Manager Jim Jefferies lamented three moments of madness as Dunfermline were relegated from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after an early implosion in the 4-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road.
The Pars had to win to take the duel to avoid the drop to the final day, but a point was enough for second-bottom Hibs.
In the end Dunfermline disappeared with barely a whimper as familiar defensive failings saw Matt Doherty, Eoin Doyle and Garry O'Connor, with a penalty, score in the opening 15 minutes before Paul Hanlon was awarded a late fourth despite replays showing the ball did not cross the line.
Jefferies said: "It was our last chance tonight to take it to the last game and we threw it all away in 15 minutes. It has been the problem all season and each one got worse. We actually started quite well and after the three goals we were probably the better side."
Doherty headed in following a flick-on by talismanic captain James McPake before crossing for an unmarked Doyle to net the second. O'Connor then converted on his 29th birthday for his 16th goal of the season after Austin McCann fouled Hanlon.
"Doherty showed more determination to win it than we did to defend it," Jefferies added.
"The second one I don't know how the defenders were leaving one of their strikers unmarked. He didn't jump, he just headed it in free. It was another shocking goal that you'll never get away with at this level.
"Then, being 2-0 down, you can't afford to lose any more and then we go and grab a boy on a ball that was going nowhere.
"When players make mistakes like that, you know why you're relegated."
Jefferies, who was appointed as Jim McIntyre's successor in March and had six points from six games prior to tonight's fixture, could not believe Hanlon's volley counted, but was relieved it was irrelevant in the end.
The former Hearts boss added: "It was a fantastic effort and I said to myself 'that linesman (Stephen Mitchell) must have some eyesight', because of the pace of the ball. I've seen the replay and I can't believe it. Let's just be thankful we weren't relegated on that.
"He shouldn't even have attempted to give it, because it was an impossible one to tell if it was over the line or not. Thank God it didn't matter. We'll let him away with it."
Easter Road was jubilant as Hibs celebrated just a second home win of the SPL season and survival courtesy of an unassailable eight-point lead over the Pars.
Pat Fenlon replaced Colin Calderwood as boss in November assigned the task of SPL survival and was uncomfortable with the party atmosphere.
"It's a massive relief," Fenlon said. "It's more a relief than anything else, not a celebration. It's a bit embarrassing.
"We're second-last in the league. I think it was more us showing our appreciation to the supporters than the other way round."
The capital club can now focus on the May 19 William Hill Scottish Cup final with Hearts. Hibs have not beaten their rivals in 10 attempts and last won the Scottish Cup in 1902.
"It's a good time to be hitting a bit of form," Fenlon added. We'll work in the next two weeks in relation to how we're going to play and set up against Hearts. We need to turn the tide a little bit with them.
"There would be no better way to start. I thought they all played really well tonight."