Duff goal helps Toon stop the rot

Everton 2 Newcastle 2

Perhaps Newcastle and Joe Kinnear do speak the same language after all.

It may not have been the tirade of swearing that stand-in boss Kinnear used to the media in midweek, but he certainly seemed to inspire the crisis-torn club in his first game in charge.

Two down to Everton, Newcastle hit back to end a run of five successive defeats.

Everton cruised into the lead through a Mikel Arteta penalty and £15m new boy Marouane Fellaini's first for the club.

But Steven Taylor headed one back seconds before the break and then set-up Damien Duff for the equaliser a minute into the second half.

And had it not been for two desperate goal-line clearances from Leighton Baines, Everton could have been severely embarrassed as their poor form continued.

With a gaggle of consortiums - from the USA and the far and Middle East - circling to take over the Tyneside club in the coming weeks, Kinnear may not be around much longer.

But he has certainly made an impact on Newcastle, who at last showed fight and spirit.

Everton were without hamstring victim Phil Neville, Arteta took over the captain's armband, while Tim Cahill started a three-match suspension. Steven Pienaar and Fellaini came into midfield.

Kinnear, who watched the match from the directors' box as he fulfilled a touchline ban, made two changes for his first game in charge.

Out went Sebastien Bassong and Xisco, with Jose Enrique returned to defence while Danny Guthrie was back in midfield after suspension.

And Newcastle were under pressure from the start against an Everton side still smarting from their UEFA Cup exit in midweek.

Louis Saha fired wide, Ayegbeni Yakubu lifted a shot over the bar and Arteta saw a free-kick curl over.

Everton should have been ahead after seven minutes when Yakubu turned Claudio Cacapa far too easily as a ball came in from the left, but the Nigerian stabbed a 12-yard effort just wide.

Newcastle responded when Charles N'Zogbia appeared in yards of space on the left to fire a cross-shot just wide of the far post.

But Everton were ahead after 17 minutes. Nicky Butt was penalised for a sliding tackle on Baines in the box after the full-back looked to have lost the ball.

But the Newcastle midfielder did take his legs and made no contact with the ball. Referee Howard Webb had no doubt over giving Arteta the chance to drill home the penalty.

Newcastle hit back and after Tim Howard had pushed away a Michael Owen shot, Taylor's follow-up effort was chested off the line by Baines.

The movement of Owen and Duff caused Everton's backline plenty of problems, but Newcastle defended far too deep and it gave the Toffees the space and incentive to come forward.

It was Everton who almost went two ahead when Yakubu sent a near-post cross from Pienaar inches wide.

However, the second did arrive after 35 minutes when Baines' cross from the right was reached first by Fellaini in the six-yard box, and he stretched out a leg to see his debut goal for the club crash home off the underside of the bar.

Newcastle replaced Enrique with Bassong six minutes from the break, before Butt was booked for a trip on Saha.

The visitors were looking ragged, but they were given a lifeline when Taylor headed home at the far post seconds before the break from Geremi's cross.

Spurred by that late goal in the first period, Newcastle struck again a minute after half-time.

Taylor was played in down the right and with Everton expecting a flag, Taylor kept running and crossed for Duff to guide home the equaliser. Replays suggested that Phil Jagielka had played Taylor onside.

Suddenly it was Newcastle coming forward. Saha almost sliced a corner into his own net and Howard saved from N'Zogbia.

Leon Osman forced a fine save from Shay Given as Everton regained some of their composure, but it was much more of an even contest by now.

Fabricio Coloccini saw a header blocked in the six-yard box before an extra striker, in Shola Ameobi, came on for Geremi.

Fellaini was booked for a foul on Duff, Geremi having also been cautioned for hauling back Pienaar.

Everton threw Victor Anichebe on for Saha, but it was Newcastle who almost grabbed the winner when it took a tremendous saving block from Baines to keep out an N'Zogbia shot with Howard beaten.

The hosts then sent on another striker, James Vaughan replacing Pienaar with six minutes left.

Anichebe sent a low shot inches wide while at the other end Ameobi sent a strike just past the far post.

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