Hammers undone by Canaries fightback

Norwich City 3-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United failed to take advantage of a dominant first half at Norwich City as the Canaries recovered from a one-goal deficit to triumph 3-1 on Saturday evening.

The Hammers were the only team in the opening period as they bossed proceedings and took the lead through Ravel Morrison.

But after handing Gary Hooper a gift-wrapped leveller from the spot after the break, Norwich grew in strength and won the game with two goals inside the final 18 minutes.

Robert Snodgrass notched the first, curving a free-kick into the West Ham net before Leroy Fer clinched the points at the death.

Norwich started brightly as they looked to break quickly on the Hammers backline and Jussi Jaaskelainen had to be off his line quickly to mop up after Gary Hooper exchanged passes with strike partner Johan Elmander in the sixth minute to make his way towards goal.

The Hammers soaked up that early pressure and soon set about taking control, going close for the first time with 12 minutes on the clock. Morrison drew the defenders to him before poking through to Kevin Nolan, whose shot was blocked by the foot of goalkeeper John Ruddy.

West Ham kept the intensity up and Guy Demel was then denied by the crossbar after he got up highest to meet Mark Noble's left wing corner.

Razvan Rat was finding acres of room down the left hand side and he supplied a cross for Nolan in the 28th minute, but the skipper's guided effort was kept out by Ruddy.

Sam Allardyce's men did not have to wait long to take the lead though, edging in front with 32 minutes played after Rat again got in down his flank to cross low to Nolan.

His shot was blocked, but he recovered to keep the ball in and roll across the six yard box for Morrison to sweep home.

The Hammers' first half dominance was reflected in the statistics, which showed that they had forced nine attempts on goal to Norwich's two and enjoyed 57% possession at that stage.

But they handed the hosts a route back into the contest nine minutes after the restart with a real gift.

Jaaskelainen was unable to hold a high ball as Michael Turner applied the pressure, and as he scrambled to try and gather possession, he took Hooper down.

Referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot and Hooper made no mistake from 12 yards to net his first Barclays Premier League goal.

West Ham were not able to find and exploit the same kind of space as they did in the first half and the hosts' unexpected goal galvanised their efforts.

James Collins did go close after Turner made a hash of clearing a deep free kick immediately after the equaliser, but it was Norwich who were to strike next, when Collins was penalised for a foul 28 yards from goal.

Snodgrass took the free kick and got his effort over the wall and down in time to give Jaaskelainen no chance.

After an opening period of such dominance, the turnaround in fortunes was barely believable, but despite introducing Mohamed Diame, Carlton Cole and Matt Jarvis from the bench West Ham were unable to find a response.

Instead, Norwich made the game safe in stoppage time as Fer cut through the visitors and finished into the bottom right hand corner.

Norwich City: Ruddy; Martin, Turner, R.Bennett, Olsson; Snodgrass, Fer, Howson, Pilkington (Redmond 33); Elmander, Hooper (Johnson 87)
Subs: Bunn, Whittaker, Bassong, Hoolahan, Becchio

Goals: Hooper pen 54, Snodgrass 72, Fer 90

Booked: Turner

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Collins, Rat; Morrison, Noble (Jarvis 87), Collison (C.Cole 74); Downing, Nolan, J.Cole (Diame 72)
Subs: Adrian, McCartney, Maiga, O'Brien

Goal: Morrison 32

Booked: Nolan

Referee: Jon Moss

Attendance: 26,824