David Ngog's 96th-minute strike gave Bolton an unlikely point at Brighton, who hit the woodwork three times and also missed a penalty.
Ashley Barnes saw his first-half spot-kick saved by Adam Bogdan, before Andrea Orlandi and Dean Hammond saw shots come back off the Bolton bar.
Craig Mackail-Smith also headed against the bar before Bruno Saltor put the Seagulls ahead with a 30-yard strike.
But Bolton snatched a last-gasp point when Ngog scored from close range.
Ngog's goal was the last kick of the game and preserved Dougie Freedman's unbeaten start as Bolton boss - a run of five games.
It also kept Brighton out of the Championship play-off places, denying them a win which their dominance had looked certain to deliver.
Gus Poyet's side could have been out of sight by half-time, while Bolton's only sniff of a goal before the break came when Tomasz Kuszczak denied Chris Eagles.
Wanderers improved after half-time, and felt they should have had a penalty of their own when the ball hit Marcos Painter's arm in the box.
But Brighton took the lead after 54 minutes when Mackail-Smith was fouled by Matt Mills and, after Orlandi's free-kick was cleared to the edge of the box, Bruno drove into the bottom corner.
More Seagulls goals almost followed. Orlandi tested Bogdan again before shaving the post with another effort, and Will Hoskins also saw a shot saved by the Bolton keeper.
At the other end, the visitors had gone close through substitute Jacob Butterfield, who also brought a fantastic save from Kuszczak, but their hopes of a point appeared to have disappeared before Ngog struck.
Brighton boss Gus Poyet: "I don't think there is a manager in the whole world who can be upset with the players. We are not getting the credit we deserve.
"It should have been one of the greatest nights at the Amex. I can't remember being involved in a game like that.
"There is no other team who can play the way we did against Bolton and yet it finished 1-1.
"It's up to a crowd of 26, 000 to tell the rest of the country that we were unbelievable."
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman: "Brighton were fantastic. I have seen them many times and this was certainly one of the best performances. They will be gutted not to have won.
"When you have one chance, as the one that came our way, you need to take it and David Ngog made no mistake.
"It was all about the character and determination that we showed. We didn't give up."
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Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +5:45
Assist by Chris Eagles.90:00 +5:45 Goal scored
Goal! - David Ngog - Brighton 1 - 1 Bolton David Ngog grabs a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Brighton 1-1 Bolton.90:00 +5:27
The ball is crossed by Chris Eagles,90:00 +4:36
David Ngog has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.90:00 +3:19
Foul by Liam Bridcutt on Chris Eagles, free kick awarded. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Chris Eagles.90:00 +2:58
The offside flag is raised against Andrew Crofts. Adam Bogdan restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +0:39
Andrea Orlandi decides to take a short corner.90:00 +0:14
Shot by Will Hoskins. Save by Adam Bogdan.89:22
Chris Eagles takes the inswinging corner, Will Hoskins makes a clearance.88:56
Unfair challenge on Kevin Davies by Liam Bridcutt results in a free kick. Stephen Warnock restarts play with the free kick.87:01 Substitution
Substitution Will Hoskins replaces Craig Mackail-Smith.82:06
Shot from just outside the box by Jacob Butterfield goes over the crossbar.80:55
Andrea Orlandi takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Kevin Davies.80:14 Substitution
Substitution (Brighton) makes a substitution, with Inigo Calderon coming on for Marcos Painter.78:12
The ball is delivered by Bruno Saltor, Matt Mills manages to make a clearance.77:14 Substitution
Substitution Jay Spearing joins the action as a substitute, replacing Tim Ream.76:44 Substitution
Substitution Andrew Crofts joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ashley Barnes.75:40
Free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.75:40 Booking
Booking Jacob Butterfield receives a yellow card.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jacob Butterfield on Andrea Orlandi.73:14
Chris Eagles produces a cross, Tomasz Kuszczak makes a save.70:43
Andrea Orlandi is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.68:59
Jacob Butterfield has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Save by Tomasz Kuszczak.68:30
Shot by Ashley Barnes from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.67:51
Shot by Jacob Butterfield from outside the box goes over the net.67:12
Andrea Orlandi concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark Davies. Free kick taken by Mark Davies.55:58
Andrea Orlandi takes the free kick.55:58 Booking
Booking Mark Davies is cautioned.55:55
Mark Davies concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Bridcutt.55:02
Foul by Mark Davies on Will Buckley, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.54:53
Dean Hammond produces a cross. The assistant referee flags for offside against Ashley Barnes. Adam Bogdan takes the indirect free kick. Chris Eagles has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright. Andrea Orlandi takes a short corner. Centre by Ashley Barnes, Stephen Warnock manages to make a clearance. Centre by Marcos Painter, Matt Mills makes a clearance. Craig Mackail-Smith takes a shot. Stephen Warnock gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Andrea Orlandi from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by David Ngog. Andrea Orlandi produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal. Chris Eagles has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.54:53 Substitution
Substitution Jacob Butterfield on for Benik Afobe.54:53 Substitution
Substitution Kevin Davies is brought on as a substitute for Darren Pratley.54:53
