Spurs held to disappointing draw against Wolves

Tottenham 1 Wolves 1

Tottenham blew their chance to claim a share of the Barclays Premier League's top spot as they were held to a disappointing draw against Wolves.

Mick McCarthy's men stunned the home side by taking the lead in the 22nd minute when Steven Fletcher poked home.

And Spurs struggled to give Wayne Hennessey a real test until the second half and it took a 20-yard strike from Luka Modric to ensure they left with a point on an underwhelming afternoon that will do little to convince their doubters that they are credible title contenders.

Tottenham could have moved level with leaders Manchester City and neighbours United with a win, but they are now likely to head in to next weekend's showdown at the Etihad Stadium five points behind the leaders, who play at Wigan on Monday.

For all the pre-match talk of Spurs being serious challengers, they played like anything but champions in the making, especially early on.

McCarthy, whose Wolves team arrived in London without a win since December 4, cut an animated figure on touchline in opening 15 minutes, but he had little reason to worry.

Modric squirted a shot wide and then had a powerful effort blocked by a posse of Wolves defenders, before he blazed over soon after.

Then, in the 22nd minute, White Hart Lane was stunned in to silence by a controversial Fletcher opener.

The visitors were awarded a dubious corner when Kyle Walker was adjudged to have touched the ball on its way out despite the full-back insisting he did not.

Brad Friedel parried Roger Johnson's header from the corner in to the path of Fletcher and he made no mistake from eight yards. It was the first goal Spurs had conceded at home in 359 minutes.

Gareth Bale stung Hennessey's hands with a low drive as Spurs looked for an immediate equaliser and Van der Vaart blazed over.

Johnson blocked Van der Vaart's goal-bound effort and Modric volleyed at Hennessey as the Spurs onslaught continued, but Wolves' defending was resolute.

Dave Edwards then found space in the Spurs box in a rare Wolves attack but he totally mis-cued his shot.

Harry Redknapp's frustration got the better of him just before the break when he shouted angrily at a member of the Wolves bench for failing to return the ball to the field of play.

The home crowd urged Spurs on and they thought they had equalised in first-half injury-time, but Adebayor's toe-poke from eight yards was ruled out for offside.

Emmanuel Frimpong charged at the Spurs defence moments later and they backed off until Younes Kaboul got a block in.

Already booked, the Ghanian was given his final warning after the break when he clattered in to Modric, but the midfielder almost put Wolves 2-0 up moments later but his fierce volley was parried by Friedel.

The home supporters' frustration grew after Bale skied a shot from the edge of the area, but they were on their feet moments later thanks to Modric.

Van der Vaart skilfully turned in the box to square to Bale, who laid the ball off to the Croatian and he hammered home from 20 yards through a sea of defenders.

Aaron Lennon should have made it 2-1 moments later but he could only fire in to Hennessey's arms after the Wolves 'keeper had saved from Modric.

Frimpong hauled down Lennon on the edge of the box but did not receive a second yellow card. McCarthy was willing to take no more chances on the youngster, however, and he came off for Stephen Hunt with just over 20 minutes left.

Redknapp brought on Jermain Defoe for Lennon as he tried to find a way through.

The England striker, reportedly unhappy at his lack of first-team action, almost made an immediate impact, latching on to a clearance before firing a fierce low drive which Hennessey saved with his feet.

Walker ran 70 yards before seeing his deflected shot sail just wide as the game entered what promised to be a nervous final 10 minutes.

Modric fired a shot just over Hennessey's bar from 25 yards and Scott Parker mis-hit an effort with the goal gaping with five minutes left.

Christophe Berra's foul on Parker gave Spurs a free-kick 20 yards out with little over 30 seconds left but his curled effort went over and the game ended in disappointment as Redknapp's men had to settle for a point.

PA

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine