Leighton Baines kept his nerve to convert the late penalty that gave Everton a dramatic 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Wolves at Goodison Park on Saturday.
David Moyes' side, who had lost five of their previous six league matches, were heading for another depressing defeat when Stephen Hunt fired Wolves ahead with a first half penalty.
But England defender Phil Jagielka equalised just before the break and his international colleague Baines bagged the winner after a foul by Stephen Ward on Louis Saha seven minutes from full-time.
The win lifted Everton four points clear of the relegation zone and eased the gloomy mood around the blue half of Merseyside, while Wolves are only one place above the bottom three.
Prior to kick off there had been another march by around 250 supporters from the Blue Union group to protest about stagnation at the club in relation to finding a new buyer.
And they had more reasons to fear the worst for their club in the first half.
Saha had Everton's only chance of the opening stages as he forced goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to tip over from Tim Cahill's knock-down.
Everton continued to struggle with their final ball and they were hit with a classic sucker punch in the 36th minute.
David Edwards' diagonal run across the corner of the penalty area did not appear to pose too much threat but Marouane Fellaini, returning after suspension, caught him with the slightest of touches and it was enough to send the midfielder to the ground.
Hunt smashed home from the spot and it looked like Wolves would hold on to their lead until a minute before the break when Jagielka nodded home Baines' free-kick with a twisting header.
In first half stoppage time Everton could have gone in front but Fellaini's shot was half-saved by Hennessey and Cahill appeared to be pulled back by Karl Henry as he raced to reach the loose ball but referee Jon Moss awarded only a corner.
Everton were in the ascendancy after half-time but still squandered chances.
Cahill, who has not scored since December 20, looked certain to break his drought when Saha's flick-on from Coleman's cross found him six yards out but he did not connect cleanly and Ward and Hennessey combined to save.
They finally made the breakthrough in the 83rd minute when Ward needlessly fouled Saha to give Baines the chance to coolly side-foot home the penalty.