The days of David Moyes spending £8million on a centre forward have long gone at Everton and he will have cast an envious glance at the predatory instincts of Kenwyne Jones after experiencing another afternoon of intense frustration.
Moyes is growing increasingly tired of having to defend his toothless team for their lack of goal threat and it was a familiar story for the Everton manager. Jones has been unable to display his repertoire of acrobatics for some time but marked his first goal in eight games with an array of somersaults.
And Moyes' misery was complete after Phil Jagielka's comedy own-goal secured Stoke their first win at the Britannia Stadium icebox in four attempts. "I thought we played well enough to get something out of the game," said Moyes. "It was a case of saying more of the same. We had chances but we didn't take them. I'm frustrated.
"Sometimes it's the crosses you don't get into the box and today we got it in but we weren't in there to finish and to win games you have to score goals. We will trawl the loan market to try and bring in some top players if possible." Louis Saha, Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu Aiyegbeni – who was omitted from the squad – have scored three goals between them this season.
Jones, Stoke's record signing, has come in for some criticism in recent weeks but his header after 23 minutes was a reminder of how potent he can be in the air. None other than England and Chelsea defender John Terry has described the Trinidad & Tobago international as "unplayable" on his day and he really needs to be producing goals like this more often. Matty Etherington bamboozled Phil Neville and Seamus Coleman on the left before sending over a delicious cross that was given the treatment it deserved by Jones.
The visitors toiled for an equaliser but their first away defeat in nine was confirmed when Jagielka bundled Danny Higginbotham's cross pastTim Howard.
The Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: "We're pleased, it's a big result after the last two home games. We didn't get the results we deserved against Fulham and Blackpool.
"Kenwyne has done smashing. There are loads of issues surrounding players off the pitch. He's been fine and although his performances have dipped we have great belief in him."
Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the match: Etherington