Petulance leaves Ince down and out

Wolves 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2
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The Independent Football

Goals from Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane saw Tottenham end their most disappointing season in the Premiership on a more positive note while their already relegated hosts' brief Premiership spell concluded with their captain Paul Ince sent off after a cynical foul on Jamie Redknapp.

Spurs secured almost £4m in prize money to assist their efforts to improve on their 14th place while Wolves gained a consolation prize of £545,000 to take down a division - a huge deficit for just a difference of six places and a reminder to the Midlands club that their efforts to stay in the top flight will seem little compared to those needed to secure a return.

In the first half, Wolves did not look like a relegated side at all as Carl Cort and Henri Camara ran the Tottenham rearguard ragged. Senegal international Camara was involved in most attacks and, after a pre-match "Keep Camara" campaign, his post-match Player Of The Season award came coupled with a harsh "hands off" warning from his manager, Dave Jones.

Tottenham goalkeeper, Kasey Keller, did well to keep out first-half shots from Ince, Camara and Cort, and Spurs regrouped to shock their hosts by taking the lead through former Wolves hero, Keane, when the Irishman had enough space in the box to bundle the ball past Paul Jones and in off the far post. His celebrations were quiet, cheered more by Wolves fans in awe of the talented forward who joined them as a 16-year-old.

"Fame, glory, or whatever, it is has not phased Robbie," said David Pleat, Spurs' departing caretaker manager. "He's a very straightforward, simple lad who is in early in the morning, he trains and wants to stay out. I don't know what his vices are; he's a spot-on boy."

The match was meaningless in terms of result, but prize money and pride were top of the agenda. Jones took time to hail Denis Irwin, who received a standing ovation when he officially retired with 89 minutes on the clock, some 700 League appearances after first turning out for Leeds 22 years ago.

"He's been a fantastic professional at this football club," said Jones. "I think the biggest honour that I can give him is that he's trained this week and every week I've had him as if he was just starting off as a young professional." Tottenham said goodbye to Christian Ziege, a player released after an injury hit season.

Young Defoe continued to stake his claim for a fruitful international career when he scored his seventh goal for Spurs. Although a short back pass from Cort gifted him the goal, Defoe's skill to skip past Paul Jones and roll the ball in, left one eye pointing towards a summer in Portugal.

Wolves 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Keane 34, Defoe 57

Half-time: 0-1 Attendance: 29,389