Thursday 22 March 2018

Clattenburg leaves Hughton fuming

West Ham 2
Norwich 1

Jamie Holland

Controversy seems to follow referee Mark Clattenburg wherever he goes this season. That trend continued at Upton Park, leaving Norwich manager Chris Hughton less than pleased.

Clattenburg, the official accused of racially abusing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, before being cleared, was the centre of attention again.

After just three minutes he had given West Ham a soft penalty when Ryan Bennett was adjudged to have tugged on Winston Reid's shirt in the area. Mark Noble duly converted the spot-kick. At the midway point of the first half, Norwich could have had a penalty of their own when Reid handled the ball under pressure from centre-half Sebastien Bassong, but Clattenburg waved appeals away.

Hughton was then left incensed on 26 minutes when Carlton Cole and Alexander Tettey went up for a header. The Norwich midfielder went down injured but Clattenburg refused to give a foul and Joey O'Brien scored.

"We were on the end of key decisions which did not go in our favour," said Hughton. "I spoke to him at half-time about the first decision.

"Ryan Bennett had Reid's shirt but Reid had his forearm. It is something you see game in, game out and you almost never see a penalty given."

Norwich's Russell Martin scored his third goal in two matches, volleying in Simeon Jackson's cross in the 90th minute, but the Hammers held on to condemn the Canaries to their fourth successive defeat.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was quick to single out "unsung hero" Reid after the victory. He said: "The basis of our successful season has been defending and he gives us a solid base."

Irish Independent

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