Brighton 1 Everton 1: Blues blow late lead at Amex Stadium

On a frustrating afternoon at Brighton the Toffees got their noses in front late on through Jarrad Branthwaite's left-foot strike, but were pegged back by their hosts deep in injury time.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton FC - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton FC - Premier League / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
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It was a hugely frustrating and irritating afternoon on the South Coast as Everton managed to grab a goal with ten minutes of normal time left only for the ten-man Seagulls to equalise and claim a point.

So, once more the Blues were held to a draw and have still not managed to win a league match in this calendar year, a very disturbing statistic.

For most of the match the hosts were on top and the Toffees offered virtually no attacking threat and no attempts in the first half.

The away team when they did have the ball, were resorting again to those hopeful long balls up to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, as they have been doing so often this season.

And it didn't look likely to work once more with Calvert-Lewin looking frustrated and isolated chasing lost causes for most of the afternoon.

The almost total lack of attacking threat being offered by the Blues is now becoming a crisis that simply has to be addressed by Sean Dyche.

Later in the second half when Beto came on he looked more likely to find the back of the net but also missed a few good chances.

Everton defended strongly - again as they have done for most of the campaign - and restricted Brighton to a few efforts, despite all their possession, without really testing Jordan Pickford until late on.

As the game wore on the visitors came into it a bit more but still didnt' look like scoring themselves, although Abdoulaye Doucoure must have thought he had until Tariq Lamptey cleared his goal-bound effort off the line.

But then up stepped Jarrad Branthwaite as the young central defender produced a superb finish, something which none of his striker-colleagues seem able to do.

Then to compound the Seagulls misery Billy Gilmour was sent off for a terrible lunge at Amadou Onana. Could Everton hold on for three precious points..?

Deep into a ridiculously long nine miniutes of extra-time the answer came and of course if was no. Lewis Dunk who was a threat from set-pieces all day popped up again to head home eventually from another corner in the ninety-sixth minute.

So, once again Everton supporters have to settle for another solitary point when the team really should have got all three.

The Toffees still cannot find a win in 2024. Unless Dyche is willing to try and shake this side out of it's attacking lethargy then it will get very tight and increasingly difficult to pull away from that deadly drop zone as the games tick away.