Steve Cotterill was left disappointed as his highly-fancied Bristol City side were held to a 1-1 draw against League 1 newcomers Rochdale at Spotland.
The Robins were on track for a second successive away win of the campaign when Luke Freeman fired them ahead in the 16th minute.
But Dale took charge after the break and deservedly levelled in the 56th minute when Ian Henderson converted Matt Done's cross
And City were grateful to goalkeeper Frank Fielding in the dying embers of the game when he brilliantly pushed Henderson's header wide of the post to deny the home side victory.
Cotterill was said his team should have managed the game better after takng the lead.
"I was a little bit disappointed we didn't control the game for longer periods," he said. "I thought the game was open and end-to-end but at times, our football could have been better.
"We're disappointed really as we feel we've given away a soft goal. It was a good goal from their point of view but we feel we should have done better in our own box. But I can't fault my players. They worked their socks off.
"Rochdale were on a high after scoring five in midweek at Crewe and they'll cause some upsets. This game was always going to be tough but overall we're disappointed with a point as we thought we created enough chances.
"If the decision making had of been better in the final third, we could have gone on to win the game. We're disappointed but a draw seemed a fair result in the end."
City opened the scoring when Mark Little charged forward down the right and fed Freeman on the edge of the area. He fired a low drive wide of Dale's on-loan Leicester goalkeeper Conrad Logan.
Rochdale turned up the pressure after the interval and Fielding pulled off a good save to keep out Peter Vincenti's header. He was powerless to prevent the equaliser in the 56th minute, however, as Henderson converted Done's delivery across the face of goal.
Fielding then denied Henderson twice and a Joe Bunney shot to prevent Keith Hill's side taking all three points.
Hill was less than impressed with his players' first half showing, but praised them for a much-improved second half display.
"The first half was a little bit tentative with respect to the energy I expect us to play with. But in the second half we increased our energy and our running, our ability and mobility and we got a worthy point," he said.
"While we were in the ascendency in the second half we had to guard against their counter attack and Bristol were always a lively threat even though the majority of the play in the second half took place in their half of the field.
"I am pleased with a point, pleased with the endeavour of the players and I don't know if it's a fair indication, four points from four games, but at this moment in time it will do. It will more than do."