Town earned a thoroughly deserved point on the road as the shares were spoiled in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
A frantic three-minute spell was all it took for the afternoon's events to occur, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin replied instantly to Philip Billing's opener in a contest which certainly witnessed the desired improvements.
The Terriers adopted an offensive 3-4-3 shape, whilst dropping into a 5-4-1 when out of possession. Jonas Lössl made his first starting appearance of the season, whilst Chris Löwe was also recalled to the starting squad having been on the bench for last Saturday's league stalemate with Cardiff City. In terms of injuries, the Club was without the services of Ben Hamer and Ramadan Sobhi due to respective knee issues. Jonathan Hogg was also suspended.
A raucous following of 2,000 from over the Pennines characteristically made themselves heard as their side bid to end a torrid run of form against the Blue half of Merseyside; you'd have to go all the way back to September 1937 for the last time three points headed back to HD1 from this ground.
Everton's last home game against Southampton ended in a 3-1 victory, with Theo Walcott on the scoresheet; and the winger hunted an early sight on goal, almost receiving a neat pass through the lines as a result of neat interchanges between Cenk Tosun and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Town's tenacity off-the-ball was evident even in the initial exchanges; the Toffees allowed no time to settle, with breaks looking increasingly likely on both Terrier flanks in the shape of Florent Hadergjonaj, Adama Diakhaby and Rajiv van La Parra all offering an outlet.
It took 12 minutes for the hosts to muster a first real opportunity, courtesy of an unlikely source. On-loan Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma rifled an effort from easily 35-yards having stepped confidently out of the defensive line, and it whistled past the right-hand post of Jonas Lössl by a matter of inches.
Town was in fact looking dangerous on the counter. Adama Diakhaby was in the mood to utilise the electric pace whilst encountering Lucas Digne, as well as that man van La Parra, who's positivity on the left was equalled by Chris Löwe's overlaps in a bid to breach the resistance of home skipper Seamus Coleman.
Steve Mounié was turning out a dogged forward performance. Making his presence felt, winning headers and providing a platform for which the Terriers could build promising attacks. The Benin international challenged well to head home Florent Hadergjonaj's deep cross, but Jordan Pickford authoritatively punched away as the Toffees scrambled to cover in numbers as the Red and Black clad visitors seeked that vital opener.
Nearing the half-hour and the improvements desired by Head Coach David Wagner in light of the first three fixtures were really coming to fruition. His men had an air of determination to grind out that all-important three points and were going to great lengths to not only stifle a potent Everton attack but to look a decent threat on the break.
Proceedings livened, with both sides experiencing half-chances. A Philip Billing long throw caused havoc amongst the home side's defensive ranks- a last-ditch hook away denying Zanka from prodding past Pickford. That last-ditch clearance initiated a breakaway chance for Cenk Tosun. The Turkish striker did well to shift the ball past Terence Kongolo before firing just over Jonas Lössl's bar.
A sustained period of pressure from the Terriers soon paid off; a series of dead-ball situations finally resulted in a golden chance which was well and duly despatched by Philip Billing, only for it to be almost immediately cancelled out by Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The madness commenced as Chris Löwe's whipped corner was met by the head of Zanka at the near-post to flick dangerously across the face of goal and ultimately Billing, who charged in to hammer home a first ever Premier League goal.
They say you are always most vulnerable after you find the net yourselves; and that proved to be the case as Calvert-Lewin glanced Digne's cross delicately into the far corner agonisingly past the out-stretched arm of Jonas Lössl.
Many had settled down after that brief rise in tempo, but the home supporters thought they'd grabbed a second as Gylfi Sigurdsson's corner rolled across the six-yard line begging to be tucked home by the arriving cavalry of Blue shirts. To Town's relief, no connection occurred which opened the door for a swift clearance out of harm’s way.
In theory, the Terriers' display had been superb in all aspects, and it was key that the half-time whistle arrived either all-square or with the HD1 Club ahead. Calvert-Lewin again caused a slight aerial problem, rising highest to meet Theo Walcott's delivery; an end product this time sailing over the bar to relieve the mini-siege that Marco Silva's players had aimed to capitalise on ahead of that interval.
It was the men from the John Smith's Stadium that carried on where they left off. A Chris Löwe delivery caused havoc once more; Adama Diakhaby thought he'd the freedom of Goodison to head Town in-front until Zouma barrelled in to crucially head away the danger.
Second 45, still the same theme. Town more than holding its own, even having another of the halves' chances. Direct distribution from the goal-kick found Steve Mounié's clever run in-behind Mason Holgate, and after yet more excellent hold-up play from the striker, Rajiv van La Parra curled off target from the left of the area.
As events unfolded, individual Terrier performances really were asking questions of their hosts, in particular Steve Mounié, who's all-round forward game was continuing to cause problems to the pairing of Holgate and Zouma.
Goal-scorer Billing did well to work some space for a cross in behind left-back Digne, and as Terence Kongolo cushioned a header back towards goal, that man Mounié came within a whisker of making a suitable connection to force Jordan Pickford into any meaningful save despite it being on target.
Not taking one of the chances very nearly proved costly. Lively substitute Ademola Lookman flashed dangerously across the area which a combination of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne couldn't manage to finish on the slide.
And back down the other end play went, as Town searched for that second. Substitute Erik Durm raced to the by-line and cut back for Mounié, only for it be cleared before he could pull the trigger thanks to good positioning from Mason Holgate.
All afternoon Everton hadn't had any room for comfort as a dogged Terriers performance had nullified the majority of threats that the Blues rarely posed. Zanka summed up that notion to a tee with a timely intervention on Tosun as a result of the Turk looking to turn inside the box with a gap just ahead.
Tosun remained in the thick of the action, nodding over Oumar Niasse's hanging cross from close range; and that was to be the last of the play on Merseyside.
With the international break up and coming, the players now have two-weeks of preparation ahead of the next Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace at the John Smith's Stadium (Saturday 15 September 2018, 3pm).
TOWN’S STARTING XI (3-4-3)
Jonas Lössl; Terence Kongolo, Christopher Schindler (c), Mathias Zanka; Chris Löwe, Philip Billing, Aaron Mooy, Florent Hadergjonaj (Erik Durm, 76'); Rajiv van La Parra, Steve Mounié (Laurent Depoitre, 90'), Adama Diakhaby (Elias Kachunga, 60')
Ryan Schofield, Danny Williams, Isaac Mbenza, Alex Pritchard
EVERTON’S STARTING XI
Jordan Pickford; Lucas Digne (Leighton Baines, 75'), Kurt Zouma, Mason Holgate, Seamus Coleman; Tom Davies, Gylfi Sigurdsson (Oumar Niasse, 76'), Morgan Schneiderlin; Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott (Ademola Lookman, 57')
Maarten Stekelenburg, Kieran Dowell, Tyias Browning, Jonjoe Kenny
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