Sean Dyche has just found two unlikely Everton heroes and priceless commodity in relegation fight

Everton need heroes and Sean Dyche might have just unearthed some.

Last season there was Richarlison. He has left. There was Jordan Pickford. He remains but can only do so much. And then, at the death, there was Dominic Calvert-Lewin. He may yet have his say in this difficult season.

But a side bereft of goals needs magic and desire to stay competitive. In Abdoulaye Doucoure, the scorer of the Blues’ first goal in this draw at Stamford Bridge, Dyche has found a source of inspiration. In Ellis Simms, on Saturday night at least, he found some magic.

PLAYER RATINGS: Ellis Simms the hero and Abdoulaye Doucoure superb against Chelsea

TALKING POINT: Everton have just given their clearest hint yet they can escape relegation

This was a result as valuable as it was unexpected after Kai Havertz restored Chelsea’s lead from the penalty spot with 15 minutes to go. Everton had already forced their way back into the game once, Doucoure’s header creeping past the outstretched palms of Kepa Arrizabalaga and over the line to the disbelief of almost everyone. Until referee Darren England pointed to the spot, after Reece James fell under pressure from Ben Godfrey and James Tarkowski, it felt like the Blues were on course for another important away result. But after Pickford was sent the wrong way a sense of deja vu began to dominate among an away support too used to disappointed journeys home. The chants of Goodison Gang and the smell of the blue pyrotechnics that had greeted Doucoure’s second goal in consecutive away games had dispersed and forlorn eyes looked at a Premier League table that had lost the gloss created by last week’s win at Brentford.

But then up stepped Simms. Simms, the academy graduate who was not part of Everton’s first-team plans at the start of the season. Simms, who was brought back from a loan spell in the Championship in an apologetic move that signalled the arrival of the only new face in the squad in January. Simms, thrown into the starting line up at Anfield only to cut an isolated figure starved of support before his withdrawal in that sorry defeat. For so long, the Blues, damaged by Calvert-Lewin’s persistent struggle with injury, have needed a striker. Demarai Gray has been bright and, occasionally, threatening since earning the trust of Dyche to take on that role in recent weeks. But there is only Simms among the limited options available to Dyche that can do what he did in the final minutes at Stamford Bridge. In a display of skill and composure he brushed past Kalidou Koulibaly before calmly slotting past Kepa.

When Simms, now 22, made his first-team debut on this ground last season he may have believed moments like this were around the corner. They were not. Spells at Hearts, then Sunderland, followed. Now, he finally has his moment and it is one to savour as he delivered for a side in need of saviours.

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