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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:15 3rd November 2012
By  Nick Taylor

REPORT: SPURS 0 LATICS 1

Ben Watson's 56th minute goal proved the crucial one as Latics turned out an excellent performance at White Hart Lane.

Despite missing clear-cut chances in the first half, Latics were not left to rue them in what could have been a 3-0 or 4-0 victory.

Roberto Martinez reverted back to his usual Barclays Premier League starting XI but was without midfielder James McArthur.

Instead, Watson stepped into the middle and was outstanding throughout.

Tottenham Hotspur started the game with the lion's share of possession but, as Latics pushed hard to win it back they frustrated the home side and their fans into submission.

The first real chance for Latics came just before the half an hour mark when James McCarthy played the ball to Shaun Maloney on the edge of the area.

Maloney played a neat one-two with Arouna Kone on the edge but when the Ivorian had just Brad Friedel to beat his shot was well saved to the keeper's right.

Six minutes later and it was the same good movement again, this time with Kone setting up Maloney for the same outcome as the Scotsman got one-on-one with Friedel and had the ball parried away.

Right on the stroke of half time Latics had yet another chance to open Spurs up when Gary Caldwell floated the ball down the right channel for Kone to run on to.

The striker cut inside to lay the ball across the box towards Maloney who stepped over it, allowing Watson to take aim but fire just over the bar.

The second half started in a similar fashion with Latics controlling the ball.

It didn't take long for that magic moment to come and it was once again some excellent football that put the away side at an advantage.

After tireless work down the left by Franco di Santo, Latics won themselves a corner.

The initial delivery was cleared but, as it came back out wide Watson found a great position in the box to receive the cross.

It came to him and at close range his right footed shot was too strong for Friedel as the ball went just over the line before coming back out off the keeper who was positioned in the net.

Spurs knew they would have to push hard to get an equaliser but at every opportunity they were denied by rock solid defending from Ivan Ramis and Caldwell.

Latics even had a flurry of chances to extend their lead but, not before McCarthy was made to clear off the line at the back post from a Clint Dempsey header.

The best of the chances fell to the feet of the tireless Kone as he battled on the break to shrug off Tottenham defenders left, right and centre.

As he advanced into the box on the ball he looked destined to score but the shot was driven across the face of goal narrowly missing the target.

Latics held firm and after five minutes of stoppage time the referee blew his whistle to the delight of the traveling fans.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker (Carroll 79), Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Lennon, Sandro (Sigurdsson 23), Huddlestone, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe (Adebayor 58)

Unused subs: Lloris, Dawson, Naughton,  Falque

Latics: Al Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Ramis, Figueroa, Beausejour, Watson, McCarthy, Maloney, Kone, Di Santo (Gomez 70)

Unused subs: Pollitt, Lopez, Stam, Jones, McManaman, Boselli