Gomes, who pulled off a couple of excellent saves, celebrates Spurs' winner
By Sam Lyon
A Tom Huddlestone thunderbolt secured Spurs a nervy win over Bolton to take them a step nearer a top-four finish.
The midfielder lashed home a stunning first-half goal from 20 yards to earn a vital home win that keeps Spurs a point above fifth-placed Manchester City.
It was no less than Tottenham deserved, despite their nerves, with Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen saving from Gareth Bale and Peter Crouch twice.
But Bolton played their part, Heurelho Gomes twice saving from Matthew Taylor.
And, with the hosts' lead so slender, the result was in the balance right up until referee Chris Foy's final whistle - a whistle that, when it came, provoked jubilant scenes of relief from the home crowd.
It sets up what promises to be a crackerjack of a match against Manchester City at Eastlands on Wednesday, a fixture that - with Aston Villa out of the running for fourth spot as a result of their defeat in Manchester on Saturday afternoon - could effectively be a winner-takes-all play-off for the final Champions League spot.
Tottenham will know a draw might just be good enough from that match, though, provided they beat Burnley away on the final game of the season.
Redknapp sets sights on Man City
But they might want a more assured display in Manchester after a professional Bolton display ran them close in this game - and a late injury worry over keeper Gomes will have to be assessed before Wednesday too.
The last time Spurs managed a top-four finish was back in 1990, when they finished third under Terry Venables, so their nerves at White Hart Lane were perhaps understandable.
They did, though, play a part in a stuttering home display. Though solid at the back, with right-back Younes Kaboul particularly impressive, Spurs' efforts to press forward more often than not broke down thanks to a poor touch or good Bolton defending.
The in-form Gareth Bale was again the hosts' most threatening attacking outlet, the winger forcing a smart save from Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen from range, while Roman Pavlyuchenko should have done better from one of the Welshman's crosses from six yards out early on.
But this was a decent display from Bolton, despite the fact that having secured their survival last weekend not a huge amount rode on the result of this match.
And when they occasionally broke the shackles with a foray forward they certainly caused the odd flutter in the Tottenham defence, their best effort of the first half coming when Michael Dawson did well to bravely block from Gretar Steinsson's shot.
The longer the half went on, the more it became apparent that something special might be needed to break the deadlock. With 37 minutes on the clock, Huddlestone provided it.
A Spurs short corner routine led to Benoit Assou-Ekotto laying it to Huddlestone and the midfielder, with power and precision, arrowed an unstoppable effort into the top corner from 22 yards out.
Some might have expected the goal to settle the hosts, but despite a fine home record of late which includes wins over Arsenal and Chelsea, memories of defeats to the likes of Stoke and Wolves this season ensured the home support were biting their fingernails with just a goal in it.
Bolton's increasing confidence only added to the hosts' tension, too.
Coyle happy with Bolton progress
Taylor had a left-footer from range saved on the stretch by Gomes in the home goal, while only a Kaboul block stopped the same player's goalbound effort levelling the scores with Gomes stranded.
Spurs were creating chances, too, Pavlyuchenko heading Kaboul's cross wide at the near post and Bale excellently denied one-on-one by Jaaskelainen after Jermain Defoe's clever through-ball.
With the minutes ticking down and the hosts increasingly desperate to put the game to bed, substitute Peter Crouch saw a header cleared off the line and then his shot saved after a fine solo run, while former Bolton player Eidur Gudjohnsen slid wide with the goal gaping in injury time.
It still, though, took a smart save from Gomes at the other end from Taylor's chest-and-volley to keep Spurs ahead and, ultimately, preserve their slender advantage in the race for fourth.
A sixth straight home win - their first 1-0 of the season - ensures Tottenham can finish no lower than sixth spot now, but their eyes will solely be focused on an even bigger prize when they travel to Manchester in midweek.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "I didn't expect anything other than a tough game today. People were saying to me we should bang in four or five, but Bolton are a good team with a good manager and I knew it'd be a hard day at the office.
