But there was no doubt in the mind of Wimbledon's manager, Joe Kinnear, or his animated chairman, Sam Hammam, that larceny - of the grand, rather than the petty kind - had occurred. And while Tottenham's late break-out caused them distress, it was towards the referee, David Elleray, that they pointed the trembling finger of blame.
Both disputed his decisions to disallow Mick Harford's 22nd-minute header for a foul, and to award Spurs a free-kick for pushing after Gary Mabbutt appeared to have handled the ball in his own area just before the hour.
Accordingly, they borrowed a bemused television cameraman and attempted to demonstrate the justice of their case using the video playback on his machine.
"Two poor decisions cost us," Kinnear said. "Why should I allow a referee to do things which destroy my life? When managers make mistakes they get sacked. What happens to referees? He is probably going home in his car now thinking about where he's going to referee next week."
Kinnear, who believes video evidence should be made available to officials during the game, should be thinking now about another appearance before the Football Association disciplinary commission because of his comments.
However Kinnear knows a bit of quality when he sees it. "Class act" was his phrase for Sheringham's decisive contribution in the 83rd minute. After supplying Armstrong on the left he set off on a diagonal run to the far post, where he was able to volley back the resulting cross so invitingly that the diminutive Fox had only to nod in approbation to send the ball high past Paul Heald.
Thus Tottenham are now in third place with an unbeaten away record in nine matches and a sequence of five matches without conceding a goal, one short of the club record they set last December. That their goal remained intact was thanks hugely to the efforts of their keeper, Ian Walker, whose reflexes and bravery were outstanding throughout.
Goal: Fox (83) 0-1.
Wimbledon (4-4-2): Heald; Cunningham, Reeves, Perry, Kimble; Goodman (Jones, 85), Earle, Leonhardsen, Ekoku; Holdsworth, Harford (Gayle, 52). Substitute not used: Segers (gk).
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Campbell (Slade, 85), Mabbutt, Calderwood, Wilson; Fox, Howells, Dozzell (Edinburgh, 55), Rosenthal; Sheringham, Armstrong. Substitute not used: Day.
Referee: D Elleray (Harrow).Bookings: Wimbledon Leonhardsen, Harford, Earle.
Man of the match: Walker. Attendance: 16,193.Reuse content