Four-nil down after 42 minutes, Nahki Wells and his Queens Park Rangers teammates battled back to almost earn an unlikely point in a riveting W12 affair.
The in-form Che Adams hit a first-half hat-trick for play-off chasers Birmingham City, while Harlee Dean was also on target for Garry Monk’s charges before the break.
However, after Matt Smith scored for Rangers on the stroke of half-time, the imposing forward’s second goal in the 48th minute set up a grandstand finale.
Substitute Jordan Cousins eventually grabbed an R’s third in the 80th minute, before Steve McClaren’s men were awarded a 92nd-minute penalty.
Wells stepped up to take it, after Luke Freeman was tripped in the box, but former Queens park Rangers goalkeeper Lee Camp came to the rescue for the visitors - as he dived low to his right to keep out the Burnley loanee.
Wells later posted on Social Media, “Probably the worst feeling I’ve ever had in football!! Apologies I let us down!! Try & right the wrong on Tuesday!!”
Reggie Lambe came off the bench in the 67th minute as Cambridge United overcame Port Vale 1-0 in a crucial encounter at the Abbey Stadium to move seven points clear of the League Two drop zone.
A solitary first half strike from David Amoo and a high quality performance in goal from Dimitar Mitov ensured United picked up their fourth win from their last five Sky Bet League Two fixtures.
With Jonte Smith watching from the sidelines Oxford United left it late before Marcus Bowne deservedly gave them a point against high-flying Sunderland at the Kassam Stadium.
Sub Browne tapped home in the 88th minute to level after Jimmy Dunne's opener and give United a point their hard work and effort had deserved.