Norwich were the better side in a poor first half and deservedly took the lead when Howson’s low shot bounced past a slow-reacting Asmir Begovic after poor defending from the hosts.
Stoke improved but barely tested keeper John Ruddy, while down the other end Begovic looked uncharacteristically uneasy with the high ball.
A half-time double change saw Stephen Ireland and Jermaine Pennant enter the field, and Stoke continued to escalate the pressure, having a good penalty appeal rejected when Leroy Fer pulled down Kenwyne Jones.
But they struggled to fashion genuine chances, with Norwich happy to sit back and defend what was ultimately a comfortable win.
Pre-match: Stoke’s Matthew Etherington misses out with whiplash suffered in a traffic incident as Marko Arnautovic starts; Norwich are without skipper Sebastien Bassong and winger Nathan Redmond, both injured, as Gary Hooper drops to the bench following Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s return.
9’ – POST: Ryan Bennett slides in to meet a corner, rattling the woodwork and seeing his follow-up saved by Asmir Begovic.
33’ – GOAL (Stoke 0-1 Norwich): Howson bounces a shot past Begovic, who is very slow to react. Stoke had given the ball away from a throw, and backed off Howson after Anthony Pilkington’s lay-off. Poor.
50’ – STOKE PENALTY APPEAL: Fer pulls down Jones in the box to the dismay of the Stoke players and manager Mark Hughes, but ref Anthony Taylor waves play on.
80’ – SAVE: Begovic goes some way to atoning for the goal with a fine stop from Robert Snodgrass.
This was Norwich’s first away win of the campaign.
Norwich’s goal came after 235 minutes without scoring.
Should Stoke have had a penalty? Yes, is the answer, with Fer clearly manhandling Jones in the box. Although given how poor Stoke were in the final third, they’d probably have missed it.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Martin Olsson (Norwich): The Swedish full-back was in fine form down the left, both crisp in the challenge and adventurous in attack. Looks a good signing.
Stoke: Begovic 5, Cameron 6, Shawcross 6, Huth 6, Pieters 6, Walters 6, Nzonzi 6, Wilson 6, Adam 5, Arnautovic 5, Jones 6; Subs: Pennant 6, Crouch 6, Ireland 6
Norwich: Ruddy 6, Martin 6, Turner 7, R Bennett 7, Olsson 7, Pilkington 7, Howson 7, Tettey 6, Fer 7, Snodgrass 7, Van Wolfswinkel 6; Subs: Whittaker 6, Elmander 7
THE MATCH IN A TWEET