"We should have scored more, but in the end the win was all important. Tom's goal was brilliant - he's been great all season - while Dawson and Ledley were both excellent.
"I had a choice with Ledley whether to play him today and against Burnley, or just Manchester City, but I just felt today's was a match we had to win.
"Who knows, he might even be fit for Wednesday. If not I have Sebastien Bassong to come in and he's terrific, so it's good that I've got options all over the field again now."
Bolton boss Owen Coyle: "I always felt we were in the match right until the end, against a Tottenham side full of quality.
"I felt, from out point of view, we were terrific. We matched them for large periods and it took a wonder goal to separate the teams in the end.
"Both teams had chances - Gomes made two fantastic saves, but, of course, Jussi made a couple of big saves too.
"Looking at where we've come from, we were bottom three when I came here, we've come on leaps and bounds and we must continue that improvement next season."
90:00+4:57 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+4:34 Eidur Gudjohnsen has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
90:00+3:33 The referee blows for offside against Aaron Lennon. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
90:00+3:06 Free kick taken by Gareth Bale.
90:00+3:06 Booking Jack Wilshere is cautioned.
90:00+2:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Wilshere on Younes Kaboul.
Correction - 90:00+0:03 Benoit Assou-Ekotto challenges Chung-Yong Lee unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the direct free kick.
90:00+0:03 Benoit Assou-Ekotto challenges Chung-Yong Lee unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the free kick.
89:26 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
87:21 Unfair challenge on Ledley King by Ricardo Gardner results in a free kick. Michael Dawson takes the free kick.
86:58 Matthew Taylor takes a shot. Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
86:06 Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
86:06 Substitution Roman Pavlyuchenko leaves the field to be replaced by Eidur Gudjohnsen.
86:06 Ricardo Gardner fouled by Peter Crouch, the ref awards a free kick.
85:24 Headed effort on goal by Roman Pavlyuchenko from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
84:48 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Gareth Bale from the left by-line, clearance made by Gary Cahill.
82:52 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Gareth Bale, Zat Knight makes a clearance. Outswinging corner taken left-footed
by Gareth Bale, Peter Crouch takes a shot. Blocked by Zat Knight.
81:36 Chung-Yong Lee takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Gareth Bale.
80:20 Aaron Lennon takes a shot. Blocked by Paul Robinson. Gareth Bale takes a inswinging corner to the near post, save by Jussi
78:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ricardo Gardner on Tom Huddlestone. Michael Dawson takes the direct free kick.
77:07 Substitution Ricardo Gardner on for Fabrice Muamba.
77:07 Roman Pavlyuchenko takes a shot. Blocked by Gretar Rafn Steinsson. Corner taken by Gareth Bale.
75:49 Chung-Yong Lee is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
75:08 Roman Pavlyuchenko produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
72:57 Substitution (Tottenham) makes a substitution, with Aaron Lennon coming on for David Bentley.
72:28 Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Michael Dawson gets a block in.
71:14 Substitution Peter Crouch comes on in place of Jermain Defoe.
70:25 Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor, Younes Kaboul manages to make a clearance.
70:03 The official flags Roman Pavlyuchenko offside. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
67:44 Matthew Taylor takes a shot. Blocked by Younes Kaboul.
66:19 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley played to
the near post, clearance made by Johan Elmander.
Correction - 65:31 Header from close in by Roman Pavlyuchenko misses to the right of the goal.
65:31 Headed effort on goal by Roman Pavlyuchenko from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
63:31 Jermain Defoe produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
62:44 Matthew Taylor takes a shot. Save made by Heurelho Gomes.
59:44 Substitution Chung-Yong Lee replaces Vladimir Weiss.
59:44 Substitution Johan Elmander is brought on as a substitute for Ivan Klasnic.
59:44 Long range shot from Tom Huddlestone misses to the left of the goal.
Correction - 58:28 Effort from the edge of the area by David Bentley goes wide of the left-hand upright.
