An evening which began with the most poignant of tributes for the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives during the Hillsborough disaster, following a week in which the bereaved families learned the truth, ended with another reminder of the Premier League's ability to thrill.

If Everton's moving pre-match recognition of the significant news of the past week was an exercise in uniting the two halves of Merseyside, then what followed would have fused together footballing purists.

Goodison Park played host to a typically robust Premier League encounter; a league which while it is littered with reminders of the game's eclectic mix of foreign stars still produces epic encounters devoid of the contemporary stylish veneer.

Leighton Baines
Baines netted the first after 15 minutes.

Fresh from an uncharacteristically impressive start to the season, The Toffees, began like the hopes of Merseyside rested on their shoulders. If strength and determination has always accompanied David Moyes' teams, then you may now add an unerring intensity as a characteristic of Everton in their current guise.

Perhaps not always known for their mobility, the hosts provided thrust from all angles. Steven Pienaar's continues to flourish alongside Leighton Baines, while the addition of the all-action Kevin Mirallas alongside Nikica Jelavic gives Moyes an additional foil to Marouane Fellaini's enormous frame.

The combination between Pienaar and Baines yielded Everton's opener, as the full-back drove low beyond Steve Harper. Such was the impressive nature of 27 year old's performance, it represented a convincing argument for his selection ahead of Ashley Cole for England.

After the interval, substitute Demba Ba swung the game in Newcastle's favour with a timely equaliser, as Tim Howard's belated dive couldn't keep out the Senegalese striker's effort. It was a rare moment of excellence from Ba in 2012 and just the third goal since the signing of Papiss Demba Cisse, whom had been preferred from the start.

The Toon quickly seized the initiative as Everton backed off, Hatem Ben Arfa allowed more space to get in behind, with Cisse and Ba combining effectively like they have so rarely since the former's January move from Freiburg.

The battling qualities of the hosts quickly came to the fore, and appeared to pay dividends when Pienaar slipped in Fellaini, who swept past Harper. With the offside flag raised Everton's celebrations were put on ice, until 12 minutes from time when substitute Victor Anichebe appeared to head home the winner, until the same assistant adjudged the ball had not crossed the line.

Ben Arfa almost rubbed salt in the home side's injustice with a late winner before being denied by Howard, before Anichebe looked to have claimed the points with a swivel on a sixpence and a shot that left Harper on his knees with just two minutes left.

But Newcastle were not down and out and when Shola Ameobi met Mike Williamson's long ball, Ba reacted first to bundle past the onrushing Howard. After a game where cut and thrust had replaced style, it was apt that a route one pass had been the source of the evening's thrilling crescendo.

Rarely one to condemn referees, but even Moyes couldn't hide his disappointment at two decisions which cost his side another three points.

Demba Ba
Ba scored in the 90th minute.

"We're not jumping up and down about it but we're hoping they're going to get it right because the lineman is looking across the line and he should see them so there's no reason why he can't get them right," Moyes said.

"That would have given us a bit more daylight than what we had in the game and in the end we get 2-1 up and I'm disappointed that we conceded a goal so late on in the game.

"When your job is to look across the line and see whether people are offside or whether the ball goes out of play or whether it goes over the line you'd hope that that would be spotted.

"On the touchline I felt it was a goal with Marouane Fellaini, I thought it looked right and I didn't think it looked offside and that was the case it wasn't offside either."

Pardew, whose Newcastle side had failed to get going this season, is meanwhile hoping the errors from the officials which led to the 2-2 draw can assist in kick-start their campaign.

"It was an awful first half," he said. "The performance in the first half was from a team that lacked belief and no matter what the system or the way you set your team up that's the important ingredient and that's about as bad as I've ever seen my team play in the first half.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the point, I think it could be a big season changer for us because we haven't been playing well but the second half was more like us.

"These decisions are game-changers, there is no doubt about it and I am sure David will be very aggrieved. I have been saying all along that technology must come in and it has cost Everton a crucial goal."

The disparity in emotions of both sets of supporters was in direct contrast to that of the neutrals who had the pleasure of enjoying another example of the roller-coaster ride that is the Premier League. Late goals, tragic defending and controversial decisions; just another night in with the greatest league in the world.