Nick Evans missed out on the chance to sink London Wasps for the second time this season as Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins saw their ten-game winning streak ended at the Stoop, going down 17-16.
Tom Varndell and Christian Wade both scored first-half tries and while Quins romped back, Evans missed a 78th-minute penalty which would have almost certainly won it for his side and extended their winning run to 11.
Evans downed Wasps at the death in a 42-40 thriller at Twickenham on the first day of the season but he missed out this time.
Instead, Wasps bounced back into the top four with a first win at the Stoop in six years, and their second away win of the campaign.
Wasps were handed the chance to take the lead on six minutes when Tom Guest was penalised by referee JP Doyle but Nicky Robinson was wayward with his 35-metre penalty.
But just a minute later the visitors were ahead, Varndell intercepting Evans’ pass and streaking clear to dot down under the post for his 50th try for Wasps.
Evans’ night proceeded to get worse soon after when he missed a straightforward penalty and Wasps doubled their advantage on 14 minutes with a fine counter-attacking move.
Quins full-back Ross Chisholm booted straight down Varndell’s throat and the ball was swiftly spread to Wade on the opposite wing.
He fed Elliot Daly who in turn found fellow centre Chris Bell, who expertly fed the supporting Wade on the outside and the England Saxons wing stormed clear for his 17th Premiership try.
On 18 minutes Harlequins finally got themselves on the scoresheet after Bell had been sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Nick Easter.
Evans this time made no mistake from the tee and three minutes later the hosts had their first try of the match through Matt Hopper.
A bull-dozing run from heavyweight prop James Johnston saw Quins break the Wasps line down the left and the ball was worked to Hopper who kicked towards the corner.
Wasps full-back Hugo Southwell appeared all set to mop up but he completely missed his kick, allowing Hopper to gather the ball and touch down under the posts, Evans adding the extras.
Daly was then short with a penalty effort from half way before Evans trimmed the gap to just one before the interval with his second three-pointer, Wasps leading 14-13 at the break.
After the break Robinson was almost culpable for Quins’ second try of the night when his kick was charged down by Evans but the Kiwi fly-half’s punt forward was wayward and Bell got back to snuff out the danger.
Harlequins continued to press but it was Wasps who scored next – Robinson on target with another penalty after an infringement from flanker Luke Wallace on 60 minutes.
Evans was handed the chance to reduce the deficit to one again when Billy Vunipola was penalised for slowing the ball down but once more he dragged his effort wide.
He made up for it soon after but with another penalty but with less than two minutes to go, he missed the target again as Wasps clung on for the win.