Besides a Danielle Turner blast that soared well over the crossbar, Everton had little to show for a first-half of intense possession and fervent ball movement. Even though the Toffees held the ball 65% of the time, West Ham had the first two opportunities on goal.
An early break on the left side resulted in a Dagný Brynjarsdóttir shot that fizzed across the face of goal. And while the attempt was not credited as one on target, it very well could have ended up in the back of the net.
Lisa Evans found forward Tameka Yallop through on goal for the second look, but the Australian international angled the ball wide.
In front of their home fans, the Blues failed to break down a well-organized West Ham defense. Despite winning the possession arrow, the Hammers had two more shots and one more goal through the first 45 than Everton.
The marker that put the visitors ahead came from careful build-up play and a cheeky, if not unknowing, finish. But as has happened far too often this season, Everton’s defense looked confused and harried on the play.
The move started with winger Kateřina Svitková breaking down the left wing. Izzy Christiansen allowed Svitková to drive the end line instead of following the run. The Czech international then played a pass across the face of goal, and Turner whiffed on a clearance attempt.
The ball fell to an unsuspecting Zaneta Wyne, who tapped a shot into the back of the net for her first tally as a Hammer. The sequence was so zany that even Wyne was shocked that she had scored.
Seven minutes into the second, Evans worked a yard of space for herself to take a shot, and the rebound dropped to Brynjarsdóttir, but the attempt glanced wide of goal.
A double substitution at the hour mark brought life into the home side; one of the newcomers, left back Poppy Pattinson, delivered a curling corner, but Lucy Graham’s header glanced ever so slightly over the crossbar.
With 15 minutes left to play, an unassuming Everton throw in led to the tying goal. The throw bounced over Simone Magill and into the path of Toni Duggan. Duggan then got in front of her defender and knocked the ball into the back of the net.
It was Duggan’s first goal in league play this campaign — she logged her first goal in her return to the club last week in a cup win against Durham. Duggan finally broke a goalless drought that spanned several months. She had failed to score in her previous 16 shots to start the season, which was the worst in the league. However, attempt 17 proved to be the one.
With Everton pushing for the game-winner, West Ham appeared content with seeing the game out. When the full-time whistle went, both teams left the pitch with a point.
The result is a marked improvement for the coffees compared with several earlier results. Still, manager Jean-Luc Vasseur must now focus on getting his team to break down opposing defenses that sit back and absorb pressure.
The Merseyside outfit has shown its ability to maintain possession and pick passes, but the team lacks the killer instinct to put teams away, which was evident versus West Ham.
Everton (4-3-3): Sandy MacIver; Rikke Sevecke, Gabby George, Nathalie Bjorn, Danielle Turner; Izzy Christiansen (C), Kenza Dali, Aurora Galli; Lucy Graham, Toni Duggan, Simone Magill
Substitutes: Hanna Bennison for Galli 58, Poppy Pattinson for Turner 58, Anna Anvegard 66
Unused Substitutes: Courtney Brosnan, Leonie Maier, Grace Clinton, Megan Finnigan
Goals: Duggan 76
Bookings: George 78, Sevecke 90
West Ham (5-3-2): Mackenzie Arnold; Zaneta Wyne, Grace Fisk, Gilly Flaherty (C), Hawa Cissoko, Kateřina Svitková; Tameka Yallop, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Yui Hasegawa; Dagný Brynjarsdóttir, Lisa Evans
Substitutes: Claudia Walker for Evans 69, Kate Longhurst for Wyne 75
Unused Substitutes: Lucy Parker, Melisa Filis, Anna Leat, Brooke Cairns, Grace Garrad
Goals: Wyne 40
Bookings: Svitková 31