the bottom three and when you have been here for two or three years everybody expects you to be in the top six. That is how it is in the Premier League, but Chris has been around it a long time."

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Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Norwich City

  • 01 Ruddy
  • 02 Martin
  • 23 Olsson
  • 10 Fer
  • 24 R Bennett
  • 05 Bassong Nguena
  • 07 Snodgrass
  • 04 Johnson Booked
  • 11 Hooper
  • 09 van Wolfswinkel (Becchio - 80' )
  • 15 Gutiérrez (Pilkington - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Whittaker
  • 12 Pilkington
  • 13 Bunn
  • 14 Hoolahan
  • 19 Becchio
  • 22 Redmond
  • 27 Tettey

Hull City

  • 01 McGregor
  • 27 Elmohamady
  • 02 Rosenior Booked
  • 06 Davies
  • 04 Bruce
  • 05 Chester (Figueroa - 15' Booked )
  • 14 Livermore
  • 10 Koren (Fryatt - 82' )
  • 18 Jelavic
  • 20 Sagbo (Boyd - 67' )
  • 08 Huddlestone Dismissed after an earlier booking

Substitutes

  • 03 Figueroa
  • 07 Meyler
  • 12 Fryatt
  • 17 Boyd
  • 22 Harper
  • 23 Faye
  • 29 Quinn
Ref: Howard Webb
Att: 26,655

Match Stats

Shots

25 10

On target

4 0

Corners

10 8

Fouls

8 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Norwich City 1, Hull City 0.

90:00 +4:28 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Norwich City 1, Hull City 0.

90:00 +3:53

Attempt missed. Curtis Davies (Hull City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady with a cross.

90:00 +3:27

Foul by Luciano Becchio (Norwich City).

90:00 +3:27

Maynor Figueroa (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:41

Attempt missed. Matty Fryatt (Hull City) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Liam Rosenior.

89:51

Foul by Sébastien Bassong (Norwich City).

89:51

Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:42

Attempt saved. Ryan Bennett (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

89:00 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) for a bad foul.

88:55

Leroy Fer (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:55

Foul by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City).

87:50

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Russell Martin.

87:46

Attempt blocked. Jake Livermore (Hull City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jake Livermore.

87:11

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Russell Martin.

86:07 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Norwich City 1, Hull City 0. Ryan Bennett (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a corner.

85:38

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Tom Huddlestone.

85:37

Attempt blocked. Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

85:34

Attempt blocked. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

85:04

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Maynor Figueroa.

84:46

Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:46

Foul by Liam Rosenior (Hull City).

83:33

Foul by Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City).

83:33

Curtis Davies (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:41

Attempt missed. Russell Martin (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

81:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hull City. Matty Fryatt replaces Robert Koren.

79:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Norwich City. Luciano Becchio replaces Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

78:27

Attempt blocked. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

78:24

Attempt missed. Leroy Fer (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

78:21

Attempt blocked. Sébastien Bassong (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Bennett.

77:42

Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

77:42

Foul by Maynor Figueroa (Hull City).

73:14

Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:14

Foul by Nikica Jelavic (Hull City).

69:17

Attempt missed. Gary Hooper (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ricky van Wolfswinkel with a headed pass.

68:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Norwich City. Anthony Pilkington replaces Jonás Gutiérrez.

67:44

Jonás Gutiérrez (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

67:44

Foul by Jake Livermore (Hull City).

67:19

Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:19

Foul by George Boyd (Hull City).

66:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hull City. George Boyd replaces Yannick Sagbo.

64:17

Attempt missed. Leroy Fer (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a corner.

64:01

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Liam Rosenior.

61:48

Attempt blocked. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

61:46

Attempt blocked. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gary Hooper.

60:44

Attempt missed. Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Liam Rosenior with a cross.

58:30

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

57:57

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Martin Olsson.

56:59

Offside, Norwich City. Martin Olsson tries a through ball, but Bradley Johnson is caught offside.

56:55

Attempt missed. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

56:31

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Alex Bruce.

52:52

Attempt blocked. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

51:49 Booking

Booking Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

51:44

Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

51:44

Foul by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City).

50:34

Gary Hooper (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:34

Foul by Liam Rosenior (Hull City).

50:29

Attempt blocked. Jake Livermore (Hull City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

49:48

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Russell Martin.

48:31 Booking

Booking Liam Rosenior (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

48:26

Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

48:26

Foul by Liam Rosenior (Hull City).

45:00

Second Half begins Norwich City 0, Hull City 0.

45:00 +5:19 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Norwich City 0, Hull City 0.

45:00 +4:43

Attempt missed. Curtis Davies (Hull City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Tom Huddlestone with a cross following a corner.

45:00 +4:15

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Russell Martin.

45:00 +3:31 Booking

Booking Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

45:00 +3:26

Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

45:00 +3:26

Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00 +1:16

Attempt missed. Gary Hooper (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

45:00 +0:35

Russell Martin (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +0:35

Foul by Robert Koren (Hull City).

44:09

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

42:17

Delay in match Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) because of an injury.

41:40

Attempt saved. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Leroy Fer.

41:29

Attempt blocked. Gary Hooper (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

38:24 Booking

Booking Maynor Figueroa (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

38:10

Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

38:10

Foul by Maynor Figueroa (Hull City).

34:11

Attempt missed. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) header from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sébastien Bassong with a cross.

33:36

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Jake Livermore.

33:35

Attempt blocked. Leroy Fer (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sébastien Bassong.

33:05

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Liam Rosenior.

33:02

Attempt blocked. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross.

32:18

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Liam Rosenior.

31:02

Foul by Yannick Sagbo (Hull City).

31:02

Martin Olsson (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

29:54

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Liam Rosenior.

28:12

Offside, Hull City. Robert Koren tries a through ball, but Nikica Jelavic is caught offside.

26:34

Curtis Davies (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:34

Dangerous play by Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City).

25:32

Foul by Curtis Davies (Hull City).

25:32

Russell Martin (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:54

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Martin Olsson.

24:44

Attempt blocked. Yannick Sagbo (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Huddlestone.

23:57

Attempt missed. Sébastien Bassong (Norwich City) header from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a corner.

23:27

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Maynor Figueroa.

21:44

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

21:00

Delay in match Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) because of an injury.

19:39

Yannick Sagbo (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:39

Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

18:34

Foul by Jake Livermore (Hull City).

18:34

Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:37

Attempt saved. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bradley Johnson.

16:11

Foul by Robert Koren (Hull City).

16:11

Russell Martin (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hull City. Maynor Figueroa replaces James Chester because of an injury.

14:04

Attempt missed. Jake Livermore (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nikica Jelavic.

13:50

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

12:30

Delay in match James Chester (Hull City) because of an injury.

10:22

Attempt missed. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a headed pass.

8:33

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Ryan Bennett.

6:59

Foul by Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City).

6:59

Jake Livermore (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:10

Attempt missed. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

4:50

Attempt missed. Liam Rosenior (Hull City) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady with a cross.

3:20

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by James Chester.

3:18

Attempt blocked. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gary Hooper.

2:46

Foul by Yannick Sagbo (Hull City).

2:46

Leroy Fer (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

1:48

Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Robert Koren.

1:04

Jake Livermore (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:04

Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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