Callum Lang struck late on to hand Wigan a crucial 1-0 victory at relegation rivals Northampton.
A poor match looked set to end goalless until Lang pounced on an error and fired home to give the Latics their first win in six matches, lifting them above the Cobblers in the process.
Wigan should have been ahead inside two minutes as Will Keane was denied one-on-one by Jonathan Mitchell before Thelo Aasgaard's follow-up hit his own man and deflected wide.
Jack Sowerby and Peter Kioso had half-chances for the home side but Wigan dominated the first half and went close again when George Johnston missed his kick at a corner.
Goalless at the break, the second half was a desperately poor affair and a draw seemed inevitable with both teams struggling to create anything.
But with only eight minutes to go, a mistake by Cian Bolger allowed Lang to get through on goal and he emphatically slotted past Mitchell, clinching a precious win for Wigan.