Beckford miss frustrates Moyes
Everton boss David Moyes was a frustrated man after seeing substitute Jermaine Beckford pass up the chance to snatch victory at Sunderland.
The former Leeds striker went through on goal in injury time just minutes after Mikel Arteta had levelled, but blasted over the crossbar with just keeper Craig Gordon to beat.
Moyes said: "It was a great chance in the last seconds, through on goal, and he normally finishes them. It could have been three points.
"We had the ball a lot in and around the edge of the box, we got into good positions, but didn't make them pay.
"It was disappointing we couldn't finish off our good play.
"(But) we are pleased. It's a hard place to come, especially after the result last week for Sunderland."
Everton number two Steve Round said of Beckford's blunder: "It's very unusual for him to miss that. We see him score goals all the time in training, he has done it all his career.
"When he went through, I was just waiting for the net to go.
"It was surprising that he missed, but it sort of sums up our season to date, that we get into those situations, but don't find the net.
"We are disappointed. We felt we had the opportunities to win the game - we have felt that in many games.
"We are sick of saying it. We are playing well enough to win, but just can't get over that final hurdle and win the game."
Ultimately, Arteta rescued a point for the visitors with eight minutes remaining when his low drive was deflected past Gordon by full-back Phil Bardsley.
They had taken the lead through Tim Cahill's sixth-minute header - his seventh goal in 10 appearances against the Black Cats for Millwall and Everton - and the Australian was later denied a second by goal-line clearances from Jordan Henderson and Lee Cattermole.
In the meantime, Sunderland had equalised when Danny Welbeck, playing alongside leading scorer Darren Bent in the absence of injured record signing Asamoah Gyan, turned Bolo Zenden's 23rd-minute cross home.
Welbeck, on loan for the season from Manchester United, put the Wearsiders in front with 19 minutes remaining when he headed home Kieran Richardson's cross with more than a hint of offside in the build-up.
However, Arteta's late strike was not the end of the drama with Welbeck and Beckford both passing up glorious opportunities to win the game at the death, the latter with almost the last kick of the game.
Bruce said: "We started slowly against one of the better teams in the Premier League.
"That put us on the back foot, but we responded and overall I have to say I would have taken a 2-2.
"We are a little bit aggrieved to have conceded late, but I think a draw was a fair result."
With Gyan missing out because of a thigh injury and Bent just back in the side following a hamstring problem, Welbeck's contribution was a major plus for the Black Cats.
Bruce's assistant, Eric Black, said: "He is an exceptionally good player. I see him every day in training and he has got fantastic ability.
"He has now got the confidence. Probably what has stunted his development is he has not been able to play regular football week in, week out.
"He is now getting that opportunity and he has grasped it.
"He has got phenomenal potential - that's probably why he is at one of the biggest clubs in the world - but hopefully he is flourishing here and hopefully we can hang on to him for as long as possible."
Gyan's injury is not expected to sideline him for too long, but defender Titus Bramble, who also missed out, could be facing six to eight weeks on the sidelines if a knee injury requires surgery.
Black said: "Titus has got a little bit of a meniscus problem which will be assessed over the next 24 hours.
"That may well be a bit longer, but that will be assessed over the next 24 hours and a decision will be made whether to operate or not."