That lack of cover proved costly as his side fell behind after less than quarter of an hour.
Southampton's Danny Fox passed to Lallana, who was allowed time to turn, run at goal and shoot low past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
That setback prompted Sherwood to race down from his seat in the stands and take up a position on the touchline.
Before the match, the Spurs interim coach had said his side would face few problems if they kept hold of the ball, but the hosts nearly doubled their lead after Danny Rose lost possession to Lambert.
He passed to England international Lallana, who released Jay Rodriguez only for the striker's curler to drift narrowly over.
Two minutes later, Sherwood's side were level as Adebayor stretched to volley in Roberto Soldado's excellent cross from the left wing for his first league goal since 12 May.
Pochettino compares Saints to Santa
Spurs then went ahead in fortunate circumstances early in the second half when Saints centre-half Hooiveld scored an own goal.
Christian Eriksen played the ball to Rose, whose pull-back was prodded into the net by Dutchman Hooiveld, the ball squirming underneath goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.
Tottenham's lead lasted only five minutes as they conceded the 18th goal in their last seven league matches. Lallana raced through and pulled the ball back to Lambert, who had the simple task of finding an empty net with Lloris stranded.
Before the game, only five teams had scored fewer league goals than Tottenham.
But they got their third of the afternoon when Adebayor capitalised on some indecisive Southampton defending from a throw-in to curl the ball past Gazzaniga.
Soldado then missed two further chances to increase the advantage.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino said:
"At 1-0, we had the game under control and we could've gone 2-0 ahead, but we conceded and practically gifted them a goal.
"In the second half, we dressed up as Santa Claus and gave them many presents. We made many mistakes and when you make these mistakes, you are punished. We are obviously very angry.
"At the beginning of the second half, we were controlling the game, but we conceded the second goal and it was hard to get back in the game. We were risking a lot.
"We just have to keep on working as a team. Before we had a run of seven games winning and were looking up. Now we are on the wrong side and the only thing we can do is keep working."
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