Heroic Wolves defy Spurs
Early Doyle goal enough for Mick McCarthy's men
By James Riach. Last Updated: December 13, 2009 11:18am
Doyle: Scored winning goal
Wolves pulled off a miraculous defensive display to defy the odds and hang on for a 1-0 win against Tottenham.
With Spurs netting nine goals in their last game at White Hart Lane, few would have backed Mick McCarthy's men to keep a clean sheet after they went ahead in the third minute through Kevin Doyle.
The Republic of Ireland international got the faintest of touches on a superb Nenad Milijas free-kick from the right to head past Heurelho Gomes.
Spurs dominated the rest of the match but failed to carve out many clear-cut chances as the Wolves defence of Richard Stearman, Jody Craddock, Christophe Berra and Stephen Ward stood up to the challenge.
Harry Redknapp's side enjoyed nearly all the possession but could not breach the opposition goal and Wolves hung on for their second away win of the season.
Inevitably after such an early goal, Wolves had to withstand pressure, although
Spurs' chances straight after the opener were not of the clear-cut variety.
It was down to Craddock and Berra to throw themselves at everything Spurs could throw at them.
Robbie Keane, playing against the club he started his career at, attempted to get Spurs back in the game but when he had sight of goal from Niko Kranjcar's through ball, Craddock leant on him enough for Marcus Hahnemann to claim.
Jermain Defoe fired a long-range effort straight at Hahnemann, then Keane got even closer when his finish went just over after Wilson Palacios' pass slipped through the Wolves defence.
Wolves' hard-working display was epitomised by Henry, although he earned a booking for two fouls on Tom Huddlestone within a minute of each other.
Aaron Lennon had a quiet game by his standards and when he did have a shot Stephen Ward bravely got his body in the way.
Before the break Keane headed onto the roof of the net and Defoe failed to get purchase on his finish after Vedran Corluka found him in the penalty area.
Huddlestone also had a chance, going to ground after a Craddock challenge but managing to get a shot away from close range, which went wide.
Just like the first half, Wolves started well in the second. Doyle turned provider three minutes after the restart but Gomes was equal to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's angled shot.
Luka Modric, on his return from a fractured fibula suffered in August, was only meant to be given 20 minutes' action but he was introduced just before the hour mark, such was Spurs' urgency.
Redknapp did not have David Bentley to call upon as the midfielder was left out of the matchday squad following a training ground friendly in the week when he was accused of lacking effort.
Jermaine Jenas and Roman Pavlyuchenko were not included either but Peter Crouch was among the substitutes and came on with Modric, as Keane and Palacios made way.
Crouch headed over the crossbar from Kranjcar's corner in the move after he came off the bench.
Wolves were also forced into a change as David Edwards slipped awkwardly on the slick turf - and he returned from the dressing room with an ice-pack on his ankle.
Kranjcar stabbed wide before kicking the post in frustration, then he was replaced by Giovani dos Santos, who had recovered from a long-term ankle injury.
Huddlestone forced Hahnemann into a fine stop before the end but Wolves held on for their first victory on Spurs' turf since 1973.
|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Statistics||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|7||Shots on Target||2|
|11||Shots off Target||2|
Barclays Premier League
Sat 12th Dec
Stoke City2 - 2Wigan
Bolton3 - 3Man City
Sunderland1 - 1Portsmouth
Chelsea3 - 3Everton
Birmingham1 - 0West Ham
Tottenham0 - 1Wolves
Burnley1 - 1Fulham
Hull City0 - 0Blackburn
Man Utd0 - 1A Villa
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||38||49|
|10||West Ham United||38||46|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||25|