Ellis Simms scored his first Everton goal to earn Sean Dyche’s side a precious point as they came from behind twice to draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Everton’s improved resilience under Dyche was on show again and 22-year-old local product Simms was the hero with a superb late equaliser to wreck Chelsea’s hopes of a fourth consecutive win.
Chelsea broke down Everton’s resistance seven minutes after the break when the excellent Joao Felix drilled home a low drive, but they were pegged back when Abdoulaye Doucoure scrambled home an equaliser from a corner after 69 minutes.
Everton were only on level terms for seven minutes until Kai Havertz scored from the spot after Reece James was fouled by James Tarkowski – but there was to be a late twist in the tale.
Dyche had put Simms on to rescue a point and he delivered in style with a powerful run and finish a minute from time.
“A young player coming on and earning his spurs. We know he’s got power and pace, then a fine finish under the keeper,” Dyche, speaking to BBC Sport, said of Simms.
“I’m really pleased for him. He spoke to me last week, I told him to tell me where he needs to get better. He told me four things and I said ‘you’re right’ – one of them was playing stronger and he did that today.”
Simms, who has had loan spells at Blackpool, Hearts and most recently Sunderland, was recalled to Goodison Park in January as then-manager Frank Lampard sought to bolster his attacking options.
He made just one Everton appearance prior to this season but has featured in six games since returning to his boyhood club – including four under Dyche.
Simms told Sky Sports: “It’s about patience – I just had to wait for my chance. We’ve got top players so I’m not going to walk straight into the team. I have to work hard and take my chance when I get it.”