Ryan Bennett and Harry Kane are in disbelief as a penalty is awarded against them by referee Mark Clattenburg in the second minute at West Ham. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Norwich City’s Ryan Bennett gets support from West Ham’s Winston Reid over penalty decision

Friday, January 4, 2013
10.17 AM

Ryan Bennett has received backing from the most unlikely source for his role in Norwich City’s New Year’s Day penalty setback at West Ham – Irons’ centre back Winston Reid, the man Bennett was adjudged to have fouled at Upton Park.

Referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot just two minutes into City’s 2-1 Premier League defeat in the East End after penalising Bennett for a shirt pull on the New Zealander.

Mark Noble rifled home the penalty to set the Hammers on their way, but Chris Hughton and his players were adamant afterwards the Canaries had been hard done by.

Now Reid has admitted he felt some sympathy towards his fellow defender after playing a pivotal role in the early penalty incident.

“It wasn’t the biggest penalty appeal,” he said. “He was pulling my shirt, but, you know, sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t.

“When you look at most games in the Premier League there is an incident like that almost every time the ball goes into the box and rarely do they result in penalties.

“I think if I had been defending that situation, I would have been disappointed, but fortunately we got the break we needed.”

Bennett preferred to adopt a philosophical tone at Colney yesterday when pressed for his version of events.

“It is one of those things,” he said. “I spoke to the referee afterwards and he told me his opinion – that is just how it is. We move on. He said it was in the laws of the game and in his eyes it was a penalty. That is something I just have to accept and you can’t dwell on it. It is his decision, he is the referee. I shook his hand and walked off. What I wanted to do was go in and do well so it was not the best of starts (for me) but it is something you have to deal with.”

Bennett insists the belief remains steadfast where it matters most after a wretched festive spell of four consecutive league defeats.

“People are a little bit upset because we’re losing but when we were 10 unbeaten everyone was applauding, so it’s swings and roundabouts,” he said. “The run we went on was unbelievable. I think people forget that quickly. The last few results haven’t gone our way but I’m sure we’ll turn that around.

“The lads are going to work as hard as we always work and that’s the recipe for our success. I’m sure the results will turn in our favour again. Inside the dressing room, we’re still confident, we know we can continue to work hard and get results.

“We’re on a bit of a bad run losing four but we’ll try to turn that around and get as many positive results as we can until the end of the season.”

Bennett is relishing the prospect of his first competitive Peterborough return this weekend since leaving London Road in the last January transfer window.

The 22-year-old knows what to expect against his former team-mates, but dismisses any potential benefit that may accrue from his inside knowledge.

“I speak to a few of the players but football’s football. I know some of them, the way they play and how the team will be structured,” he said. “But that’s not my job. My job will be to go out there and play for Norwich and counteract that. We have to play how we want to and hopefully we’ll go and beat them.”