Some ties have all the Luks; LUKAKU AND ALUKO MAKE A POINT.
Byline: DAVID MADDOCK
YOU know how this early in December, all those premature Christmas lights look so joyless? Welcome to Goodison Park last night.
This was a contest long on attrition and short on attraction, reminding us only that it is a long time until the warming rays of spring.
It also reminded us what teams already fighting for their lives look like.
Hull were exactly that, they entered on a four-game losing streak, and for long periods played exactly like a side familiar with defeat.
Yet the Tigers found some real spirit with an energetic second half-display and deservedly snatched a point.
It came through a fine goal from Sone Aluko (inset), the British-born Nigeria international who has real talent that somehow seems slightly unfulfilled.
With Hull trailing to an emphatic firsthalf goal from Romelu Lukaku (top) and playing like a side bound for the relegation zone, they located an extra gear and twice almost levelled before the substitute made his mark after 59 minutes.
Aluko did it by dancing past a desperate, unwise lunge by Sylvain Distin before exposing Tim Howard at his near post.
From there, Steve Bruce's side scrapped and spoiled their way to the point that kept them out of the bottom three - by virtue of goal difference.
For Everton, it was an exercise in frustration, Hull's spoiling tactics exposing what seemed like a weariness born of their European adventures.
Caution seemed the watchword, with neither side daring to venture too far forward in numbers.
neith far w Neither had a shot on goal in the first quarter, and even when one finally came, it was almost a back pass from a Mirallas free-kick.
MT The Belgian winger though at lt least carried some intent. He fizzed around the box looking to exploit space and finally found some on 34 minutes.
Mirallas darted onto the ball on the right side of the box and admirably brushed through a late challenge from Michael Dawson when he could easily have taken the cynical option of going down.
It was a wise choice however because his cross found Lukaku, who finished with pace and precision.