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Hughton cries foul at Clattenburg's controversial calls

NORWICH manager Chris Hughton was left frustrated after "big decisions" went against his team in their 2-1 defeat at West Ham - which was a fourth straight Premier League loss.

Both sides went into the New Year's Day encounter needing a boost, with the Irons' last win coming against Chelsea on December 1.

The home side were given an early opportunity to take command when referee Mark Clattenburg spotted a shirt pull by defender Ryan Bennett on Winston Reid, and Mark Noble converted the controversial penalty.

Although Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass rattled the woodwork with a free-kick, Dubliner Joey O'Brien - who is knocking on the door for an Ireland recall - crashed home a second goal on 26 minutes, which proved enough to secure the Hammers a morale-boosting victory ahead of next weekend's FA Cup tie against Manchester United.

Russell Martin netted a well-taken volley for his third goal in two games during stoppage time, but it was scant consolation for Hughton.

Snodgrass later Tweeted claiming "the referee kills the game. #gamesgone" - and while accepting there was cause for a foul, Hughton felt the penalty award was soft, and highlighted other calls which went against the visitors.

Confrontation

"There is frustration with the big decisions, the key decisions in the game did not go in our favour," said Hughton, who confronted Clattenburg as he left the pitch at half-time and full-time. "We accept Ryan Bennett had hold of the lad's shirt, but I also saw Reid's forearm in Ryan's chest. They are very close, he is not pulling Reid so he cannot get away, it is something you see game in and game out throughout the country.

"I also don't accept it was not a foul on Alex Tettey leading up to the second goal and certainly was a handball in the first half and then Harry Kane had a penalty claim, so we were on the wrong end of poor decisions."

After a 10-match unbeaten run which pulled Norwich away from the relegation zone, Hughton's side have endured a miserable festive period, beaten at home by both Chelsea and Manchester City as well as West Brom.