But instead, they failed to make the most of their greater possession and territory and got hit with a sucker punch.
They will also be frustrated by the injury to Woodgate, who managed only a 13-minute cameo in his first start of the season.
There was brilliance when he headed away a dangerous cross to prevent Stoke taking the lead, but it was shortly followed by the all-too familiar sight of him leaving the field injured, this time to be replaced by Michael Dawson.
Stoke had suffered their own misfortune when goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was taken ill during the warm-up, meaning Simonsen was promoted from the bench.
He was called into action very early on when he tipped away Lennon's cross intended for Crouch.
And Simonsen was also equal to Kranjcar's shot from distance, but he later needed a hooked goal-line clearance from Beattie to prevent Crouch scoring with a header.
Moments later, Crouch's clever flick set up Kranjcar and his first time 20-yard drive cannoned back off the foot of the post.
Pulis level headed after win at Spurs
Stoke were inviting Spurs on by leaving space to exploit, and the visitors were also impotent as an attacking force, reduced to relying on ineffective long throws from Rory Delap.
However, once Stoke tightened up and began to press the ball, Tottenham could not find the invention to make chances.
But the hosts did look the more threatening side and they came close to taking the lead when Robbie Keane shot on the turn, forcing a smart stop from Simonsen, and Dean Whitehead cleared as Crouch sprinted in.
Crouch - out to impress England boss Fabio Capello, who was watching in the stands - was next to be thwarted by Simonsen, who did well to keep out the striker's header.
Vedran Corluka's weak follow-up was easily smothered by the increasingly busy Simonsen.
Spurs brought on Roman Pavlyuchenko for Keane, who had not been at his best, in an effort to penetrate the Stoke defence.
The obvious way in, with two strikers over six feet tall, would have been via the air, but crosses were oddly at a premium.
Stoke, perhaps buoyed by their successful resistance, opted to change their attack too. On came Tuncay for Beattie.
Little changed as Stoke sat deep and Spurs toiled to create.
But when Lennon was forced off injured, Stoke sensed their chance to make their extra man count.
And they took it quite brilliantly when Ricardo Fuller cut the ball back to substitute Whelan and he smashed the ball into the corner.
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp on injured Aaron Lennon walking off with 14 minutes left: "I hoped he could stay on but he couldn't. I told him we'd only have 10 men and could he play on, but he said his ankle was too sore.
"I don't want to cause an issue. It's not about England - he's got big games coming up for Tottenham."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis: "It was probably our best result because we were playing against a top, top side. They have all the ammo you need to win games and they will still probably have a great season.
"For this football club, we have to be in the Premier League for three years before we push on. We are still living in portacabins at the training ground."
90:00+1:32 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Jermaine Jenas gets a block in.
90:00+1:05 Tuncay Sanli is caught offside. Heurelho Gomes takes the free kick.
90:00+0:36 Corner taken right-footed by Niko Kranjcar, save by Steve Simonsen.
89:58 Jermaine Jenas takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
89:35 Ryan Shawcross challenges Peter Crouch unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
88:50 Substitution Danny Higginbotham is brought on as a substitute for Ricardo Fuller.
85:42 Ricardo Fuller provided the assist for the goal.
85:42 GOAL - Glenn Whelan:Tottenham 0 - 1 Stoke A goal is scored by Glenn Whelan from inside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Tottenham 0-1 Stoke.
84:14 Dean Whitehead gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Jenas. Free kick crossed right-footed by Niko Kranjcar.
83:44 Ricardo Fuller challenges Michael Dawson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Vedran Corluka takes the direct free kick.
82:01 Jermaine Jenas produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
82:01 Booking Salif Diao is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
81:40 Jermaine Jenas fouled by Salif Diao, the ref awards a free kick.
79:37 Unfair challenge on Roman Pavlyuchenko by Salif Diao results in a free kick. Niko Kranjcar takes the direct free kick.
79:01 Tuncay Sanli produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.
75:59 Heurelho Gomes takes the direct free kick.
75:59 Booking Glenn Whelan is booked.
75:47 Glenn Whelan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Lennon.
75:21 Roman Pavlyuchenko takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
74:23 Foul by Ryan Shawcross on Roman Pavlyuchenko, free kick awarded. Jermaine Jenas crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed
from left channel, save made by Steve Simonsen.
72:58 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Jermaine Jenas, Michael Dawson takes a shot. Blocked by Salif Diao.
72:09 Aaron Lennon produces a cross, save made by Steve Simonsen.
70:30 Jermaine Jenas fouled by Glenn Whelan, the ref awards a free kick. Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the free kick.
