A point which would have seemed priceless before kick off to Saints all of a sudden felt like the most heartbreaking of losses.
A goal to the good, two places clear of the drop zone… and all of a sudden victory snatched away just as they thought the job was done.
Nathan Redmond’s first goal after a 34-game drought looked sure to give Southampton a first away win since September and one which could ultimately be worth millions.
Yet deep, deep in stoppage time, with the final kick of the game, Tom Davies took one more hopeful swing.
A shot that was never likely to threaten so-far unstoppable keeper Alex McCarthy, took the most cruel deflection of Wesley Hoedt’s outstretched left foot and flew into the opposite corner.
And for Southampton, for all they are still out of the bottom three after the draw, were on their knees and broken men at seeing the most priceless of away wins snatched away.
They were the better team throughout and then showed all the guts in the world to hang on with ten men when Maya Yoshida got a second yellow five minutes from time.
But they couldn't hold on for the lead, as the Saints jump up to 17th spot – level on points with Swansea in 18th.
Before Redmond opened the scoring, the match had been drab, dull, abject, abysmal. If they did a top five worst games in Premier League history, this one would have had a case.
For long periods it seemed that nobody would be bursting anywhere in a clash that was more testimonial than tension-packed, it was so lethargic.
Everton looked what Everton are – decidedly average, decidedly lacking in ideas and equally lacking in talent.
Southampton seemed happy to leave Merseyside with the point they knew would be enough to haul them out of the bottom three for the first time in five weeks.
And with that do-or-die clash at Swansea – the team which have now replaced them in the drop zone – to come on Tuesday, it was almost a case of keeping the powder dry for then.
To be fair, Saints fans would probably have snatched your hand off if offered a draw before the Goodison clash.
Even so, they didn’t exactly make it squeaky bum time for the home backline in a first half so bad it would have shamed a local Sunday pub league.
They did force Pickford into a couple of decent stops, most notably forcing him to get down smartly to deny Oriol Romeu.
And the would-be England World Cup keeper went full length to beat another away from Charlie Austin, although that one was more Hollywood than heroic.
You sense that Toffees fans these days, though, take an almost sadistic pleasure in their side’s woes – at least if means they can continue to abuse their manager.
They could do worse than channelling those boos at the players as well, given their shocking season.
For Southampton, of course, the campaign hasn’t exactly been sunshine and roses either. Far from it.
Yet if they follow this up with victory at Swansea in 48 hours, it will suddenly seem like one of the most memorable on record.
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