Kenwyne Jones earned Stoke a share of the spoils against Everton at the Brittania Stadium in a game that was marred by an unsavoury clash between Marouane Fellaini and Ryan Shawcross.
The Potters are now seven unbeaten in the Premier League and occupy ninth position in the table just three points shy of a Champions League place going into Christmas.
A point keeps David Moyes’ men in the top four ahead of Tottenham, who play tomorrow, as they drew 1-1 for the fourth time in their last five matches.
Despite winning just twice on their travels the Toffees made a promising start but were thwarted in their efforts to strike an early blow to the home side.
Darron Gibson found Seamus Coleman on the right and his cross found Nikicia Jelavic only for Shawcross to block his effort, before referee Mark Halsey waved away penalty appeals from the visitors despite Steven Pienaar’s cross appearing to strike Glenn Whelan on the arm.
Soon enough Stoke started to threaten and Matthew Etherington shot wide from 25-yards, while Steven N’Zonzi headed over from close range after Jon Walters returned Etherington’s deep cross.
Shawcross then thwarted Steven Naismith on the line after he was picked out by Gibson before heading Pienaar’s cross into his own net to give Everton the lead on 36 minutes.
Having kept eight clean sheets this season the hosts were all over at the back and should have been two behind but Leon Osman could only shoot wide from six-yards after being found by Leighton Baines.
And it proved costly as Jones beat Phil Jagielka in the air to head Shawcross’ long diagnonal ball past Tim Howard to score for the first time in 28 games just seven minutes into the second half.
Sadly the game will be remembered for Fellaini’s unprovoked headbutt on Shawcross in the second half that was missed by referee Halsey but will surely be picked up by FA officials and the Belgian midfielder can expect a lengthy ban.