Jermaine Beckford finally opened his Premier League goal scoring account this week. The former Leeds striker salvaged a last-gasp point for Everton in a disappointing 1-1 draw with Bolton at Goodison Park.

 

Beckford has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League after moving to Everton in the summer after a prolific spell in League One with his former club Leeds. The 26-year old will now be hoping his heroics on Wednesday evening will be the catalyst for more goals and minutes on the pitch in a blue jersey.

 

He may be given a tough reminder of how hard the Premier League can be as Everton welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park this weekend, looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league to eight games. The Toffees have seen a big improvement on their early season woes, with a run of form that has seen them slowly climb the table and again begin to look at a return to European football next term.

 

Despite two draws from winnable games against Blackpool and Bolton, performances have been good of late and have coincided with David Moyes finally selecting a settled and balanced side more consistently.

 

The Scot has opted to play youngster Seamus Coleman in a more

advanced role on the right wing in recent matches and the 22-year

old has thrived on being able to play with more freedom without

having as many defensive responsibilities.

 

Striker Yakubu has also started to show the fitness and form that

made him one of the Premier League's top marksmen several

years ago, this has led to the Nigerian becoming Moyes’ first

choice forward.

 

However, with Beckford finally managing to net his first Premier

League goal, the Nigerian international will be pushed hard by both him and the returning Louis Saha for a starting place.

 

At the back, Sylvain Distin has proven to be equally as impressive as his defensive partner Phil Jagileka in recent weeks. The pair have helped the Blues to keep four clean sheets in the last seven games.

 

A busy sequence of matches leading into the New Year will reveal if Moyes’ side can deliver the results needed to again trouble the European contenders

 

The level of intensity and quality of performances seen since the Merseyside derby victory last month will need to be maintained as Everton face trips to Chelsea and Manchester City before the end of the year.

 

But, perhaps more importantly, they host West Brom, Birmingham and Wigan around the festive period... all games they would be confident of winning. Similarly, two further trips to strugglers West Ham and Sunderland complete the year for the Toffees and they would also be hopeful of picking up points there.

 

 

Beckford off the mark with late equaliser

By David Downie, Sports Reporter

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