West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Norwich City

By Michael Da SilvaBBC Sport
Steve Morison
Norwich have lost just one of their last seven Premier League games

Steve Morison's emphatic late header proved the winner as Norwich City beat a misfiring West Brom at The Hawthorns.

Andrew Surman volleyed the Canaries ahead on the stroke of half time after the Baggies had spurned a handful of clear chances.

Shane Long made an immediate impact from the bench, slotting in a penalty after Jerome Thomas had been fouled.

But Morison made it three straight defeats for Albion with his second winning goal in as many league games.

Norwich equalled Blackburn's Premier League record by going 21 games into a season without keeping a clean sheet. But, judging by Canaries manager Paul Lambert's ebullience at the final whistle, it is not a statistic that will be keeping him awake at night.

Only ourselves to blame - Hodgson

Lambert has instilled a confidence that has seen his side amass an impressive 28 points this season.

But Albion were on top from the start at The Hawthorns, Peter Odemwingie signalling their intent with a fizzing drive from 25 yards that Ruddy palmed onto the bar.

The home side came close again when James Morrison unleashed a venomous shot on the half-volley that Surman headed off the line.

In a rare foray forward, Norwich hit the post - more through luck than design - when Ben Foster came racing out to hoof away a loose ball, but the clearance ricocheted off Morison and rolled against the base of the post.

The Baggies, perhaps trying too hard to score, poured forward in increasing numbers. It seemed inevitable they would be caught cold on the counter-attack and that moment came two minutes before the break.

Simeon Jackson latched onto a long ball before rolling it into the path of Wes Hoolahan, who picked out Surman in enough space to lash a classy volley beyond Foster.

Just as in their last Premier League outing at Queens Park Rangers, Norwich soaked up the pressure before hitting Albion on the break and the lively Jackson was a constant threat in attack.

But the home side were lifted when Long came off the bench to provide the Baggies with some much-needed firepower.

Striking over with his first touch before creating a clear chance for Simon Cox, Long finally rewarded West Brom for their dominance in the 68th minute.

Stepping up after Daniel Ayala's wild lunge brought down Thomas, Long nonchalantly stroked in from 12 yards, sending Ruddy the wrong way.

Lambert only has eyes on survival

Albion sensed blood and continued to push forward with a series of fraught attacks, pinning Norwich back for extended periods.

But Norwich never panicked, survived the storm, and hit the Baggies with a sucker-punch 11 minutes from the end.

Racing into space down the Norwich left, substitute Grant Holt exposed the home side with a marauding run, before clipping a left-footed cross to Morison, who powered his header past Foster.

Morison reeled away to celebrate in front of the travelling support, who will make the journey to the West Midlands again when the sides are due to meet in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 28 January.

West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson:

"We've done it against Everton, Wigan and now Norwich. We've paid a high price for our inability to finish games off or defend against the counter attack. We've only got ourselves to blame.

"We have to learn the lessons and live through this difficult period. The mistakes were of our own making.

"There is very little I can say to dispel the gloom I feel. There's nothing positive I can say, just hope any fortune falls our way in the next game."

Norwich City manager Paul Lambert:

"We might not win every game, but we certainly make a go of it.

"West Brom came at us strongly in the first half, but our first goal was a classic counter attack and a terrific finish from Surman. Overall, it was great to come away from home and get a win against a well-organised team.

"Morison still had a lot to do with his winning header. It was a terrific goal from a player who's been brilliant for me."

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