Two second-half goals condemned Bolton to their first defeat under manager Dougie Freedman, as Ipswich Town stole all three points at the Reebok thanks to a late strike from sub Michael Chopra.
Mark Davies’ superb sixth-minute strike had given Wanderers the lead, but after the break DJ Campbell’s spot kick leveled the scores with 20 minutes remaining.
And the Tractor Boys would go on to snatch an unlikely victory late on, with Chopra pouncing to convert a loose ball inside the Bolton area following Bradley Orr’s powerful volley from distance.
Freedman made three changes to the side following the midweek win over Blackburn Rovers. Marcos Alonso, David Ngog and Mark Davies all returned to the starting line-up, as Stephen Warnock, Jacob Butterfield and Chung-Yong Lee made way.
It was a bright start by the Whites, with both David Ngog and Kevin Davies getting plenty of early touches, and it was the latter who saw the game’s first opportunity.
The skipper slid a ball inside to Keith Andrews, and the former Ipswich man turned a clipped the ball towards the far corner, but his attempt was acrobatically scooped away by ‘keeper Stephen Henderson.
But the Bolton faithful were soon celebrating the opening goal after just six minutes. Jay Spearing’s clever ball found Mark Davies in space outside the opposition’s area, and the returning midfielder drilled a 25-yard shot into the top left-hand corner, leaving Ipswich stopper Henderson rooted to the spot.
Wanderers were enjoying the bulk of possession and went agonisingly close to doubling their lead on the quarter-hour mark. Andrews stole the ball in midfield and stormed forward, feeding Ngog, who in turn found Kevin Davies inside the box, but the forward pushed his strike inches wide of the far post.
Mick McCarthy had to wait until the 17th minute to see his side’s first attempt on goal, as the dangerous Campbell weaved his way to the edge of the box, but his tame shot was easily claimed by Adam Bogdan.
The Blues began to see more of the ball and carved out their best chance on the half-hour mark. Lee Martin fired in a powerful 30-yard free kick which was well saved by Bogdan, but he could only palm the attempt to Bradley Orr whose strike went narrowly over from six yards.
Wanderers continued their domination as Ngog almost made his way through on goal, before Eagles saw his long-range strike go just past the post to end a pleasing half for manager Freedman.
Ipswich goalkeeper Henderson was quickly called into action after the restart, as goal-scorer Mark Davies floated a ball across to captain Kevin Davies, but his skillful volley was well saved by the Ipswich ‘keeper.
The captain was quickly in the thick of the action minutes later, as Eagles’ cross found Kevin Davies inside the area, but his strike was again saved by the in-form Henderson.
However, it would be the Tractor Boys who would score an equaliser, as referee Michael Naylor awarded Ipswich a 68th-minute penalty. Substitute Daryl Murphy was adjudged to have been fouled by Tyrone Mears and Campbell stepped-up to score from 12 yards, slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Bolton pushed forward looking for a quick response, and Alonso went close with a long-range volley, but Ipswich were always dangerous on the break as Lee Martin’s strike was blocked by Bogdan.
And the visitors would find a second and ultimately decisive goal in the 89th-minute. Orr’s volley following a cleared corner kick was repelled by Bogdan, with Chopra dispatching the loose ball into the roof of the net from six yards to seal all three points for the away side.
Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Ricketts, Knight, Alonso, Spearing, Andrews (Butterfield 77), Eagles (Chung-Yon 73), M Davies, Ngog, K Davies (Afobe 72) (Unused Subs: Lonergan, Mills, Ream, Pratley)
Ipswich Town: Henderson, Cresswell, Chambers, Edwards, N’Daw, Martin, Drury (Emmanuel-Thomas 55), Smith, Orr, Barnet (Murphy 55), Campbell (Chopra 76) (Unused Subs: Loach, Hewitt, Higginbotham, Carson)