The battling Blues snared a thoroughly deserved share of the spoils at Prenton Park after Birkenhead-born Ryan Astles volleyed in a wonderful injury-time equaliser.
The centre-back's memorable 93rd-minute strike sparked scenes of wild jubilation among the magnificent 1,129 travelling Chester supporters.
And it even led the usually unflappable Blues boss boss McCarthy to admit: "You saw me on the touchline. I felt like a fan. I felt like a fan at the final whistle.
"I think the fans felt like that was how they would play if they were representing the club in a Tranmere v Chester game.
"Without being too cheesy, without being over-dramatic... yes, I'm getting too emotional now!"
High-flying Tranmere seemed set to make it five straight Vanarama National League victories after Andy Cook and Ben Tollitt fired them into a two-goal half-time lead.
But Chester reduced the deficit shortly after the restart through top-scorer Tom Shaw's fifth goal of the season.
And, after Tollitt was sent off for a second bookable offence, Astles cemented his 'cult hero' status with a goal that will live long in the memory.
McCarthy said: "It's quite emotional so I'm trying to stay on that level footing I talk about a lot; that when we do well, I don't get too excited.
"But that was for the fans and for my players. I talked about it during the week about the connection.
"I wanted our players to go across to the fans after we've had a big result away at a good team. In front of that support we would have loved to have given them a win but the character of my group of players...
"It's a feeling. I think people feel it. There's something around the place; that things are getting better. Now the supporters can really link to some people.
"There were some massive performances out there. I couldn't make a substitution. We were sat there thinking, 'they're down to 10 men, do we bring somebody off?' But who would you have taken off?
"So we started playing around with the shape and Ryan Astles just assumes cult status with that goal.
"He's the most composed finisher in training. People wouldn't see that. I know people latch on to the 'have it' type clearances he does a lot during the game and it adds to his cult status.
"But believe me Ryan Astles has some of the best technique at the club. He's got a sweet strike and in possession he's as good a passer of the ball.
"He's got a wand on the end of that club; a wand on the end of that left foot. It was great to see it hit the back of the net."
Chester, who are now unbeaten in their last six away league matches, return to action at home to Bromley on Saturday (3pm).