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Posted on 14 August 2007  - 12:00

Anthony Gardner scored his first league goal for nearly five years, but it was not enough to prevent Everton recording a 3-1 victory at the Lane on Tuesday night.

Anthony Gardner scored his first league goal for nearly five years, but it was not enough to prevent Everton recording a 3-1 victory at the Lane on Tuesday night.

For the second season running, Everton left N17 with three points added to their Premier League account, while we still await a first deposit into our own points column. It was simply a case of Everton taking their chances and having that little bit of luck in front of goal - particularly in the case of goals two and three.

Darren Bent was drafted in for his full debut in place of Teemu Tainio from the team that started up at Sunderland on Saturday, with Robbie Keane deployed in a right midfield role.

It got off to the worst possible start in the rain at the Lane, a Mikel Arteta free-kick from the right nodded into the net by the unmarked Joleon Lescott with just two minutes on the clock.

There was a lively response, Bent having a strike disallowed for the offside after Dimitar Berbatov squared, before a rampaging run from Younes Kaboul nearly led to Steed Malbranque setting up the Bulgarian to the left of the area. Bent then drilled a shot inches wide of Tim Howard's right-hand upright.

After just 17 minutes Kaboul was clearly struggling and Ricardo Rocha was summoned from the bench to replace the powerful young Frenchman and five minutes later a leveller looked on when Keane juggled his way into the area, only for Berbatov to smash his resulting effort over the crossbar.

This game was so different to that at the Stadium of Light, full of drive and purpose, which was rewarded on 26 minutes when a Jermaine Jenas corner was headed downwards and flew up into the net courtesy of Gardner. His joy on scoring his Premier League first goal since netting a deflected effort against West Ham in September 2002 was more than evident.

Ten minutes later his joy - and those of 35-odd thousand Spurs fans - was deflated as an Arteta cross from the right was cleared by Rocha, but the defender collided with Paul Robinson and the loose ball was smashed into the back of the net by Leon Osman.

The dangerman Arteta then went close from an edge of area free-kick, before another set piece was awarded following a Malbranque collision with Victor Anichebe. Alan Stubbs was then celebrating making it 3-1 from his low strike via a decisive deflection.

It left the boys with a tall second half order and the deficit was so nearly reduced when a Pascal Chimbonda cross was met by the head of Berbatov, only it was the upright that rattled and not the netting.

The tide was white in terms of the team pushing forward, but the final ball or maybe plain luck was not quite there. A Keane free-kick landed just wide and it was the cue for Jermain Defoe to step forward from the bench and take the place of Bent.

Everton were always going to present a danger on the counter-attack, but it was not a night to play it cagey and Wayne Routledge was drafted in for Paul Stalteri with 23 minutes remaining to try and provide the spark to ignite a comeback in front of a crowd of 35,716. Next in significant action though was Robinson with a fine reaction save to deny Andy Johnson.

With so many men committed forward, messrs Rocha, Gardner and Zokora were left a little exposed at the back. Howard was next in adding to his save count when he blocked Defoe's far post effort from a Chimbonda cross, Robinson also saving superbly late on two occasions from Johnson.

A goal to provide a little bit of late hope did not come and the end result was a first home defeat since February.