Full-time: Bristol City 1, Blackpool 1
England Under-21 starlet Tom Ince cruelly denied Bristol City a first Championship win in two months in time added on at Ashton Gate.
Leading through Steven Davies' 80th minute penalty, the Robins looked set to win for the first time since September 21.
But controversial referee Gavin Ward incensed City's players when ruling that Matthew Bates had handled the ball on the floor.
England under-21 star Ince beat Tom Heaton from the spot to salvage a point for the Seasiders and deny the home side.
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But at least City avoided a club-record eighth consecutive league defeat and a draw will go some way to easing the pressure on under-fire manager Derek McInnes.
City were so close to taking all three points, Davies coming off the bench to convert a penalty with his first touch of the ball.
But his seventh goal of the season was a touch fortuitous, given that Robins winger Albert Adomah appeared to have already lost the ball when going to ground after making contact with Seasiders keeper Matt Gilks.
But City were unable to capitalise on their stroke of good fortune and are still to keep a clean sheet this season.
With two new signings in the side and Academy product Joe Bryan recalled to the starting line-up, there was a fresh look to City for this game and they commenced in confident enough mood.
Needing to get their noses in front in order to restore lost confidence, they came close to doing exactly that after just five minutes, Neil Kilkenny rattling the cross bar with a ferocious drive from 30 yards that beat Seasiders keeper Gilks all ends up.
But City were soon reminded of Blackpool's prowess on the counter-attack and Ince found himself with a clear sight of goal when the home defence was undone by a high ball over the top.
Ince skipped inside Bryan and Liam Fontaine and unleashed a low left-foot shot that appeared destined for the bottom corner until Tom Heaton made a brilliant one-handed save.
Once they settled into a rhythm, Blackpool looked the more likely scorers and Ince took advantage of being left one-on-one with Bryan to cause havoc on the left.
With Stead asked to play as a lone striker with little support, City lacked a cutting edge in the final third and were restricted to shots from range, Danns and Albert Adomah both firing wide.
Blackpool were the more cohesive of the two sides and again came close to breaking the deadlock shortly before half time, Nathan Delfouneso sending a curling shot inches over from an angle.
Ince then left Fontaine standing, only to see his shot blocked by City debutant Matthew Bates.
Unable to create a clear-cut goal-scoring opportunity of their own, City were handed one on a plate early in the second half.
Dallying on the ball just outside his own penalty area, Ian Evatt was dispossessed by Stead, who only had Gilks to beat. But the keeper reacted promptly, rushing from his line to block the forward's shot with his feet.
Ince continued to cause City problems and Bryan twice did well to recover and make crucial blocks after the home side's defence had been carved open by Ludovin Sylvestre.
Hitherto a run of the mill affair, the game suddenly came to life when Stead's flicked header put Adomah through and his left-foot shot was brilliantly blocked by Craig Cathcart.
Blackpool raced up the other end and should have taken the lead when Delfouneso's low drive came back off the foot of an upright and the ball fell invitingly for Ince.
But the youngster's shot lacked power and Heaton was able to make a remarkable save, somehow tipping the ball behind for a corner.
City's keeper was again called upon to make a crucial save when smothering a shot from Delfouneso after incisive approach play by Sylvestre and Ince.
City benefitted from an outrageous piece of good fortune with 10 minutes to go. Adomah raced onto a lofted pass from Kilkenny and, having failed to control the ball, went to ground under challenge from Gilks.
It was debatable whether Blackpool's keeper had made contact, but referee Ward awarded a spot kick to the amazement of the visiting team.
Adomah picked the ball up to take responsibility for the penalty, only for City boss McInnes to send on Davies with instructions for City's top-scorer to take it.
Having only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds, Davies beat Gilks with a swish of his left foot to put the Robins in front for the first time in six games.
But Ince equalised from the spot deep into time added on to rescue a point for Blackpool.
City (4-5-1): Heaton; Foster, Bates, Fontaine, Bryan; Adomah, Elliott, Danns (Anderson 76), Kilkenny (Reid 90), Pearson; Stead (Davies 80).
Blackpool (4-3-3): Gilks; Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey; Sylvestre, Basham, Grandin; Ince, K Phillips (Dicko 75), Delfouneso.
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey)