Time stood still as Paterson’s curling effort clipped the crossbar and bounced down towards the line before being cleared by Curtis Davies.
But Atkinson whistled to signal a goal had been scored, holding his watch in the air to show the technology had played its part, at the same time ending the pulsating Sky Bet Championship encounter as a contest at 3-1.
Cauley Woodrow and Bobby Reid had earlier turned the game on its head to cancel out Matej Vydra’s penalty, while substitute Famara Diedhiou scored a cracker in stoppage time to put the seal on it.
These exclusive pictures show just how far over the line Paterson’s effort was at Ashton Gate this Saturday.
GOAL-LINE TECHNOLOGY IN USE
NEXT UP AT ASHTON GATE
City return to Ashton Gate on Tuesday night when they host Premier League side Stoke City in the Carabao Cup third round.
Tickets for the game remain on general sale, with prices starting at just £13 for adults and £6 for under-19s.