Bolton Wanderers succumbed to a narrow defeat in the West Country following two quick fire strikes from Bristol City substitutes Matty Taylor and Kasey Palmer turned the game on its head after Will Buckley put the visitors in front.
Phil Parkinson made two change from the side that beat Walsall in the Emirates FA Cup a week earlier with Sammy Ameobi and Craig Noone returning to the starting line-up at the expense of the injured Yanic Wildschut and Josh Vela, who was named among the substitutes.
Josh Brownhill had the first effort of note after ten minutes but his powerfully struck free-kick was successfully defended by the Wanderers wall.
The opening stages of the game were very much played in the middle of the park with neither side able to control possession for long spells.
The hosts won another free-kick in a dangerous area, when Luke Murphy brought down Callum O’Dowda thirty yards out. Again, Brownhill took the set piece and again the Wanderers defence held firm.
Andreas Weimann wasn’t too far away with a volley on the turn that went narrowly wide of Ben Alnwick’s left hand side.
The hosts were starting to find their feet and began to probe into the Wanderers box, but everything they threw was sufficiently dealt with by Wanderers.
Alnwick made his first save of the game 20 minutes into the contest when he got his foot onto Famara Diedhiou’s after the forward tricked his way past Pawel Olkowski to get a low shot on target.
A response came almost immediately from Parkinson’s men, when Olkowski got a cross off from the right hand side, but Noone’s header was always going over the bar and never troubled Niki Maenpaa.
Ameobi followed this up moments later when he broke into the Bristol half and charged towards goal, but his low drive lacked the power to trouble Maenpaa.
Fortune was on Wanderers’ side as the crossbar came to the rescue for them when Weimann’s deflected shot looped off Olkowski and on to the woodwork.
Diedhiou should have done better when he shook off the attention of Olkowski as his curling right footed effort was off target.
At the other end, a Noone free kick was met at the far post by the head of Beevers but Maenpaa came off his line to gather the ball comfortably.
A bright start to the second half from the hosts saw Diedhiou head Weimann’s cross just wide after Wanderers failed to clear their lines.
At the other end, Lowe’s volley had Maenpaa on his tiptoes to catch the ball after the Wanderers midfielder was first to Beevers’ knockdown.
Diedihou missed a glorious opportunity from five yards to put his side in front after the ball fell into his path after O’Dowda’s header cannoned off the bar.
A timely intervention from the outstretched foot of Olkowski prevented Diedhiou from getting in on goal.
But Wanderers took the lead just before the hour mark through Buckley who guided in Ameobi’s cross after Noone won possession over on the far touch line.
Lloyd Kelly was attempting to let the ball roll out for a goal kick, but Noone slid into rob the ball from the full-back which allowed Ameobi to seize control of the ball and charged towards goal. His whipped, curling effort was then glanced in by Buckley who celebrated in front of the 600 plus travelling Wanderers fans.
The hosts responded by making a triple substitution with Palmer, Taylor and Dasilva repl being made, replacing Weimann, Kelly and Patterson.
And within minutes of the change being made Taylor equalised with a low shot that beat Alnwick at his near post.
The Wanderers keeper was pressed into action, making a diving save to his right to keep out Taylor's powerful effort.
From the resulting corner, the game turned on its head when fellow sub Palmer nodded the ball over the line.
A superb save from Alnwick, diving at full stretch to his left, prevented Palmer’s deflected shot from putting the hosts two goals to the good.
Noone’s left-sided cross found the head of Magennis but the big striker was unable to direct it effort on target.
Despite a late rally from the Wanderers, they were unable to find the equaliser.
BOLTON WANDERERS: Alnwick, Lowe, Beevers, Ameobi, Buckley (Donaldson 77), Noone, Murphy (Vela 85), Olkowski, Magennis, Grounds (Dyer 85), Wheater (C).
Subs Not Used: B. Williams, Taylor, Hobbs, Wilson,