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Nottingham Forest 0-1 Everton: Match Recap & Reaction | The fightback starts here

Dwight McNeil earns another win on the road for the Toffees

Nottingham Forest v Everton - Premier League - City Ground Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

Everton earned their first win since their 10-point deduction thanks to Dwight McNeil’s rocket against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

McNeil blasted the ball into the into the top corner from the angle after collecting a cross at the far post for his first goal of the season on 67 minutes.

Nottingham Forest v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

It settled a match that only sporadically burst into life, with the Toffees having Jordan Pickford to thank for a couple of late saves to preserve the points.

It also continues Everton fine form on the road this season. Sean Dyche’s side have lost just two of their nine away games in all competitions, winning their last three in a row.

Some further thoughts:

Do not underestimate the psychological impact of this result.

It was so important Everton began to chip away at that 10 point deduction as soon as possible as it quickly could have become overwhelming, particularly with a tough set of fixtures to come. Burnley’s win over Sheffield United earlier in the day meant the Toffees began the game bottom of the table, but this win means they are just two points adrift of safety. It stings to look at where they would be without the deduction though (11th, nine point clear of the bottom three, if you were wondering)

Beto needs time

Nottingham Forest v Everton - Premier League - City Ground Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured Beto came into for his first start since September. The 25-year-old missed a great chance to open the scoring in the first half when the goalkeeper fumbled the ball in his path but could only blaze over. It was the finish of a player short of confidence. It is a new league and new country so deserves time and patience, but a stroke of luck in front of goal to set him on his way would help too.

Toffees still need to be more clinical

One of the stories of Everton’s season has been the failure to convert chances, which has cost them – particularly at home. It looked like it would do the same here as McNeil somehow saw an effort cleared off the line by Murillo that also clipped the outside of the post a few minutes after Beto’s spurned opportunity.

A welcome touch of fortune

Abdoulaye Doucoure was lucky not to concede a penalty for pulling Ryan Yates to the floor from a corner. The referee did not give it and the VAR decided it was not a ‘clear and obvious’ error. That said, Everton also could have argued Forest defender wad lucky not to be sent off for pulling back Beto when he was on a yellow card.

Fans make the difference again

Nottingham Forest v Everton - Premier League - City Ground Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

The fans once again travelled in great number to pack out the away end at the City Ground and made their voices heard. The Premier League protests also continued after some more brilliant organisation by the 1878s. After such a tough few years they deserve days likes this more than anyone.