58:28 Effort from the edge of the box by David Bentley goes wide of the left-hand upright.
55:58 David Bentley takes the direct free kick.
55:58 Booking Matthew Taylor booked.
55:48 Foul by Matthew Taylor on Jermain Defoe, free kick awarded.
54:18 Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line. Fabrice Muamba takes a shot. Ledley King gets a block in.
Corner taken right-footed by Vladimir Weiss from the left by-line, Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
53:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Huddlestone on Vladimir Weiss. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Matthew
Taylor, Ledley King gets a block in.
52:18 The official flags Kevin Davies offside. Free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
51:11 The referee blows for offside against Jermain Defoe. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
50:06 Jack Wilshere fouled by Luka Modric, the ref awards a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the direct free kick.
49:13 Roman Pavlyuchenko takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
47:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Davies on Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Heurelho Gomes restarts play with the free kick.
45:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Cahill by Roman Pavlyuchenko. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:00+1:26 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
45:00+0:14 Jermain Defoe is caught offside. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
43:07 Shot from outside the box by Matthew Taylor misses to the left of the target.
41:41 Corner from right by-line taken by David Bentley. Effort on goal by Gareth Bale from long range goes over the bar.
39:55 Foul by Michael Dawson on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Taylor.
38:18 David Bentley takes the inswinging corner, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
37:09 Assist on the goal came from Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
37:09 GOAL - Tom Huddlestone:Tottenham 1 - 0 Bolton A goal is scored by Tom Huddlestone from outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-0 Bolton.
36:11 Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Gareth Bale, Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save. Short corner worked by
36:11 Booking Paul Robinson receives a caution.
36:06 Paul Robinson challenges David Bentley unfairly and gives away a free kick.
33:16 Vladimir Weiss fouled by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, the ref awards a free kick. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.
30:34 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Cahill.
30:00 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley played to the near post, Ivan Klasnic manages to make a clearance.
29:45 Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Paul Robinson gets a block in.
28:25 Gary Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermain Defoe. Free kick taken by Ledley King.
27:37 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
26:04 Gretar Rafn Steinsson takes a shot. Michael Dawson gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor
from the right by-line, clearance made by Tom Huddlestone.
25:12 Header by Gary Cahill from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
24:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Huddlestone on Matthew Taylor. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
21:06 Kevin Davies concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Dawson. Direct free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
20:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Younes Kaboul on Zat Knight. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick.
19:38 Corner from the right by-line taken by Matthew Taylor, Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
18:42 The referee blows for offside against Kevin Davies. Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
18:09 Handball decision goes against Ivan Klasnic. Heurelho Gomes restarts play with the free kick.
16:59 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
16:39 Gareth Bale delivers the ball.
16:01 David Bentley takes a shot. Gary Cahill gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by David Bentley, Zat Knight manages to
make a clearance.
14:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Taylor by Michael Dawson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Vladimir
Weiss from left channel, Heurelho Gomes makes a save. Fabrice Muamba produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes
harmlessly over the bar.
14:01 Handball by Roman Pavlyuchenko. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
13:19 Shot by Tom Huddlestone from a long way out goes over the crossbar.
12:51 David Bentley takes a shot. Fabrice Muamba gets a block in.
12:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Davies on Luka Modric. Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the direct free kick.
11:15 Effort on goal by Roman Pavlyuchenko from 12 yards. Blocked by Zat Knight.
8:45 The ball is swung over by Gareth Bale.
8:09 Tom Huddlestone fouled by Jack Wilshere, the ref awards a free kick. Luka Modric takes the direct free kick.
5:47 Ivan Klasnic takes a shot. Save made by Heurelho Gomes.
4:00 Luka Modric has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the target.
3:13 The assistant referee signals for offside against David Bentley. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
1:33 Matthew Taylor takes the inswinging corner, save by Heurelho Gomes.
1:19 Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Roman Pavlyuchenko results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
0:30 Kevin Davies is penalised for a handball. Tom Huddlestone restarts play with the free kick.
0:00 The referee gets the match started.
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