JUST when Newcastle United supporters must have felt they had seen all the late drama a team could muster in one season, Steve Bruce’s men have gone and done it again.

From absolutely nowhere, and that cannot be stressed enough, the Magpies went from heading for a two-goal defeat, that should have been far heavier, to leaving Goodison Park with a point.

Not one Newcastle fan tucked away in the far corner of this grand old stadium could have seen what lie ahead, even after Florian Lejeune had scored what seemed a mere consolation goal in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.

Then the French defender, introduced as a second half substitute, turned match hero and saviour when he was thrown up into the area for one last free-kick.

After a period of football pinball in front of Jordan Pickford’s goal, Lejeune was deemed to have scrambled the ball over the line to nick an unlikely point for Newcastle. The whole of Goodison, and beyond, was left stunned.

Even after the late drama against Chelsea on Saturday and the previous antics in home dates with Southampton, Bournemouth, Manchester City and Manchester United, this surpassed them all.

Two goals down with what was supposed to have been less than minute left away from home and Bruce’s men stole a point, somehow.

If Newcastle, who finished without a striker on the pitch, do stay up this season then the character which keeps delivering this kind of result is what will surely do it.

It is a sign of how Newcastle have fared so far this season that a defeat at Goodison Park would not have led to crisis talk on Tyneside, because victory would have been nice rather than a vital requirement for Bruce.

That said, the gap to the bottom three was reducing to six points before Lejeune’s intervention, and the Magpies would have been fuming with such a poor performance.

Apart from for brief periods at the beginning and end of the first half, Newcastle never looked like keeping Everton at bay and when Moise Kean was afforded the freedom of this part of Merseyside in the 30th minute to power in the opener it became a question of how many Carlo Ancelotti’s men could win by.

In the end Everton, despite creating a glut of good chances to warm the hearts of their supporters, could only conjure up one more and that was courtesy of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s excellent finish eight minutes after the restart.

Both Kean and Calvert-Lewin were picked out in far too much space in the Newcastle penalty area to control and eventually finish beyond goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, but a failure to wrap things up after that proved costly.

With neither Andy Carroll nor Allan Saint-Maximim risked in the match-day squad to face the Toffees, Newcastle were never going to be going for broke.

Having ended a run of four games without a win by beating Chelsea on Saturday, a degree of pressure was off because of the seven-point cushion held over the relegation zone. After the trip to Merseyside, Newcastle have a decent run of fixtures after this Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Oxford.

That didn’t prevent Newcastle from starting the brighter, even though it was Dubravka in the visitors’ goal that had the first saves to make just shy of 18 minutes in.

Before those Miguel Almiron saw plenty of the ball down the right-hand side and he linked well at times with the Longstaff brothers – both included after starting the Chelsea test on the bench – as well as Joelinton.

During that decent spell, though, former Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford didn’t have anything of note to deal with except for the predictable battering from the travelling supporters to his right.

Having dealt with Newcastle’s early advances, Everton soon grew into the game in an attacking sense with Bernard causing them problems and Dubravka once again being asked to deal with efforts his way.

In the space of a minute the Slovakian, who hit the 100 saves mark at the weekend, got down low to hold a powerful drive from Djibril Sidibe, and seconds later the keeper had to do even better to turn a grass-cutter from Kean behind for a corner.

But 12 minutes later, with Everton still controlling things, Dubravka could only get a touch that was unable to prevent Kean from powering the blues in front - and it was no surprise who created it.

Bernard spotted the forward moving through the middle undetected with a clever chip which Kean failed to control properly. That was not enough to stop him from scoring the opener, as he was still given the time to step back and fire low into the Newcastle goal at the second attempt.

After that there was a five-minute period where Newcastle had to dig deep to prevent a second. In doing that, they then finished the half strongly without levelling. The nearest that they came was when a free-flowing counter ended with Joelinton heading over from 12 yards when Isaac Hayden delivered from the right.

Everton stepped up the tempo immediately after the restart. The movement of Bernard and Theo Walcott gave the Newcastle backline plenty to think about and the two combined for the former to get in behind, only for Dubravka’s presence to be enough for him to miss the target.

It didn’t take much longer for that second goal to arrive. Lucas Digne’s clever, incisive, pass into the Newcastle penalty area was missed by the outstretched leg of Jamaal Lascelles, so Calvert-Lewin could control and arch a left-foot finish inside the far post with power from ten yards.

The task suddenly became damage limitation, even if the travelling supporters kept singing. Calvert-Lewin’s confidence was up, finding more space to link with the excellent Bernard, and the Newcastle backline that served so well against Chelsea never looked as competent.

Bruce introduced Emil Krafth for Christian Atsu, whose return to the side in the absence of Saint-Maximim, didn’t go to plan, while Ciaran Clark was taken off before he was red carded after collecting a caution. Lejeune helped to keep the score down to two.

Everton, who did take off the excellent Kean, kept plugging away and were more likely to alter the scoreline. Towering Colombian Yerri Mina went close with a header and Dubravka had to be equal to a low strike from Sidibe that was destined for the bottom corner.

But that introduction of Lejeune was to prove crucial. With Joelinton replaced, the Frenchman saved the day. Not only did he acrobatically level in a crowded area in stoppage-time, he also went up for one last free-kick.

With the ball bouncing around, Pickford and his Everton defence doing everything it could to keep out an equaliser, Lejeune’s last-gasp volley was deemed to have crossed the line and Newcastle, from absolutely nowhere, had a point.