Third successive league draw and four unbeaten for Canaries
CITY got their first clean sheet of the season against West Ham at Carrow Road but found Jussi Jaaskelainen in fine form in the visitors’ goal and were held to their third successive Barclays Premier League draw.
Both sides had chances to win it and referee Chris Foy was called on to make two big penalty calls in the first half, on both occasions rightly refusing to give the spot-kick the City fans were baying for.
Debutant Harry Kane had a golden chance to clinch three points for City in the dying seconds but shot too close to Jaaskelainen when played in by Robert Snodgrass.
Earlier the Finnish veteran’ keeper made a clutch of quality saves, including a superb one-handed tip-over to keep out a rocket from Simeon Jackson and then a crucial block with his legs to deny the once-again impressive Snodgrass in injury time.
After the game Hughton told Canaries Player: “I'm frustrated and disappointed not to win, but what I'm very keen not to do is take away from the positive aspects which were numerous.
"We were creating chances which is why it's probably very frustrating, because we dealt with the big powerful West Ham side that have a way of causing teams problems very well. Some teams won't deal with it the way we did today, and that, along with the clean-sheet and not being beat in fours games they are the pluses.
"The areas we have to improve upon are in the final-third and we need to show more quality and guile in front of goal."
Hughton made one enforced change to the team which drew 1-1 at Tottenham before the international break, Andrew Surman replacing Anthony Pilkington who failed a pre-match fitness test.
Meanwhile David Fox, who signed a new two-year deal with the Canaries during the week, was on the bench along with deadline day loan signing Harry Kane of Spurs.
The visitors started brightly, with a shot from Matt Taylor bouncing wide in only the second minute, but City hit back with a great chance as Surman’s useful run ended with a curling effort a foot wide of the post.
In the 14th minute there was a let-off for City as a scramble in their box saw Leon Barnett clear off the line and Taylor slam the rebound wide of the post from a good position.
The Canary fans were screaming for a penalty at the other end two minutes later as Snodgrass went down under the challenge of Nolan, but referee Chris Foy was having none of it.
An entertaining first half continued as West Ham countered and Nolan’s first-time shot seemed goalbound only for Ruddy to pull off a superb one-handed reaction stop to keep it out.
Just before the half-hour it was the Hammers’ turn to be indebted to their ‘keeper, as Jaaselainen flung himself around his six-yard box and with a little help from his defence kept out FOUR City efforts in the same attack, from Snodgrass, Holt, Bassong and Martin.
Five minutes before half-time there was more drama as Collins scythed Surman down right on the edge of the West Ham box. City felt it should have been a penalty, but Mr Foy awarded a free-kick right on the line, with replays suggesting he got it right.
Half-time: Norwich City 0, West Ham United 0
City made a positive start to the second half and were only denied an opener in the 50th minute by Jaaskelainen, who produced a wonder save to tip over a blistering strike by Simeon Jackson.
The visitors made a double switch in the 56th minute, Maiga and Jarvis replacing Cole and Taylor. City responded with a substitution of their own six minutes later as Jackson made way for Morison.
Five minutes after coming on Morison carved out a chance for himself, beating Collins in the air and then hitting a looping first-time effort a couple of feet over West Ham’s crossbar.
In the 71st minute Hughton handed a City debut to Harry Kane, the Spurs youngster replacing Holt to join Morison up front for City.
With six minutes of normal time remaining the young striker showed a lovely touch to set himself up for a 22-yard effort which flashed wide of the post.
Then Kane had a glorious chance to make the headlines when Snodgrass played him into the box in the 89th minute, but his shot was disappointing and comfortably saved by Jaaskelainen.
In injury time Snodgrass had a final chance to snatch glory at the death, but his low shot deflected off the legs of Jaaskelainen and over.
Final score: Norwich City 0, West Ham United 0
Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Snodgrass, Howson, Holt (c) (Kane 71), Jackson (Morison 63), Surman, Garrido, Barnett. Subs not used: Rudd, Turner, Hoolahan, Fox, Tierney.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Nolan (c), Cole (Maiga 56), Vaz Te (Benayoun 86), Taylor (Jarvis 56), Noble, O’Brien, Collins, Demel, Diame. Subs not used: Henderson, McCartney, Tomkins, Diarra.
Referee: Chris Foy