Norwich City 0-1 West Ham United

Norwich City 0-1 West Ham United 

A late own goal earned West Ham United a 1-0 pre-season success at Norwich City’s Carrow Road on Tuesday evening, as Harry Toffolo put through his own net to break the Canaries’ resistance.  

For all the chances at both ends, the Hammers looked set to record a second successive goalless draw on their travels.  

But with 82 minutes on the clock, substitute Dimitri Payet’s inviting centre was met by Reece Oxford at the near post and ricocheted past the excellent John Ruddy via Toffolo. 

It proved enough to see off a stubborn Norwich side, who had several a chance of their own through the wasteful Ricky van Wolfswinkel.      

Ironically, having drawn blanks in both of their previous two outings, West Ham so nearly opened the scoring inside 30 seconds here. 

Morgan Amalfitano took aim from all of 25 yards and with Ruddy at full stretch to his right, the ball cannoned off the stanchion behind the goal. 

Seconds later and Matt Jarvis stormed down the Canaries’ left, before fizzing a ball across the face. It would surely have been met by the waiting Diafra Sakho at the far post, only for a Norwich intervention to divert it behind. 

At the other end, it took a combination of Lewis Page and Kevin Nolan to prevent van Wolfswinkel getting a clean shot away. 

With 16 gone, Tony Andreu leathered one from 25 yards. Thankfully, it rose just high of the angle and arrowed into the fans behind the goal.  

West Ham went close again midway through the half, this time from a set piece. Amalfitano’s corner from the right was met flush by the forehead of Modibo Maiga, but flew straight at Ruddy. 

Then, former Hammers midfielder Gary O’Neil forced Adrian to fling himself low to his right to tip a 20-yard drive round the post. 

But by far and away the best chance of the half fell to the Canaries, namely van Wolfswinkel. The Dutchman raced free on the stroke of half-time and despite having all the time in the world, was expertly denied by the outstretched left boot of Adrian. 

Van Wolfswinkel should have done rather better shortly after the restart, too. The No19 was picked out 18 yards from goal and made a meal of it, side-footing well wide of the right-hand upright. 

West Ham nearly made him and Norwich pay. Nolan released Jarvis down the left and after the winger’s firm drive had been repelled by Ruddy at his near post, Jarvis flashed the rebound over the top. 

Slaven Bilic made some nine changes on the hour, with Adrian and James Tomkins the duo to remain. On came Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna, Oxford, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Mauro Zarate, Enner Valencia and Payet.  

Kouyate looked in the mood and soon had a dig from range, which Ruddy did well to palm behind. The Senegal midfielder should then have been in on goal, but failed to collect Payet’s delightful through ball. 

In response, Elliott Bennett unleashed a rasping drive from miles out, which had Adrian worried but swerved just past his left-hand post.  

But West Ham got closer still. Ruddy spilled Jenkinson’s cross from the right but more than made amends with his reactions. He somehow twice denied Valencia from point-blank range, with the Ecuadorean seemingly certain to score. 

Zarate found the England stopper in exquisite form too, as the Norwich custodian denied the Argentine at his near post.  

But West Ham were not be denied, as Ruddy was finally beaten by a combination of Oxford and Toffolo late on. 

Payet’s corner had come straight back out to him and his second delivery was a wicked one. There was Oxford, lurking at the near post, to force a richly-deserved West Ham winner.  

Norwich City: Ruddy, E Bennett, R Bennett, Turner, Toffolo; Tettey (Howson 46), O'Neil (c), Odjidja Ofoe, Hooper (Murphy 78), Andreu, van Wolfswinkel
Subs: Rudd, Loza, Redmond, Jacob Murphy, Hall-Johnson, McGrandles 

West Ham United: Adrian, Burke (Jenkinson 60), Tomkins, Henry (Ogbonna 60), Page (Cresswell 60), Poyet (Noble 60), Nolan (Kouyate 60), Amalfitano (Oxford 60), Maiga (Valencia 60), Jarvis (Zarate 60), Sakho (Payet 60) 
Subs: Spiegel, Samuelsen

Goal: Toffolo OG. 82 

Referee: Kevin Friend