Grant Holt went from hero to zero as Sheffield Wednesday lost their fight for first division survival. This draw against fellow strugglers Brighton was not enough to save the Owls because of Stoke's victory at Coventry.
Holt, signed recently from non-League Barrow had an eventful full League debut.
It took the bustling striker only 16 minutes to grab his first senior goal, when Leigh Bromby's cross was chested into his path by Paul McLaren and Holt's low angled drive beat the veteran Dave Beasant.
Wednesday were good value for their half-time lead as Brighton struggled to find any rhythm.
Holt had already glanced a header narrowly wide from an Alan Quinn free-kick before scoring, but it all went wrong for the rookie striker 11 minutes into the second half.
He inexplicably handled a cross from Brighton fullback Kerry Mayo as Danny Cullip challenged him inside the Wednesday area.
Referee Keith Hill had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Bobby Zamora sent Kevin Pressman the wrong way from the spot for his 12th of the season to keep Brighton's slender survival hopes alive.
Wednesday boss Chris Turner complained: "I thought Grant got a push in the back before the ball came in.
"I can only speak for the four months since I have been here and the players have given me everything, but unfortunately it hasn't been enough.
"We have only lost one of our last seven away games which is not relegation form.
"We've had five defeats in 19 games, which is also not relegation form. The first half of the season gave me a mountain to climb."Turner will be facing his old club Hartlepool in the second division next season.
Brighton boss Steve Coppell now needs a favour from his former club Crystal Palace.
Brighton must beat Watford at home and Grimsby away and hope that Stoke lose at Palace on Saturday and at home to Reading on the last day.
Coppell said: "There is still life in us. The second 45 minutes showed the players have massive desire."