Nicky Robinson rescued Gloucester from the Heineken Cup abyss with a late penalty that extinguished an impressive Newport-Gwent Dragons display and secured a 19-17 win at Kingsholm.
The Wales international fly-half kicked 14 points, but his match-winning strike did not arrive until five minutes from time.
The Dragons had been on course for a famous win - their first in 11 attempts against English opposition in the Heineken Cup.
They outscored Gloucester 2-1 on tries after fly-half James Arlidge and number eight Joe Bearman claimed first-half touchdowns.
But Robinson, a summer signing from Cardiff Blues, proved the difference, landing four penalties and converting flanker Akapusi Qera's 25th-minute touchdown.
Robinson kept his nerve when several Gloucester players cracked under pressure, yet qualification for the last eight from Pool Two remains open to question.
They have to play French giants Biarritz home and away, in addition to visiting the Dragons and Glasgow, suggesting the European campaign could prove a hard slog.
But head coach Bryan Redpath will just feel relieved to collect a win - the manner of it was almost irrelevant - after a testing five weeks scarred by suspensions, numerous yellow cards and three Guinness Premiership defeats.
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.