Carew thwarts Everton hopes
John Carew scored just moments after coming off the bench to grab a point for Aston Villa at Everton.
Last Updated: 31/10/09 6:01pm
Everton's search for a win continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa in a full-blooded affair at Goodison Park.
The two teams seemed destined to head into the break in a goalless deadlock after a first-half that did not produce any real chances.
But midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov struck on the stroke of half-time after a Tim Cahill cross was deflected into his path by Yakubu Aiyegbeni and the Russian coolly slotted into the bottom corner.
Villa were back on level terms seconds after the restart as substitute John Carew made an immediate impact by pouncing on the rebound from Gabriel Agbonlahor's shot.
Neither team was able to snatch victory in the second half but there was late drama when goalscorer Bilyaletdinov and Villa's Carlos Cuellar were sent off in the closing minutes.
Moyes made three changes to the line-up that had faced Tottenham in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, with Leighton Baines, Joseph Yobo and Bilyaletdinov all restored to the starting line-up after recovering from injury.
Brad Friedel was named in goal for Villa to make his 200th consecutive league appearance while Steve Sidwell returned to Martin O'Neill's midfield in place of Nigel Reo-Coker.
There was little to separate the two teams in the early stages as Sidwell wasted the first opportunity of the game in the fifth minute, misdirecting his header across Tim Howard's goal after Ashley Young's cross had picked him out.
Minutes later Yakubu sent a cross into the Villa box which looked like it might dip under the bar, but Friedel was on hand to tip it over.
Marouane Fellaini tried a speculative effort from range after 15 minutes but Friedel made a comfortable catch and at the other end, Heskey was crowded out in the Everton box before he could make meaningful contact with James Collins' long ball.
Yakubu almost broke the deadlock shortly before the half-hour mark with a looping header from John Heitinga's lofted pass, but the striker miscued his effort and carried it sailed wide.
Fellaini then appeared to go even closer when his header was touched round the post by the boot of Cuellar but the ball had already gone out of play before the reaching the Belgian midfielder.
Villa had their best effort of the half soon after when Cuellar headed the ball across the area and Warnock met it with a volley, but his execution was not quite perfect and the defender's low drive went inches wide.
Then, just as it appeared that it would be honours even at the break, the hosts found a way through.
A minute of first-half stoppage time had elapsed when Cahill's cross hit Yakubu in the box and fell right in front of the arriving Bilyaletdinov, who made no mistake in slotting it past Friedel.
The goal delighted the Goodison crowd, but just as it appeared as if Everton might be putting their recent woes behind them, Villa levelled.
Carew was the goalscorer, making an instant impact shortly after being brought on for James Milner at the interval by firing past Howard when the goalkeeper could only parry a shot by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Moyes' team looked rattled and, after Cahill had been booked for a rash challenge on Young, Stiliyan Petrov almost put Villa ahead from distance but his effort was deflected.
With 20 minutes remaining, Saha was introduced for Everton in place of Fellaini to provide some fresh attacking impetus as Everton sensed a long-awaited win.
Cahill might have sealed it with six minutes left when he met Baines' cross in the box, but Warnock did brilliantly to beat the Australian in the air.
No further goals would come but there was still drama in the match as each side had a player sent-off.
First Bilyaletdinov was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on Petrov, and only seconds later Cuellar was also dismissed after collecting his second yellow card for clattering into Yakubu.
|Everton||Team Statistics||Aston Villa|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||4|
|7||Shots off Target||5|