A late howler from goalkeeper Lee Camp proved costly as Wigan secured a nervy 1-0 victory against Birmingham.
Anthony Pilkington’s rather fortunate strike condemned Blues to a third straight defeat.
Latics moved up the table thanks to a third Sky Bet Championship win of the campaign.
Wigan piled on the pressure in the opening 10 minutes.
Kieffer Moore latched onto Gavin Massey’s smart pass but his thumping strike was blocked by Fran Villalba.
Josh Windass then found space on the edge of the Birmingham box before firing in a sweetly-struck shot which Camp got down well to parry clear.
Blues’ first opportunity came from Dan Crowley, who charged at the heart of the Wigan defence before unleashing a low drive which drifted wide.
By the quarter-hour mark it was a real end-to-end encounter, with Windass again going close for the hosts, while Lukas Jutkiewicz saw an effort blocked at the other end.
Pep Clotet’s side were growing into the game and looked a threat on the counter-attack, but when Crowley broke free on the half-hour mark, he was wasteful in lashing a shot high over the crossbar.
The visitors then blew a great opportunity to break the deadlock when Jutkiewicz slid in but somehow failed to connect with skipper Harlee Dean’s inviting header across goal.
The final chance of an entertaining opening period went Wigan’s way as Windass was again denied thanks to another agile low stop from Camp.
Windass was again the big threat for Wigan early in the second period, latching onto Joe Williams’ looping through-ball only for his deflected effort to squirm narrowly wide.
Wigan had been on the front foot since the resumption and in the 61st minute Jamal Lowe ought to have done better when he failed to convert substitute Joe Garner’s cross from close range.
Time was beginning to run out for both sides to find that vital breakthrough, though Blues fans were off their seats in the 67th minute when Jutkiewicz’s volley was deflected behind for a corner which came to nothing.
The opening goal finally arrived 14 minutes from the end.
Just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute, Pilkington fired in a rather hopeful strike from 22 yards but it proved too hot for Camp, who let the ball squeeze under him and roll over the line.
Sub Odin Bailey missed Birmingham’s best chance of snatching a late equaliser.