Everton suffered their fourth home defeat of the season after falling afoul of some combination of Stoke City and referee Lee Mason. The hosts dominated possession throughout, but found themselves falling behind early thanks to Robert Huth flicking a Dean Whitehead volley past the helpless Tim Howard in the 15th minute, and thanks to Tony Pullis's novel strategy of fielding a team entirely comprised of centre halves, they failed to get much penetration into threatening zones.
That's not to say Everton didn't threaten Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, because they actually came extraordinarily close to killing him. Tim Cahill's flying hip check in the second half caught the 35-year-old flush in the side of the head, snapping his neck around and leaving him on the ground in an alarmingly lifeless heap. The home fans booed, because they wanted a penalty, and they booed again when a few minutes later a clearly groggy Sorensen went down again and ended up being stretchered off the pitch while given oxygen.
Perhaps Lee Mason was feeling a certain amount of antipathy towards the home fans as a result of their predictably partisan behaviour, because he then proceeded to referee the rest of the match as though he'd never heard of the sport before. Clear fouls weren't called for Everton. Phantom ones were given to Stoke. Apostolos Velios was given a headlock in the penalty area - apparently legal under the glorious reign of Lee Mason - and forced to try a bizarre scissor kick to make contact with a cross.
The consistently atrocious refereeing decisions meant that the Toffees never really looked like getting their equaliser, despite seven minutes of injury time in which to score. The 1-0 loss means that Everton drop to 10th in the table, with Stoke vaulting both them and Aston Villa into 8th place. As seemingly always with the Potters, it's a great result, if not a particularly compelling performance.