Striker Oumar Niasse scored the fastest goal by a Premier League substitute this season to rescue a point for Everton from a 1-1 draw with West Brom at Goodison Park.
However, Toffees boss Sam Allardyce’s 1,000th game as a manager was marred by an horrific-looking suspected broken leg sustained by midfielder James McCarthy.
Just 56 seconds after replacing £28million signing Cenk Tosun in the second half, Niasse volleyed in from debutant Theo Walcott’s assist to cancel out Jay Rodriguez’s seventh-minute opener.
It secured Everton’s first point since their dreary goalless draw at The Hawthorns on Boxing Day and prevented the Baggies moving out of the relegation zone.
Walcott, making his first Premier start since April after leaving Arsenal on Wednesday, grew into the game after a quiet first half and in addition to the assist he had one volley saved by Ben Foster.
He has been brought in to spice up Everton’s attacking options but defensively they have not kept a clean sheet since December 26.
West Brom failed to capitalise on Morgan Schneiderlin’s loss of possession in midfield as Grzegorz Krychowiak blazed over but Rodriguez did not make the same mistake seconds later.
Krychowiak’s outside-of-the-foot ball over the top sent the forward clear and he comfortably beat Jordan Pickford for a third goal in five appearances.
The Everton goalkeeper could only watch as Chris Brunt’s in-swinging cross from the right wing almost crept in at the far post and it was difficult to assess which was more annoying for home fans: the insipid performance assaulting their eyes or the constant low buzz from the public address system in the Park End irritating their ears.
Sarcastic cheers accompanied defender Jonjoe Kenny’s shot from distance just before the break, Everton’s first on target in four hours and 11 minutes of league football since December 30.
Just before the hour McCarthy, who has been plagued with various injuries, was carried off on a stretcher after he nicked the ball off Salomon Rondon in the act of shooting and the Venezuelan’s follow-through connected with the midfielder’s lower right leg.
Medics rushed onto the field to treat McCarthy, with Rondon in tears having seen the after-effects close up and Seamus Coleman, only just recovered from his own serious double leg fracture, was seen leaving his seat in the directors’ box, apparently to be with his Republic of Ireland team-mate.
Niasse’s 69th-minute introduction produced immediate rewards as he volleyed in Walcott’s header from a cross by another substitute, Wayne Rooney.
In the last 10 minutes Pickford parried Krychowiak’s drive but could only watch as first Rondon’s header sailed wide and then, deep into seven minutes of stoppage time, the Baggies’ striker’s shot cannoned back off the crossbar.
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