BOLTON WANDERERS produced a late smash and grab raid at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon as a late double from Matthew Taylor condemned the Potters to only their third league defeat of the year.
The former Portsmouth man cancelled out David Kitson's clinically taken first half opener from a controversial free-kick in the 85th minute, before stealing all three points by flicking Vladimir Weiss' dangerous ball into the back of the net three minutes later.
Tony Pulis' side had looked good value for the win prior to the disastrous final few minutes, but were made to rue a host of clear-cut chances to kill of the game with both Tuncay and Kitson spurning glorious opportunities to double City's advantage.
Ahead of the encounter the City boss was forced into two changes from the side which picked up a point in last weekend's Staffordshire derby with Wolves with Mamady Sidibe failing to shrug off a groin injury, meaning Tuncay was recalled to the starting line-up, whilst Matty Etherington, who picked up a knock in training was dropped to the bench with Liam Lawrence coming in as his replacement.
England World Cup hopeful Ryan Shawcross wasn't risked as he continues to make a full recovery from a troublesome ankle problem, meaning former Bolton star Abdoulaye Faye partnered Danny Higginbotham in the heart of defence.
When the match got underway at a packed and sun-blessed Britannia Stadium, the visitors were handed an early opportunity to take the lead as referee Stuart Attwell adjudged Danny Higginbotham to have handled the ball just outside the penalty area. Fortunately for the hosts, the City defender was on hand to make ammends and bravely block Taylor's powerful effort from 30-yards.
The City supporters didn't have long to wait until they were on their feet though as Kitson rounded off a sublime move to round the keeper and fire home after Turkey skipper Tuncay had superbly calved the Wanderers back line open.
One could have become two shortly after as Robert Huth rose highest to powerfully head a trademark Rory Delap long-throw in goalwards, only to see it cannon back of the post, with Lawrence unable to adjust his feet accordingly to tap the ball into an empty net.
The lively Tuncay was again at the heart of the action when he cleverly back-heeled Kitson through on goal, only to see the linesman raise his flag with the City striker ready to fire an effort goalwards.
Owen Coyle was rallying his troops from the sidelines in an attempt to reinvigorate his side, but they were unable to find a way past a dogged and determined City backline.
That was until shortly after the half-time interval when substitute Ivan Klasnic latched onto a Kevin Davies knock-down and flashed the ball inches wide of Thomas Sorensen's left hand post, with the Dane looking well beaten.
The Croatian striker went equally as close a few minutes later with an almost identical effort, whilst on loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshire fired straight at City's number one in a classic counter attack which had left Pulis seething after Dean Whitehead appeared to have been caught by Zat Knight's elbow in the build up.
The hosts soon got back into the swing of things though as Kitson delightfully picked out Whitehead, who brought the best out of Finland international Jussi Jaskelainen, whilst the post came to his rescue in City's next attack to deny Tuncay before Kitson ballooned the rebound over from just two-yards.
Attwell did himself no favours in endearing himself into the hearts of the majority of the packed out Britannia Stadium as he awarded the Trotters a hugely disputable free-kick just outside the penalty area after substitute Weiss had dramatically taken a tumble following a challenge from Whitehead.
Up stepped Taylor, and what appeared to have been a tame effort took a huge deflection off City susbstitute Ricardo Fuller and deceived Sorensen before nestling in the back of the net to send the travelling 1200 or so visiting supporters into delirium.
They had barely had time to get their breath back before they were again up on their feet to celebrate a fortuitous winner when Taylor squirmed free to divert on loan Manchester City midfielder Weiss' powerful cross beyond Sorensen and into the far corner.
There was still time for the Potters to grab an equaliser as the fourth official signalled an additional four minutes of added time, and with virtually the last kick of the game Faye was handed a simple opportunity of levelling the scoreline from 3-yards, however, he blazed over after Huth had nodded Etherington's corner straight into his path.