A first-minute goal from Joao Teixeira was the difference as Wigan Athletic slumped to another damaging defeat at fellow strugglers Brighton
Uwe Rosler’s men now stand just a point above the Championship drop zone after a fifth league defeat out of eight on the road.
Latics had come into the game defending a six-match unbeaten record, although that sequence contained only a solitary victory.
And they again came up short against an Albion outfit who hadn’t won since August in a real six-pointer at the bottom.
With only 55 seconds on the clock, Sam Baldock crossed for Teixeira to fire past Scott Carson at the second attempt.
It could have been worse for Latics had Teixeira not rattled the crossbar on the 15-minute mark, with Latics struggling to put anything together in response.
The visitors came back into it as half-time neared, Martyn Waghorn in particular seeing plenty of ball and trying his luck at every opportunity.
And in fairness to Latics the second half belonged to them, and they did everything they could to level the scores.
Home goalkeeper Christian Walton, 18, put in a man-of-the-match display on his league debut which told part of the story.
Walton made an excellent save to deny Adam Forshaw, while Waghorn saw a close-range stab blocked by a home leg.
But Latics will feel they once again lacked the quality in the final third to take advantage of their superiority after the break.
Substitute Oriol Riera pulled a decent shot wide of the mark, while Shaun Maloney sent a late free-kick on the edge of the area high over the top.
FOR A FULL MATCH REPORT, PICTURES AND REACTION, SEE WEDNESDAY’S WIGAN EVENING POST