Manager Colin Calderwood admits Hibernian only had themselves to blame for wasting the chance to claim a long-awaited win over rivals Hearts.
An incident-packed derby ended with 10-man Hearts snatching a 2-2 draw at Easter Road.
"We were certainly punished for not doing our jobs," said Calderwood.
"I'm happy enough with how we created the chances and how we played in the second half, but we didn't get through the big moment."
Hearts took the lead through Ryan Stevenson, but the match turned in Hibs' favour when Marius Zaliukas was sent-off and Liam Miller converted the resultant penalty.
Hibs squandered two great chances before Ricardo Vaz Te netted what looked to be the winner with 10 minutes to go.
However, Stephen Elliott had the final say with a close-range volley just four minutes later to snatch a point and deny Hibs their first derby win since May 2009.
"That's what these games are all about," added Calderwood on BBC Radio Scotland. "As we edged towards elation, we jumped very quickly off the cliff at the other side.
"They had superiority in the first period of the game, when we suffered from a bit of nervousness.
"But we were driven on by some good midfield performances and the back four coped better as the game went on.
"On reflection, we are disappointed, but if you analyse the game, we were well short in that first period."
Having taken the lead through Vaz Te with 10 minutes to go, Hibs looked certain to prevail against depleted opponents.
But the home side were caught out at a free-kick for Elliot's leveller and it was the visiting fans who were singing loudest at the final whistle.
"The next four phases of play are important after a goal," explained Calderwood.
"If we can take the ascendancy and gain possession, that will keep our crowd onside and bouncing along. We've given them about a minute-and-a-half of happiness.
"Unfortunately, that's not enough, so we apologise for that."
Francis Dickoh missed the target with a close-range header at the close of the first half and Victor Palsson blazed over the bar with only goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald to beat before Vaz Te made Hibs' numerical advantage count.
At 2-2, MacDonald made two good saves to deny Derek Riordan and the same player skewed a shot horribly wide from the angle of the six-yard box.
"We crafted one or two good efforts at goal and we had some good play within that," said Calderwood.
"We'll take a lot from that and I'm sure the fans enjoyed some of the sequences.
"Hearts are a team that have collected very close to two points a game, which is exceptional, so we go and chase that kind of target. That's what I expect from my group of players."
A point leaves Hibs stuck in ninth place and with only an outside chance of a top-six finish in the Scottish Premier League.
Calderwood's men have three games remaining before the split and are seven points behind sixth-placed Motherwell, while Inverness and St Johnstone are also better off.
"We might as well go and chase it," said the manager, who takes his team to Celtic Park on Wednesday.