Jon Stead's late strike seals 2-1 win for Bristol City over Ipswich Town
Jon Stead came off the bench to grab a dramatic last-gasp winner and throw Bristol City a precious lifeline at Ashton Gate.
Introduced for the final 12 minutes, the striker scored against his former club at the death as the Robins came from behind to register a notable 2-1 success, their first in five games.
It looked like another home defeat was on the cards when Daryl Murphy fitred Ipswich in front on 31 minutes.
But substitute Steven Davies netted his ninth goal of the season early in the second half to level matters and spark a notable recovery.
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Ipswich appeared the more likely victors when Stead, a 78th minute replacement for Sam Baldock, accepted a pass from Davies, cut inside two blue-shirted defenders and steered a low shot beyond keeper Scott Loach to consign his former team-mates to defeat.
The Robins may still be deep in relegation trouble, but this performance and result will serve to restore confidence and lift spirits ahead of Tuesday's crucial home game against Watford.
Head coach O'Driscoll urged his players to be organised and disciplined and the Robins certainly looked solid during the opening exchanges.
Ipswich enjoyed a prolonged spell of possession and tested the home side with a series of balls launched into the penalty, all of which were dealt with by a back four bolstered by the arrival of new signing Brendan Moloney and the return to action of veteran centre-back Louis Carey.
Although the Robins scarcely functioned as an attacking force during the opening 20 minutes, they were nice and compact and restricted the visitors to hopeful short from range, David McGoldrick sending the best of these narrowly wide from 25 yards out.
Baldock was back to spearhead City's attack and the first chance of note fell to him in the 23rd minute, Paul Anderson picking him out with a clever drag back. But the former MK Dons and West Ham marksmen saw his first-time shot deflected behind by Tommy Smith.
His partner, Ryan Taylor, went off injured after landing awkwardly following an earlier challenge with Smith and Davies came off the bench to play alongside City's nine-goal top-scorer.
Encouraged by Baldock's earlier near-miss, the Robins continued to press and Cole Skuse was just off target with a volley from 16 yards.
City had cause to regret those missed chances when Ipswich forged ahead in the 31st minute. McGoldrick's deft header wrong-footed the home defence and Daryl Murphy held off Liam Fontaine to beat keeper Tom Heaton with a low shot from close range.
Town should have doubled their lead seven minutes later. McGoldrick beat Moloney on the by-line and delivered a low cross towards Lee Martin. Just when it looked as though he must score, the former Manchester United winger somehow contrived to direct his shot high and wide from close-in.
Fragile confidence and an over-dependence on long passes was holding City back and the nearest they came to threatening an equaliser before half time was when substitute Davies tested Scott Loach with a curling free kick that was gathered at the second attempt.
Flat and bereft of any spark in the first half, City were urgently in need of a lift. It arrived in the form of an equaliser two minutes after the restart.
Carey's superb cross-field pass was controlled in an instant by Anderson, who cut inside Bradley Orr and teed-up Davies, whose rasping drive from an acute angle was still rising when it hit the roof of the net.
The former Derby forward's ninth goal of the season brought a hitherto subdued crowd to life and raised the prospect of a more competitive second half.
Stung into a response, Ipswich served notice of their attacking intent when Murphy climbed above Carey and steered a header inches over Heaton's cross bar.
The game descended into a stalemate thereafter, neither side quite possessing the guile to create a clear-cut opportunity.
O'Driscoll introduced Jon Stead at the expense of the tiring Baldock, but City were still unable to prise open a resolute Town defence.
It was Ipswich who came closest to breaking the deadlock, Heaton making a superb double save to block Aaron Cresswell's fierce drive and then keep out Martin's header.
Then came a dramatic twist in the tail, Stead coming off the bench to deliver a priceless goal that might just transform City's season.
Bristol City (4-4-2): Heaton; Moloney, Carey, Fontaine, Cunningham; Kelly, Skuse, Kilkenny (Elliott 84), Anderson; Baldock (Stead 78), Taylor (Davies 16).
Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Loach; Orr, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell; Edwards, N'Daw, Hyam, Martin; Murphy (McLean 82), McGoldrick.
Referee: Stephen Martin (Stafford)