Spurs started this game the way they left off against Everton, by conceding a soft goal from down the left hand side. Tom Huddlestone was harshly adjudged to have fouled Karl Henry near the corner flag and Kevin Doyle timed his leap perfectly to get the merest hint of a touch on Milijas’ flighted free-kick, but that was enough to fool Gomes. Why Doyle thought celebrating in front of the Spurs fans in the corner furthest away from his own supporters was a good idea I’m not sure.
The away fans celebrated wildly of course, “enjoy it while you can” was the comment from the bloke behind me as he gave voice to the general view that the Wolves lead would only be temporary. Little did we know. Led by Huddlestone Spurs launched into a period of possession where assured & confident passing got us precisely nowhere. Long sweeping passes out to Assou-Ekotto and carefully constructed moves attempting to put Lennon clear were carried out at such a tempo that the defence were easily able to regroup behind the ball once any space was created. Defoe rarely managed to find more than a gnat’s chuff of space all afternoon and Robbie again played with the dial on his confidence tank pointing to Dangerously Low.
The second half was a match for the first. We had mountains of possession with nothing to show for it. Redknapp switched things around by bringing on Crouch, Modric and even Giovani but in the end the closest we came to getting back in the game were a couple of efforts from Huddlestone. Crouch was treated extremely physically by the Wolves back four but received no sympathy from Stuart Atwell. Modric attempted to impose himself on the game but Giovani looked lost and seemed not to know how to escape the understandably enthusiastic attention of anyone wearing a gold shirt.
Wolves time wasting began early (the first half) and they had two players booked for procrastinating – and also one for diving, not a bad hat-trick – but somehow in the end it was hard to begrudge them the win and the three points. Stoke’s 1-0 win at WHL a few weeks ago left a bad taste in the mouth as much of what they offered had little to do with ‘proper’ football. Wolves though defended superbly, barely making a mistake at the back despite the pressure they were under. You could say things didn’t go our way to a small degree, i.e. the ball never fell kindly after one of the many pinball in the box episodes towards the end and the ref was perhaps a tad lenient on some of the treatment meted out to Crouch and Defoe, but more the case is that we weren’t good enough to get behind them in open play or clever enough to outwit them at dead balls.
As the game drew to a close the possibility of a second away goal grew as Wolves broke regularly and attempted to take advantage of our line-up of midgets in midfield but nothing came of it.
So the win against Wigan has now been followed by two draws and two losses, not what we were hoping for or expecting. It was great to see Modric back, the fans in the West Stand with the large ‘Crottenham’ flag would’ve been especially pleased, but few other positives could be drawn.
Life in the top four (or five or six) is going to be short lived if we keep peppering the fixture list with scorelines like this. The draws at Villa Park and Goodison were acceptable, but this loss means thatÂ getting a good result against City on Wednesday night is now even more important.
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