Brennan Johnson scored twice for Nottingham Forest to salvage a point against an Everton side whose display was “a great building block” in their Premier League survival bid, according to Sean Dyche.
The visitors had led twice but missed the chance to move out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Everton, who have won two of six games since Dyche was appointed manager in January, remain in the bottom three on goal difference behind Leeds United.
“I am pleased,” Dyche told BBC Radio 5 Live. “We are doing the right things and there’s been real commitment to the cause since I joined.
“It’s just the details now. We’ve got to stamp out the mistakes but we defended well and countered today.
“There was a lot of plusses about the performance. We know that we have to win games but you have to restart and this showed a really step forward.
“This was a really good away performance. It’s a great building block to carry on the journey with.”
In an electrifying contest, Demarai Gray put Everton ahead from the penalty spot following Jonjo Shelvey’s trip on Dwight McNeil.
But Forest were soon level. Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford parried out Morgan Gibbs-White’s shot and Johnson coolly slotted in at the near post.
Abdoulaye Doucoure restored Everton’s lead by nodding in from close range before half-time, but Johnson’s delightful curler into the top corner with 13 minutes remaining earned a point for the hosts.
Everton’s away blues continue
Having seen fellow strugglers Bournemouth, West Ham and Leeds all lose on Saturday, Everton had an opportunity to move up to 16th in the table, but they left a rowdy City Ground frustrated.
And after losing their past three away games without scoring, the Toffees did show some progress.
Gray notched his fourth league goal of the season to become his club’s top scorer this campaign, while Doucoure’s header ensured they avoided going a club-record 14 consecutive games without scoring more than one goal.
And McNeil came close to adding a third before the interval but his long-range drive was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Keylor Navas.
But their inability to win away from Goodison Park is costing them dear. Johnson’s late equaliser means Everton still have just one league victory on their travels this season, at Southampton on 1 October.
Home comforts key for Forest survival
Forest have a similarly poor away record, but a record of just three home defeats is helping keep them out of the relegation zone.
And they had top scorer Johnson to thank for extending their unbeaten league run at the City Ground to nine matches.
His first goal was an opportunistic effort, as he reacted quickest to slot in at the near post after Pickford was unable to push Gibbs-White’s drive away from the danger area.
His second was sublime. The ball fell to him in the box and he took a touch before caressing a delightful shot into the top corner
The draw means they have collected 20 of their 26 points in front of their own boisterous fans and that form at home could prove crucial in the run-in.
Forest boss Steve Cooper was unhappy with the performance of referee David Brooks, who he felt should have awarded a foul on Gibbs-White in the build-up to Everton’s second goal.
Cooper said: “I am disappointed with the referee but we’ll reflect on it. I thought he got lots of decisions wrong.
“He will know that and he will probably have to explain his performance as well. It’s a pity things like that ended up having an impact on the game.
“You want to win or lose with what the opponent does – not the officials. The lads are a bit disappointed they didn’t win but they gave everything and showed courage.”
Source – BBC Sport