Matt Mills gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Barnes. Direct free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt. Dean Hammond delivers the ball, Andrea Orlandi takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Adam Bogdan makes a save.54:47
Dean Hammond concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark Davies. Free kick crossed right-footed by Chris Eagles from right channel, Lewis Dunk makes a clearance.53:19
Andrea Orlandi provided the assist for the goal.53:19 Goal scored
Goal! - Bruno Saltor - Brighton 1 - 0 Bolton Bruno Saltor gets on the score sheet with a goal from outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Brighton 1-0 Bolton.51:56
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Mackail-Smith by Matt Mills. The ball is sent over by Andrea Orlandi,51:18
The ball is delivered by Stephen Warnock.49:06
Will Buckley delivers the ball.47:57
Will Buckley sends in a cross.47:04
Shot from just outside the area by David Ngog goes over the bar.46:29
Effort on goal by Dean Hammond from just inside the area clears the crossbar.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +1:59 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +1:33
Stephen Warnock delivers the ball.45:00 +0:59
The ball is crossed by Tyrone Mears, David Ngog takes a shot. Gordon Greer gets a block in.45:00 +0:19
Ashley Barnes fouled by Mark Davies, the ref awards a free kick. Lewis Dunk takes the free kick.44:22
A cross is delivered by Bruno Saltor, Adam Bogdan makes a save.44:01
Will Buckley decides to take a short corner.42:16
Gordon Greer takes a shot. Zat Knight gets a block in. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Darren Pratley by Liam Bridcutt. Direct free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.41:50
Foul by Tyrone Mears on Marcos Painter, free kick awarded. Marcos Painter takes the free kick.40:54
Shot by Darren Pratley from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.40:07
Unfair challenge on David Ngog by Gordon Greer results in a free kick. Chris Eagles takes the direct free kick.37:14
Andrea Orlandi delivers the ball, Ashley Barnes has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.37:14 Booking
Booking Tyrone Mears is cautioned.35:45
A cross is delivered by Will Buckley, Ashley Barnes takes a shot. Matt Mills gets a block in. Andrea Orlandi decides to take the corner short, Short corner taken by Liam Bridcutt from the right by-line. Tyrone Mears concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Mackail-Smith.34:52
Chris Eagles produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.34:10
Andrea Orlandi concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark Davies. Adam Bogdan restarts play with the free kick.32:55
The assistant referee flags for offside against Benik Afobe. Gordon Greer restarts play with the free kick.31:29
David Ngog takes a shot. Blocked by Lewis Dunk. Chris Eagles decides to take the corner short.31:20
Dean Hammond gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darren Pratley. Mark Davies takes the free kick.29:57
Corner taken by Chris Eagles from the right by-line.29:44
The ball is delivered by Chris Eagles, Marcos Painter manages to make a clearance.27:30
Craig Mackail-Smith takes a shot. Blocked by Zat Knight.27:20
Ashley Barnes delivers the ball, Matt Mills manages to make a clearance.26:36
Chris Eagles crosses the ball.26:04
Chris Eagles produces a cross, Bruno Saltor makes a clearance.24:46
Dean Hammond challenges Chris Eagles unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen Warnock restarts play with the free kick.22:26
Foul by David Ngog on Lewis Dunk, free kick awarded. Lewis Dunk takes the direct free kick.22:07
Craig Mackail-Smith takes a shot. Adam Bogdan makes a save.20:12
Shot by Marcos Painter from outside the box goes over the net.19:08
Effort on goal by Andrea Orlandi from long range goes harmlessly over the target.18:53
Corner taken short by Andrea Orlandi.18:24
Dean Hammond takes a shot. Adam Bogdan makes a save.18:05
Andrea Orlandi produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area and strikes the post.16:39
The ball is delivered by Ashley Barnes, clearance by Zat Knight.14:18
Ashley Barnes takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan. Craig Mackail-Smith takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan. Short corner worked by Andrea Orlandi.14:18 Penalty
Penalty taken by Ashley Barnes saved by Adam Bogdan. Brighton 0-0 Bolton.13:48
The referee penalises Stephen Warnock for handball.13:26
The ball is delivered by Craig Mackail-Smith.12:02
Marcos Painter fouled by Tim Ream, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Andrea Orlandi, Tim Ream manages to make a clearance.11:20
Chris Eagles has an effort at goal from 30 yards. Save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.9:28
Craig Mackail-Smith has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.7:41
Liam Bridcutt has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.7:06
Stephen Warnock fouled by Will Buckley, the ref awards a free kick. Adam Bogdan restarts play with the free kick.6:42
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Bruno Saltor by Benik Afobe. Bruno Saltor restarts play with the free kick.5:57
Corner taken left-footed by Andrea Orlandi from the right by-line, Mark Davies makes a clearance.5:49
The ball is swung over by Will Buckley, Stephen Warnock makes a clearance.3:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Barnes by David Ngog. Free kick taken by Tomasz Kuszczak.2:59
The ball is crossed by Chris Eagles, clearance made by Lewis Dunk.1:36
Foul by Bruno Saltor on Mark Davies, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Chris Eagles, Ashley Barnes makes a clearance.0:20
Unfair challenge on Andrea Orlandi by Tyrone Mears results in a free kick. Andrea Orlandi takes the free kick.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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