Stoke substitute Glenn Whelan scored the only goal late in the day at White Hart Lane to ruin Harry Redknapp's first anniversary as Tottenham manager.
With Jermain Defoe suspended for the Barclays Premier League clash, Spurs could not unlock a Stoke defence assembled by boss Tony Pulis, who was a player under Redknapp at Bournemouth.
Peter Crouch had two efforts cleared off the line, both by James Beattie, and Niko Kranjcar struck the post - then the visitors stung them at the end in spectacular fashion when Whelan found the top corner.
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