Tottenham Hotspur eventually saw off a spirited showing from Second Division Fulham to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup at White Hart Lane this evening but it was hardly the sort of performance to leave the home faithful dreaming of another trip to Wembley.

Jurgen Klinsmann spurned several chances to score the first goal of his second spell with Spurs with the return of the German striker overshadowed by excellent outings from a couple of home youngsters. Stephen Clemence, son of former goalkeeper Ray who lifted the Cup sixteen years ago, put Spurs ahead after latching onto a Jose Dominguez ball on twenty minutes whilst midfielder Garry Brady did brilliantly on his first-team debut.

Klinsmann’s off night allowed the visitors time to grow into the contest. The German legend was uncharacteristically wasteful in front of goal, with Fulham goalkeeper Maik Taylor saving an early volley, before he headed over from a Dominguez free-kick. It was Domiguez, who raced onto a ball from Ian Walker, who made the opening goal with a purposeful run along the right. There was a touch of fortune about how the ball ricocheted to Clemence off Alain Neilson but his fine finish from inside the area was all the midfielder’s own work.

The hosts were fortunate to double their lead on 28 minutes. Ramon Vega spun in the area after getting free from Dominguez’s cross but the Swiss defender’s cross went in off Colin Calderwood’s hand. Fulham rallied in the second half and deservedly got back into the contest when Matt Lawrence surged into space down the right flank and cut back a cross that the former Tottenham trainee Neil Smith drove home with delight.

The Second Division side then threatened a remarkable comeback as Lawrence almost scored himself, nearly sneaking a cross under the body of a half-fit Walker, but Spurs killed off the contest eventually when Brady’s header from a Dominguez cross went in via a combination of the far post and an unfortunate Taylor.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (5-3-2): Walker (Baardsen 80); Carr, Wilson, Vega, Campbell, Calderwood; Clemence, Brady, Domiguez; Klinsmann, Ginola (Mahorn 43). Subs (not used): Mabbutt, Clapham, Hill.

GOALS: Clapham (20), Calderwood (28), Taylor (o.g. 61).

FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Lawrence, Herrera, Neilson, Coleman; Bracewell, Hayward, Smith, Trollope; Moody, Peschisolido. Subs (not used): Walton, Blake, McAnespie, Carpenter, Thomas.

GOAL: Smith (54).

BOOKED: Neilson, Smith, Trollope.

REFEREE: Graham Poll (Oxford).