Gary McSheffrey expressed his remorse at wasting a glorious opportunity to put Birmingham City in the ascendancy during their low-brow stalemate with Fulham.
With just five minutes gone, the Blues winger went clear of the visitors' defence and had just Finnish goalkeeper Antti Niemi to beat to ensure his side picked up where they had left off against Middlesbrough on Boxing Day.
It would also have been the 25-year-old's first league goal from open play since he bagged the winner against Stoke City in February and his first ever in England's highest division. But having produced a delightful first touch to skip away from defender Paul Konchesky, he failed to hit the target from less than ten yards as the ball ballooned way over the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Fulham were ahead and Blues needed a deflected second-half equaliser from Sebastian Larsson to avoid what would have been a depressing defeat.
McSheffrey knew how important his gaffe could have been. "I don't think I could hit the ball that high from that range if I tried," the former Coventry City midfielder said.
"Maybe it bobbled, I'll have to look at it on television but I have got to be scoring that. It would have got us off to a flyer. There are no excuses, I'm really disappointed it didn't go in."
He accepted that his effort was typical of his team's showing in the opening 45 minutes in which Fulham could have gone two or three goals up.
"In the first half, we were poor," he admitted. "Fulham deservedly took the lead but, in the second half, we were very good and, for about 25 minutes, we were probably the best we have been this season. We showed good character to come back from behind but we are disappointed not to win.
"We recovered [from Middlesbrough] well and prepared well for the game. Fulham came out with a point to prove in
front of their new manager but we got it together at half time and came out all guns blazing.
"We played with a good tempo in the second half and it was only a fantastic double save that stopped us getting the win," he said in reference to Niemi's block from his own free kick and acrobatic tip when Franck Queudrue returned the rebound.
The draw left Alex McLeish's men three points clear of the Premier League's relegation places but facing daunting trips to face second-placed Manchester United at Old Trafford and league leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and a visit to St Andrew's by third-placed Chelsea in their next three matches.
With that in mind, they had hoped that their recent meetings with Reading, Bolton, Middlesbrough and Fulham would have been more profitable.
"Is five points from those games enough? No, we would have liked more," said McSheffrey. "After the Bolton game, our aim was to get six points from the next two games.
"We performed well enough to take those points and we're disappointed that we haven't done so. We have got a tough January coming up, we have got to apply ourselves in the right way and you never know, we could nick a point in one of those games."
Tomorrow's encounter at Old Trafford will be the first time McSheffrey has played at the Premier League's largest venue. It is an occasion he promises will not daunt him or his team-mates.
"These are the sort of games you look forward to as a player, you cannot afford to fear them," he said.
"They will get a rollicking from Sir Alex Ferguson [after losing 2-1 to West Ham United on Saturday] so there's big pressure for them to perform on New Years Day.
"If it's not going right for them early on - then you never know, it could work out in a our favour."
If McSheffrey can make amends for Saturday's slip-up tomorrow, it could do just that.