Allardyce laments loss of McCarthy
Everton 1 West Brom 1
Everton manager Sam Allardyce admits it is a huge blow to lose midfielder James McCarthy until next season after the midfielder sustained a double-fracture of his leg.
Just before the hour McCarthy, who has been plagued with various injuries, was carried off on a stretcher after nicking the ball off Salomon Rondon in the act of shooting and the Venezuelan's follow-through connected with the midfielder's lower right leg. Medics rushed on to the field to treat McCarthy with Rondon in tears having seen the after-effects close up.
"His tibia and fibula have been broken from his really brave efforts to stop West Brom with a possible scoring opportunity," said Allardyce. "Now this is one serious injury which we know will keep him out until next season at some stage, that's a big blow."
The injury overshadowed a game which saw Oumar Niasse score the fastest goal by a Premier League substitute this season 59 seconds after coming off the bench to replace £28m signing Cenk Tosun. Niasse volleyed in from debutant Theo Walcott's assist to cancel out Jay Rodriguez's seventh-minute opener.
It secured Everton's first point since their dreary goalless draw at The Hawthorns on St Stephen's Day and prevented the Baggies from moving out of the relegation zone.
Walcott, making his first Premier start since April after leaving Arsenal on Wednesday, grew into the game after a quiet first half and in addition to the assist he had one volley saved by Ben Foster.
He has been brought in to spice up Everton's attacking options but defensively they have not kept a clean sheet since December 26.
"The performance was a big blow for me and the only thing that came out of today which was any good was a point and that point was by a substitute coming on and putting the ball in the back of the net," Allardyce said. "I don't think there is much more I can say about the game than that."
Baggies boss Alan Pardew was frustrated not to make it back-to-back league wins for the first time since August but was satisfied with their performance.
"It wasn't two points dropped but the feeling in the dressing room was one of disappointment from the players and that's a good feeling to have coming here against all the talent that was on the pitch for Everton," he said.
"We had enough chances to take all three (points) but it keeps our momentum and it was good to see us pushing at the end to try to win it."
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