70:06 Substitution Jermaine Jenas is brought on as a substitute for Tom Huddlestone.
69:03 Abdoulaye Faye restarts play with the free kick.
69:03 Substitution (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Tuncay Sanli coming on for James Beattie.
69:03 Sebastien Bassong concedes a free kick for a foul on Ricardo Fuller.
68:30 Niko Kranjcar fouled by James Beattie, the ref awards a free kick. Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the direct free kick.
68:01 Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Peter Crouch misses to the left of the goal.
66:37 Roman Pavlyuchenko produces a right-footed effort from long distance that goes harmlessly over the bar.
66:00 Foul by Glenn Whelan on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
63:28 Salif Diao fouled by Tom Huddlestone, the ref awards a free kick. Ryan Shawcross takes the direct free kick.
62:21 Substitution Robbie Keane leaves the field to be replaced by Roman Pavlyuchenko.
62:21 Dean Whitehead produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.
61:47 Ricardo Fuller challenges Niko Kranjcar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sebastien Bassong takes the free kick.
60:53 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance. Niko Kranjcar takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
60:26 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Dean Whitehead gets a block in. Short corner taken by Tom Huddlestone from the right by-line.
57:51 Handball by Dean Whitehead. Tom Huddlestone takes the indirect free kick.
56:35 Direct free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
56:35 Substitution (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Glenn Whelan coming on for Rory Delap.
56:35 Foul by Ryan Shawcross on Robbie Keane, free kick awarded.
54:47 James Beattie has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
54:12 Long distance shot from Tom Huddlestone misses to the left of the target.
49:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Benoit Assou-Ekotto on James Beattie. Free kick crossed left-footed by Matthew Etherington,
Vedran Corluka manages to make a clearance. Shot by Salif Diao went wide right of the net.
48:12 Robbie Keane takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen. Shot on goal by Benoit Assou-Ekotto from just inside the area goes over
45:45 Salif Diao concedes a free kick for a foul on Aaron Lennon. Shot on goal comes in from Niko Kranjcar from the free kick, Steve
Simonsen makes a save.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:00+3:43 The ref blows to signal half-time.
45:00+3:14 Ryan Shawcross fouled by Peter Crouch, the ref awards a free kick. Steve Simonsen takes the free kick.
45:00+1:37 Peter Crouch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Collins. Danny Collins takes the free kick.
43:57 The referee blows for offside against Robbie Keane. Steve Simonsen takes the indirect free kick.
37:43 Niko Kranjcar fouled by Dean Whitehead, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Niko Kranjcar
from left channel, save made by Steve Simonsen.
36:13 James Beattie fouled by Vedran Corluka, the ref awards a free kick. Matthew Etherington takes the direct free kick.
35:08 Ricardo Fuller challenges Benoit Assou-Ekotto unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Niko Kranjcar.
34:07 Effort on goal by Ricardo Fuller from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.
32:03 The referee blows for offside. Steve Simonsen restarts play with the free kick.
29:06 Booking Ricardo Fuller booked.
28:48 Shot from just outside the box by Salif Diao misses to the left of the target.
28:16 Foul by Michael Dawson on Ricardo Fuller, free kick awarded. Abdoulaye Faye takes the free kick.
27:43 Niko Kranjcar has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area that bounces off the post.
27:03 Peter Crouch takes a shot. James Beattie manages to make a clearance.
26:26 Foul by Abdoulaye Faye on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
24:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead by Wilson Palacios. Abdoulaye Faye delivers the ball from the
free kick left-footed from left channel.
23:48 Effort from deep inside the area by Sebastien Bassong misses to the left of the target.
23:00 Aaron Lennon takes a shot. Save made by Steve Simonsen. Outswinging corner taken by Niko Kranjcar from the right by-line played
to the near post, clearance by Dean Whitehead.
21:31 Free kick awarded for a foul by Salif Diao on Tom Huddlestone. Sebastien Bassong takes the free kick.
18:22 Michael Dawson fouled by James Beattie, the ref awards a free kick. Wilson Palacios takes the direct free kick.
16:18 Niko Kranjcar takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
13:02 Substitution Michael Dawson comes on in place of Jonathan Woodgate.
13:02 Shot by Tom Huddlestone from a long way out goes over the net.
11:29 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen. Niko Kranjcar decides to take the corner short. Wilson Palacios takes a
shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.
10:50 Niko Kranjcar takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Dean Whitehead manages to make a clearance.
5:26 Matthew Etherington is ruled offside. Heurelho Gomes takes the indirect free kick.
2:45 Matthew Etherington takes a shot. Blocked by Niko Kranjcar. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington, save
by Heurelho Gomes.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.