Goal scorer Carew went off injured in the second half
John Carew scored his first goal of the season as Aston Villa beat Everton to move into the top half of the table.
The Norwegian striker blasted home on 14 minutes when the visitors failed to deal with Wilfred Bouma's high cross.
Everton worked hard and were pushing for an equaliser when Gabriel Agbonlahor beat the offside trap to slot home Villa's second on the hour.
England striker Andrew Johnson was substituted after enduring another fruitless day in front of goal.
Everton boss David Moyes dropped £11.25m striker Yakubu for Victor Anichebe, but kept faith with Johnson, despite missing two penalties in the 1-1 Uefa Cup draw with Metalist Kharkiv in midweek.
The visitors displayed a lot of industry in a bustling opening period and had the first chance when defender Joseph Yobo caught Zat Knight full in the face with a stinging goal-bound volley.
It was the home side, however, who took the lead.
Yobo and Leighton Baines between them failed to clear Wilfried Bouma's cross from the left and Carew powerfully dispatched a shot past German goalkeeper Stefan Wessels.
Agbonlahor had the ball in the net again for Villa shortly after, but this time Ashley Young's centre had drifted out of play.
The lead secured, Villa were happy to let the visitors make most of the running for the remainder of the first half, with Johnson working tirelessly to end his six-month-long goal drought.
Johnson just failed to get on the end of a knock-down in the area and then called Scott Carson into his first meaningful action in the Villa goal, collecting a low cross ahead of the advancing Anichebe.
Everton were almost undone by another high ball on the stroke of half-time.
Wessels flapped at a corner from the left but Tony Hibbert was on hand to clear Agbonlahor's header from the gaping net.
The away side upped the pace of the game immediately after the break and Johnson was quickly into the action, testing Carson with a well-struck free kick and then shooting wide from the edge of the area after Anichebe had found him unmarked.
Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman then both had good opportunities, but instead of finding the equaliser Everton were caught napping and fell further behind on the hour mark.
Agbonlahor sprinted beyond the defence and showed a neat touch to control Carson's long ball and calmly slotted past Wessels from inside the area.
Moyes replaced his front pairing with James McFadden and Yakubu, former Birmingham City favourite Johnson departing the field to a chorus of boos from the delighted home fans.
Philip Neville had to intervene between Agbonlahor and Harewood
However, Villa were in control now and looked dangerous again through the dribbling of Young and a curling shot from Gareth Barry.
Yakubu and Osman forced saves from Carson before the final whistle but never looked likely to get back into the match.
Villa boss Martin O'Neill may have been concerned however, after team-mates Agbonlahor and Marlon Harewood squared up to each other at full time.
The substitute was apparently upset Agbonlahor had sprinted for the corner instead of playing the ball into him for a run on goal.
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
"We didn't reach the same heights as against Chelsea but it was important for us to win this game after we were not all that brilliant at Manchester City.
"John Carew will be very, very pleased with his first goal and relieved as well, and Gabby (Agbonlahor) showed a great touch for his goal and he still had to put it in the net after he controlled it.
"The team has been doing fine outside our not so clever performances, it's encouraging, we've won three out of the last four and there's a good spirit in the dressing room."
Everton manager David Moyes:
"For parts of the game we played well, we started the game well and I thought we started the second half well.
"We didn't have many clear cut chances but then neither did Aston Villa so it was a tight game.
"But if you concede goals like we do and can't score at the other end then it's a recipe for disaster.
"It's not a hard decision to leave players (like Yakubu) out, I pick what I see and I'll continue to do so."
Aston Villa: Carson, Mellberg, Laursen, Knight, Bouma, Agbonlahor, Reo-Coker, Barry, Young, Moore (80 Harewood), Carew (53 Gardner).
Subs not used: Taylor, Davies, Maloney.
Goals: Carew 14, Agbonlahor 60
Everton: Wessels, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Pienaar, Jagielka, Neville, Osman, Anichebe (69 Yakubu), Johnson (69 McFadden).
Subs not used: Ruddy, Nuno Valente, Carsley.
Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)