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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton feels hard done by after West Ham Premier League defeat

PUBLISHED: 18:36 01 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:17 03 January 2013

Chris Hughton finds himself in the middle of an Upton Park bubble storm. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Chris Hughton finds himself in the middle of an Upton Park bubble storm. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

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Chris Hughton insists referee Mark Clattenburg got the key first half penalty decision wrong in Norwich’s 2-1 Premier League New Year’s Day defeat at West Ham.

Ryan Bennett was adjudged to have held Winston Reid’s shirt inside the visiting penalty area two minutes into the game at Upton Park. Clattenburg pointed straight to the penalty spot and Mark Noble stepped up to send Mark Bunn the wrong way. Joey O’Brien’s close range finish doubled the hosts’ first-half lead before Russell Martin’s 90th strike reduced the arrears as Norwich slipped to a fourth consecutive festive loss.

“We were certainly on the end of the key decisions, which didn’t go in our favour, but we didn’t start well enough,” said Hughton, who made his views known to Clattenburg at half and full time. “I asked him about the first decision and when I speak about things not going in our favour I mean, firstly, the penalty. We accept that Ryan Bennett had a hold of the lad (Winston) Reid’s shirt. I accept that, but I also saw Reid’s forearm or so in Ryan’s chest or neck. They are very close. He is not pulling Reid so that he can’t get away.

“That is something you see game in, game out and on almost every occasion you don’t see a penalty. Particularly so early in the game. I was very surprised he gave it. I also don’t accept that is wasn’t on a foul on Alex Tettey in the build up that lead to their second goal. It is West Ham’s prerogative to play on and I think if the referee is going to stop play then he has to accept it is a foul to us.

“So, frustration with the big decisions. There was certainly also a handball in the first half that wasn’t spotted (in their box) and Harry Kane had a penalty claim in the second period. So we were on the wrong end of some poor decisions. Mark was very calm (when I spoke to him) and he said he had given the penalty for Ryan holding the lad’s shirt. I accept that as fact, but it is not one where a player is trying to get away and you are pulling him back. They were that close they were pulling each other.”

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