Tim Howard has described his remarkable goal against Bolton Wanderers as "cruel" and revealed he refused to celebrate out of sympathy for his beaten opposite number, Adam Bogdan.
The USA international became the fourth goalkeeper to score in the Premier League when his wind-assisted clearance bounced over Bolton's second-choice keeper to give Everton the lead at Goodison Park on Wednesday. Howard was on the receiving end of a similar goal in November 2005 while playing for Manchester United reserves against Wigan Athletic, when Floyd Croll's punt sailed over his head in a fixture at Moss Lane, and he admits the experience had scarred him.
Howard said: "It was cruel. You saw the back fours and the keepers not being able to believe balls all night, and at the back one wrong step and it can be a nightmare. For our goal I was disappointed from a goalkeepers' union standpoint. You never want to see that happen. It's not nice, it's embarrassing, so I felt for Adam but you have to move on from it."
The Everton keeper's goal ultimately counted for nothing as David Ngog and Gary Cahill responded to give Bolton a deserved win that took Owen Coyle's side off the bottom of the Premier League. Defeat was costly for David Moyes, who will be without the influential defender Phil Jagielka for three to four weeks after he suffered medial knee ligament damage, while Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Jack Rodwell all picked up injuries that will keep them out of Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie against non-league Tamworth. Shane Duffy has been recalled from a loan spell at Scunthorpe United to provide defensive cover.
Howard conceded that injuries contributed to a dreadful Everton performance against Bolton but was scathing in his assessment of the display. He said: "We need to look at ourselves in the mirror because it wasn't good enough, we were all kind of lost for words. It was very poor and that's why we're all so bitterly disappointed. At the very least we needed a point from that game, that was the minimum.
"We've got to be more professional, more resilient and we didn't do that. We didn't deserve the points. We need to try and find a way even on nights when it's really ugly and we're not at it. We need to be more professional. We've got strong characters and we need to show we can make it through games."