When Billy Sharp scored Sheffield United's first Championship goal of the season to equalise in the second added minute at Bramall Lane, you could hear the relief. When Huddersfield Town centre-back Levi Colwill inexplicably popped up to score a winner two minutes later, you could see the joy.
Minutes after it had looked as if the Blades had found the goal to drag them out of their post-relegation malaise, there were boos ringing around a ground which, under the circumstances had shown remarkable support for a misfiring team.
As the Terriers celebrated a second consecutive win, most home fans were downcast and disbelieving, some just plain angry, a furious shouting match kicking off in the stands.
Back playing 3-5-2 for the first time under the Serb, the Blades were patient without much punch against a passive Huddersfield Town. They dominated the ball in the first half but the only moment which will have raised Lee Nicholls's heart-rate was when Oli McBurnie attempted an excellent overhead kick that had him scrambling across his goal to put it behind for a corner.
Still, at least they had a shot. It was more than Huddersfield could say in the first 45 minutes.
They often pushed Josh Koroma very wide, presumably to nullify left wing-back Rhys Norrington-Davies on his first league start for the Blades, but eventually the player who went to Euro 2020 with Wales was able to get out, crossing for a header met by his fellow wing-back George Baldock but well off target.
As Sheffield United's threat on the right grew, Koroma was moved to a similar job on that side of the field.
Nicholls was warned about time-wasting after only 18 minutes, though it took until the 87th for him to push it far enough for referee Michael Salisbury to get out his yellow card. By then, he had a lead to protect.
Chris Basham was soon back in the old routine, overlapping outside Baldock and crossing for McBurnie to head wide as the hosts, with Sander Berge pulling the strings in midfield started to look more like themselves. A spell midway through the first half which saw possession see-saw as Oliver Norwood, Naby Sarr and McBurnie all gave it up feebly within a matter of seconds summed up the game at that point.
Brewster could only get a faint touch on a Berge cross and whilst the Blades kept the ball alive for a long time, all that came of it was a wild shot by debutant Ben Davies.
When Matty Pearson miscontrolled, Oliver Turton fouled McBurnie near the edge of the area. Norwood's curling free-kick had a nice shape, but did not tax Nicholls.
Berge produced a wonderful turn but could not shake Jonathan Hogg off and when he finally got a shot off, Sarr was right in front of it.
Colwill was booked for a foul in the corner where he had earlier produced an excellent tackle. McBurnie at least ensured the half ended on a higher note, albeit not with a goal.
Huddersfield showed more intent at the start of the second half but even with Foderingham got out of his penalty area by the byline, all it achieved was to provoke the Blades into a spell of football that had the Kop they were attacking roaring its support.
Brewster was on his heels when McBurnie pulled the ball back, Norrington-Davies had three shots blocked in quick succession, with the same happening to Berge in between.
At last, though, Huddersfield were swinging back, Koroma dragging a shot just wide and substitute Fraizer Campbell hesitating when Norwood unwittingly played him in, letting in Norrington-Davies for a vital tackle.
In the 73rd minute the mood started to turn a touch, a few boos as Norwood hit a free-kick at the first man.
Within two minutes they were unhappier still, Sorba Thomas playing Koroma in. Foderingham saved well with his left foot but the frward kept his cool and put the rebound away.
When Sharp thundered a volley, he was left beating the turf at the fact he had hit it straight at Nicholls, who held on well. When another free-kick was hit out in the 90th minute, there were more boos.
It quickly turned to elation, Sharp spinning on a McBurnie knockdown to equalise and you wondered if they could even win it having had 71 per cent of the ball.
When substitute Harry Toffolo picked the ball up in space in the penalty area he must have been as surprised as anyone to see on-loan centre-back Colwill unmarked and in his eyeline, and he picked the defender out as Blades defenders stood waiting for a whistle that never come.
It was a devastating way to lose, a joyous way to win. Football's emotions were on overdrive.
Sheffield United: Foderingham; Basham, Egan, Davies; Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Fleck (McGoldrick 78), Norrington-Davies (Osborn 78); Brewster (Sharp 66), McBurnie.
Unused substitutes: Freeman, Robinson, Bogle, Verrips.
Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Sarr, Colwill; Turton, High (Toffolo 60), Hogg, O'Brien, Thomas; Koroma (Vallejo 80), Ward (Campbell 60).
Unused substitutes: Holmes, Sinani, Schofield, Lees.
Referee: M Salisbury (Lancashire).