Goalscorer Sebastian Larsson said he could see no way back for Derby County after he eventually grabbed what looked to be the winner for Birmingham City midway through the second half of their vital relegation encounter at St Andrew's.
The Swedish international fired his third goal of the season in the 68th minute and a huge sigh of relief was audible among a home crowd that had watched Blues waste chance after chance against a poor Derby side.
However, as the importance of the victory began to weigh on Blues, they became nervous and allowed the Rams to grab a shock equaliser in the 89th minute through substitute Emanuel Villa.
"It was very disappointing," said Larsson, who was forced to limp off soon after scoring, having crashed into the advertising hoardings and bruising his leg.
"I thought there was only one team that could go on and get the points. From the start, we were the dominant team and I know we missed a few chances, but I thought it was just a matter of time before we got a goal.
"Obviously, we got the goal but then to concede a silly equaliser in the 89th minute was tough. They didn't really trouble us all through the game apart from maybe one shot. It is disappointing, because we should have won comfortably."
As a result, Blues dropped into the relegation zone for the first time this season but Larsson is still confident they can pull together and climb out of the Barclays Premier League basement.
"We know we are in trouble and we have been in or around it all season," he said. "It is disappointing now but I am still very confident we are going to stay out of the relegation zone. I think, if we play well, we will be too good to go down.
"Sunderland was a disappointing performance but, against Derby, I thought we were quite good apart from putting one or two more goals away. I thought we were totally dominant, but that is football for you.
"Obviously, we have to start to take our chances because we created enough. In the end, we got a bit over-ambitious trying to push forward with a minute to go and we got punished. Perhaps we need to be a bit more clever in the closing stages of games.
"I was always confident we were going to score because we got into dangerous situations throughout the game but, obviously, when we did get the goal we should have secured the game and it looked like we had because they weren't really troubling us.
"But then we conceded a silly goal. We have to make sure we don't concede so late on after missing so many chances. We will look to the positives and move on from this and I am sure we will be alright in the end."