Everton 2-2 Tottenham
The visitors led through Jermain Defoe’s 13th goal of the season and Michael Dawson’s header, both scored early in the second half.
However, strikes from substitute Louis Saha and Tim Cahill in the last 12 minutes and Howard’s spot-kick save earned a point.
The result cost
David Moyes’ side, ravaged by a lengthening injury list, are three points above the relegation zone with little prospect of seeing their major stars return before the new year.
Things started to deteriorate for the hosts after Peter Crouch had fired over when well placed and Howard had denied Defoe’s shot when he cut inside Tony Hibbert.
Jack Rodwell, back after a groin strain, was then booked by referee Andre Marriner for a late tackle on Niko Kranjcar despite appearing to get the ball first.
First he fired a low snap-shot from the left of the penalty area just past the far post before inexplicably getting his legs in a tangle six yards out and bundling wide Steven Pienaar’s perfect cross.
But Defoe remained a danger and when Wilson Palacios and Kranjcar combined through the inside-right channel the striker whipped a shot inches outside the far post.
In the 36th minute Benoit Assou-Ekotto was lucky to escape with only a yellow card after appearing to scrape his boot down the back of Cahill’s head as the pair lay on the floor and then pushing the Australia midfielder and Marouane Fellaini.
Fellaini was also cautioned in the same incident, which prompted the Belgian midfielder to explode with rage and he should have been sent off seconds later for elbowing Crouch.
Once the football resumed Hibbert’s perfectly-timed tackle and Howard’s large frame twice denied Defoe.
Assou-Ekotto was replaced at half-time by Gareth Bale but the real impact came from the other flank just two minutes later.
Aaron Lennon whipped in a cross from the right and Defoe nipped in front of Hibbert, who was slow to react, at the near post to score.
Crouch almost made it 2-0 seven minutes later when he poked the ball wide, although Howard appeared to get the slightest of touches.
Baines was booked for going through the back of Vedran Corluka and then saw his clearance charged down by Lennon who set up Tom Huddlestone for a shot which was deflected behind.
From Kranjcar’s 59th-minute corner Lucas Neill allowed Dawson to escape him in the penalty area and the centre-back dived low to score in successive league matches.
The goal prompted a double change with Saha and Ayegbeni Yakubu replacing Jo and Rodwell.
With 13 minutes to go Crouch’s left-footed shot beat Howard but also the far post before
Coleman drove towards the byline before crossing to Saha who fired high into the net.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Saha, with an overhead kick, both went close late on before Cahill equalised with a low header from Baines’ cross four minutes from time.
Two minutes into added time Hibbert’s challenge on Palacios earned