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Wolves close the door

Posted on 14 January 2012  - 12:00

Wolves became only the third team to take points off us at the Lane this season as things just didn't fall our way in Saturday's 1-1 draw.

Wolves became only the third team to take points off us at the Lane this season as things just didn't fall our way in Saturday's 1-1 draw.

Much was made in the pre-match build-up of the chance to go joint-top of the Premier League with a win.

But all along, our management and players alike spoke about how difficult Wolves would make it. They were right.

The visitors made it tough and took advantage as we failed to hit top gear in the first half. Steven Fletcher opened the scoring midway through the half and sliced another good chance wide as we controlled play but were restricted to efforts from distance.

Wolves then defended for their lives as we equalised through Luka Modric six minutes into the second half and then went into overdrive.

Wayne Hennessey produced a double save to deny Modric and Aaron Lennon and we couldn't carve out that clear-cut chance to get over the line.

The manager made just the one change from Wednesday night's win against Everton with Scott Parker back from injury and in for Jake Livermore.

Modric was central to the early play. He whistled an early shot just wide and then had a couple of half-chances before Wolves took the lead against the run of play on 22 minutes.

Matt Jarvis floated in a corner, Roger Johnson rose well to meet it at the far post, Brad Friedel worked wonders to keep it out but Fletcher was on hand to bury the rebound.

If that was a shock to the system, we soon got back on top, but again without carving out anything clear-cut.

Gareth Bale fired straight at Hennessey before backheeling for Rafa van der Vaart to blast over.

Bale was blocked at close range and Modric volleyed straight at the keeper from the edge of the box.

Wolves weren't just shutting up shop though and Fletcher sliced arguably the best chance of the half wide from 16 yards with 37 minutes on the clock.

Adebayor's 'goal' was chalked off for offside on the stroke of half-time, a frustrating end to a tricky half.

There was a spark about the team in the early stages of the second half but Friedel was called into action first, a sharp palm away from Emmanuel Frimpong's volley.

Always in charge in terms of possession, we forced our way back into the game after 51 minutes.

Bale took a throw to Adebayor and got it back via van der Vaart before rolling into Modric, whose shot zipped through a crowded box and past Hennessey.

Hennessey then denied Modric and Lennon, van der Vaart's free-kick curled just wide and Michael Dawson connected sweetly with Modric's corner, but the ball flew a yard over.

Kyle Walker, so impressive down the right, then volleyed a yard wide.

Jermain Defoe entered the fray for Lennon with 17 minutes left and was soon into the action, his snap-shot from 18 yards kept out by Hennessey's feet.

Modric continued to prompt from midfield, Bale was everywhere, Walker bombed on and we got in numerous promising positions, but that final chance just wouldn't come.

Van der Vaart stood over a free-kick 25 yards out in the last minute of added time and we all hoped for a dream finish, but he curled a yard over and that was that.

Still, that's one defeat in 19 matches and we're sitting pretty in third in the Premier League ahead of next Sunday's belter at City.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto (Rose, 81); Lennon (Defoe, 73), Modric, Parker, Bale; Van der Vaart; Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Bassong, Kranjcar, Livermore, Pavlyuchenko.

Wolves (4-1-4-1): Hennessey; Foley, Berra, Johnson, Ward; Frimpong (Hunt, 66); Kightly, Henry, Edwards (Milijas, 81), Jarvis (Elokobi, 86); Fletcher. Unused subs: De Vries, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle.

Goals: Spurs - Modric (51). Wolves - Fletcher (22).

Attendance: 36,194.

Referee: Mr M Jones.