Nahki Wells struck late on from the spot to make the most of Bristol City's long-awaited penalty to earn a 1-1 draw at Sunderland.
The Robins had gone 67 matches - dating back to November 2021 - without being awarded a spot-kick and it finally arrived in stoppage-time at the Stadium of Light with the Black Cats closing in on another three points.
Sunderland full-back Trai Hume was adjudged to have pulled down Jay Da Silva and Wells' precise strike cancelled out Jack Clarke's thunderous 59th-minute opener.
The Black Cats, who had not registered a shot on target until Clarke's brilliant ninth goal of the season, looked like moving up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship but City extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 matches.
Both teams went into this on the back of some good form, so despite Bristol City's low position Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray felt this was a dangerous fixture.
And by the time the clock had reached 20 minutes it was clear to see why. The Robins had kept the hosts' energetic frontline at bay and created the best of the early opportunities.
Moments after City defender Rob Atkinson had to be carried off and replaced by Tomas Kalas following a collision with Amad Diallo, Pearson's men would have been ahead had it not been for a brilliant Anthony Patterson save.
Patterson did superbly to dive to his left and turn Anis Mehmeti's low drive on to the far post after Mark Sykes' clever flick created the opening.
The loose ball rolled across goal and out for a corner and from that Mehmeti fired another effort into the side-netting when Sunderland's defence struggled to deal with the cross into the area.
Other than those - and a harmless and wayward distance drive earlier on from Joe Williams - there was nothing to worry either goalkeeper and that suited the visitors more than Mowbray's side.
Sunderland's best chance of the opening period did not end in a shot. Clarke's run and low delivery looked perfect for the onrushing Joe Gelhardt, but the Leeds loanee missed the ball from 10 yards.
That was the start of some heavy Sunderland pressure to end the first half, with Dan Ballard heading over a corner after some further nice play from the attacking players.
But Bristol City kept causing problems after the restart too, with Sunderland's best play ending with hopeful passes into the area which led to nothing or wayward efforts.
Sunderland's opener came from a City attack that broke down. The counter-attack was quick and effective, with Edouard Michut rolling a pass into the feet of Clarke just before the hour.
And Clarke, fresh from his two goals in midweek at QPR, turned inside his man before firing an unstoppable right-footed drive inside Max O'Leary's top left corner.
O'Leary denied Sunderland a second after that when he made a strong low stop to turn Patrick Roberts' strike away following some neat box play from Diallo.
But when Hume pulled down substitute Da Silva after he charged into the box, City had the penalty they have waited for and Wells made no mistake deep into stoppage-time to level.