Tottenham 3, Stevenage 1
An early goal from the penalty spot and 4,200 Stevenage fans who's travelled to White Hart Lane, Tottenham dared to think the unthinkable. Despite their early lead, their Premier League opposition proved too strong and Stevenage went out of the FA Cup in their Fifth Round replay.
The npower League One side started as huge underdogs but took just two minutes to take the lead through Joel Byrom, who converted from the penalty spot after being upended by Ryan Nelsen.
Jermain Defoe levelled for Spurs and the Barclays Premier League side moved into the last eight thanks to Emmanuel Adebayor's penalty and another well-taken strike from the impressive Defoe.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp stuck to his word and named a strong team for Wednesday night's replay against Stevenage at White Hart Lane. Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Scott Parker all returned after missing Sunday's defeat to Manchester United and there were also starts for Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson.
Stevenage goalkeeper Chris Day finally made his first competitive appearance at White Hart Lane some 20 years after signing for the Barclays Premier League side as a youngster.
Redknapp said yesterday that he was determined to end Tottenham's 21-year wait for FA Cup glory, and he proved that by naming a strong XI that contained nine internationals.
The selection was also an indication that despite being 49 places below them in the league ladder, Redknapp knew Stevenage would be out to cause a shock, as they were last month when the two teams drew 0-0 in the original game at the Lamex Stadium.
Willed on by their 4,200 travelling fans, the npower League One side started confidently and earned a shock penalty with just over two minutes gone when Ryan Nelsen upended down Joel Byrom with a clumsy challenge after he burst in to the box.
The winger picked himself up and slotted home the spot-kick to give the minnows a surprise lead.
Tottenham's night went from bad to worse shortly after when Dawson pulled up with an injury after going for a challenge with Chris Beardsley. The defender was clearly in agony and had to be carried off on a stretcher, with Kyle Walker coming on in his place.
Tottenham tried to get straight back in to the game but they were being frustrated by Boro, who held on to possession well.
Spurs almost went 2-0 down in the 25th minute when Jon Ashton climbed to meet Byrom's cross but he could only steer his header over.
Stevenage paid the price for the miss as they conceded seconds later.
Bale hit a 60-yard ball to find Defoe, who took it down with a deft touch before powering a left-footed volley past Day.
Danny Rose exchanged passes with Defoe and burst in to the box before going to ground following a challenge by Bostwick which the referee Michael Oliver deemed legal.
More injury woe struck Spurs eight minutes before the break when Lennon pulled up with an injury and hobbled off to be replaced by Emmanuel Adebayor.
The hosts were full of energy as they sought their second but they could not create a decent chance and their passing was sloppy at times.
Bale slipped in Adebayor in injury time but Boro captain Mark Roberts put in a crucial tackle just as he was about to shoot.
Oliver cautioned Bostwick for a late sliding tackle on Rose shortly after he break.
Defoe thought he had scored moments later when he turned in Younes Kaboul's cross but the linesman flagged for offside.
Stevenage were still holding their own, however, and came close to adding a second of their own when Bostwick's shot from a Byrom corner dropped straight into the path of Roberts but he shot straight at Cudicini from six yards.
Once again, the minnows were immediately made to pay for their profligacy as Spurs took the lead from the penalty spot through Adebayor.
Roberts brought down Bale as he attempted to pull a cross back, Oliver pointed to the spot and Adebayor stroked home the spot-kick before running over to Redknapp to shake his hand in celebration.
Stevenage backed off Bale to almost deadly consequences as he fired a peach of a 30-yard shot which dipped over the goalkeeper and rattled the bar.
Boro boss Gary Smith looked to freshen up his team by brining on Craig Reid and Jennison Myrie-Williams for Beardsley and Darius Charles.
Bostwick fired a blistering 30-yard drive which Cudicini did well to tip around a post.
Roberts almost made amends for giving away a penalty when met Byrom's cross from the resulting corner but the defender's header crashed off the bar and bounced to safety.
Defoe wasted a glorious chance to kill the tie as he headed weakly at Defoe from Bale's pinpoint cross.
Defoe did not waste his next chance, however. The diminutive hitman raced on to Bale's long throw, turned Ashton and curled a shot into the far corner past the sprawling Day.
Tottenham threatened again through Adebayor, who exchanged passes with Bale before shooting over.
Jake Livermore came on for Niko Kranjcar with 10 minutes left as Stevenage looked for one more goal to thank their raucous support, who had not stopped chanting all night.
Lawrie Wilson found Reid in the box with four minutes left but the Boro striker's shot cannoned into Cudicini's arms.
Bale found space with his blistering pace on the counter but Van der Vaart somehow failed to connect with the Welshman's cross.
Bale stung Day's palms in the final minute of injury time as both sides pushed for another goal but it did not came and Spurs marched on to set up a home quarter-final against Bolton.