Daryl Murphy made amends for his 90th-minute penalty miss by scoring in stoppage time to secure Bolton a 1-0 victory against 10-man MK Dons.
Murphy’s spot-kick was saved by goalkeeper Lee Nicholls after substitute Baily Cargill had handled in the area.
But in the third minute of stoppage time the striker turned in Thibaud Verlinden’s cross from eight yards to earn a third straight League One win for Keith Hill’s side.
That run has taken Bolton into a positive points total, having started the campaign on -12, and they moved 12 points behind their opponents who remain in the relegation zone on goal difference.
MK Dons, beaten for a fourth successive league game, played for 24 minutes with 10 men after defender George Williams’ red card for pushing lively substitute Verlinden in the face.
However, Nicholls, who earlier saved a hat-trick of shots from Luke Murphy, looked to be the Dons hero until the even later drama.
Dons went close to gaining a first league win since September 14 when former Bolton striker Joe Mason, on his full debut for Russell Martin’s team, saw goalkeeper Remi Matthews push an 18th-minute shot against a post.
Joe Walsh also skied a late chance to break the deadlock before the late drama consigned them to another defeat.