Jordi Gomez struck a brilliant hat-trick to give Wigan a rousing 3-2 win over Premier League rivals Reading after an awful Ali Al-Habsi error almost cost them the win at the DW Stadium.
The match will be remembered as much for goalkeeper Al-Habsi's blunder as much as the Gomez treble in the second period, but Roberto Martinez's side probably shaded the victory on the balance of play having recovered strongly from trailing.
Reading moved ahead courtesy of a Sean Morrison header on 35 minutes only for two goals from Gomez (58, 68) to give the home side the lead.
An awful error by Al Habsi looked to be so costly when he dropped the ball under his own bar with nobody near him on 79 minutes before watching it trickle into his net following Hal Robson-Kanu's deflected shot.
But Wigan collected the three points a minute into three added on when Gomez slotted his hat-trick from Arouna Kone's pass with the home defence posted missing in the rain.
Gomez is the third player to score a Premier League hat-trick for the club after Henri Camara (December 2005) and Marcus Bent (December 2007).
There were wild scenes of celebration among the home fans with Al-Habsi predictably revelling in the moment. It should also make for a good weekend for Dave Whelan, the Wigan chairman who is celebrating his 76th birthday.
Kone should have handed Wigan the lead on eight minutes when he met Jean Beausejour's cross, but somehow headed wide from eight yards.
Morrison made no mistake when he leapt to power home a header from Nicky Shorey's free-kick and hand the visiting side a 1-0 lead with a powerful effort.
Wigan levelled after the break when Gomez slid the ball into the net on the rebound after Adam Federici failed to hold his initial shot from Di Santo's cross.
Jay Tabb appealed for a penalty that could easily have been given when Maynor Figueroa seemed to catch the Reading player, but referee Howard Webb said no after a moment of consideration.
Al-Habsi then produced a breathtaking save to claw out a header by Adam Le Fondre from Robson-Kanu's cross, before the home side had a goal wrongly disallowed when Beausejour picked out Di Santo with a superb cross to finish when the provider was clearly on.
There was no halting Wigan when Beausejour picked out Gomez on the run, and he dived to nod into the net.
Al-Habsi dropped the ball in his own net from a high ball under no pressure before Gomez saw a volley cleared off the line by Morrison with Beausejour again running riot as the frantic pace continued.
It looked like Reading might get out of town with a point, but amateur defending condemned them to another bruising defeat in their fight against relegation.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jordi Gomez (Wigan): Brilliant treble to win the match. Easily the classiest man on the park. A figure of real influence.
WIGAN: Al Habsi 5, Stam 7, Boyce 7, Ramis 5, Figueroa 7, McCarthy 5, Jones 7, Beausejour 8, Maloney 6, Gomez 9, Kone 7. Subs: McArthur 6, Di Santo 7, Lopez 6
READING: Federici 6, Gunter 6, Morrison 7, Gorkss 6, Shorey 7, Leigertwood 6, McAnuff 7, Tabb 7, Robson-Kanu 6, Roberts 6, Le Fondre 5. Subs: McCleary 6, Pogrebnyak 6.