Substitute Eidur Gudjohnsen broke Blackpool’s hearts with virtually the final kick of the game and denied Blackpool a first away victory in 343 days in a 1-1 draw.
Michael Jacobs’ ninth-minute opener looked to have given the bottom-of-the-table Seasiders their first success on the road since they beat Wanderers’ neighbours Wigan on April 26.
But Bolton, who have repeatedly conceded late goals themselves in recent weeks, mustered an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Emile Heskey, Neil Danns and Gudjohnsen combined to leave the visitors crestfallen.
It was at this very venue that Blackpool boss Lee Clark pulled off a great escape on the final day of last season at the helm of Birmingham, who scored in the third minute of stoppage time to prevent relegation into the third tier, but this time he was on the wrong end of some late drama.
In recent weeks Clark had publicly accepted the Seasiders, who remain 16 points from safety, were doomed but Rotherham’s defeat to Blues 24 hours earlier meant they kicked off knowing they would not be relegated at the Macron Stadium.
That may have instilled a freedom to Clark’s troops and the home crowd were stunned into silence by Jacobs’ early opener.
He collected a long, direct ball down the right, turned on the afterburners to accelerate away from Josh Vela and Paddy McCarthy and lashed beyond Ben Amos in the Bolton goal.
Things could have been worse for the shell-shocked hosts too as Peter Clarke headed straight at Amos and an unmarked Andrea Orlandi glanced over from six yards.
Clark’s men continued to ask questions, with Jose Miguel Cubero’s rising effort deflected narrowly away from the top corner of Amos’ net.
Tangerines stopper Joe Lewis made a couple of smart stops to deny winger Liam Feeney and centre-back McCarthy but there was a malaise about Bolton’s play which Neil Lennon had been so keen to avoid pre-match.
In the second half, Amos failed to clear a corner and Clarke leant back and skewed his effort over the top before Jacobs cut in from the left flank and bent a brilliant effort just wide.
Lewis had been largely untroubled apart from a routine save from Tom Walker but he was stranded at the other end of his goal when Adam Le Fondre cut the ball across for an onrushing Barry Bannan, who somehow placed his side-footed strike against the outside of the post.
Lennon had started with just one striker but introduced three off the bench by bringing on Heskey, Craig Davies and Gudjohnsen.
The hosts’ chance looked to have gone when Lewis stopped McCarthy’s header and O’Hara scrambled Mills’ try off the line but there was still time for a dramatic finale.
Heskey looked certain to nod Bannan’s back-post cross in but when he could not connect, the ball came back out to Danns, whose volley was helped in by Gudjohnsen on the line, with Blackpool fuming about an offside flag which never came.