Wigan Athletic suffered another crushing setback to their hopes of avoiding relegation back to League One with Bristol City pinching a late 1-0 win at the DW Stadium.
Latics one more enjoyed a lot of the ball in good areas, but again lacked anything remotely resembling the creativity required to break down a resolute City rearguard.
The closest they came was when David Perkins - without a goal since October 2012 - swung his left foot from distance and saw the ball clip the bar on the way over.
After punching themselves out, Latics were then dealt a sickening kick to the guts with three minutes to go when they failed to clear a Lee Tomlin corner.
Tammy Abraham’s initial effort was blocked, but Aden Flint forced the ball from from a yard to the delight of the visiting supporters behind the goal.
The result leaves Latics four points adrift of safety, with nine games to go.
Further salt was rubbed into the wounds in the closing stages when skipper Stephen Warnock - who’d played every single minute of the campaign - limped off with a badly-cut leg.
Looking for back-to-back wins for only the second time this term, Latics tried to take the game to City right from the off.
Omar Bogle played in Gabriel Obertan - making his first start at the DW Stadium - only for Bailey Wright to alleviate the danger with a crunching tackle.
The City defence were tested again when Callum Connolly floated over a free-kick aimed at Jake Buxton, who was inches away from teeing up Dan Burn on the edge of the six-yard box.
The visitors threatened for the first time just after the 15-minute mark when former Latics winger David Cotterill crossed for Matty Taylor to send a close-range header way over the top.
Latics came agonisingly close to opening the scoring midway through the first half only for Perkins to see his shot beat goalkeeper Frank Fielding - but not the woodwork.
Fielding did make the save on the half-hour mark when Michael Jacobs found Bogle at the far post as Latics cranked up the pressure.
The home side were dominating as half-time approached, a nice move seeing Perkins find Obertan through the left channel, although the defence were able to scramble it out for a corner.
From Jamie Hanson’s resultant set-piece, Connolly lobbed it back in to the area and Obertan’s header was touched round the post by the goalkeeper.
Latics were given a warning four minutes before the break when the ball found its way to Abraham, eight yards from goal, although Matt Gilks was off his line in a flash to parry it behind.
In fairness to the visitors they raised their game after the break as if they sensed that Latics were there for the taking.
Connolly was penalised on the edge of the box for a foul on Lee Tomlin, who disappointingly couldn’t beat the wall with the set-piece.
After Bogle had a shot saved at one end, seconds later the ball was down the other end, and Latics were indebted to Hanson for his superbly-timed challenge to prevent Taylor racing clean through.
Latics made two attacking changes to try to regain the initiative, James Weir and Mikael Mandron taking over for the tiring Obertan and Alex Gilbey.
But still City looked the more likely scorers, with Josh Brownhill firing a shot inches wide with 10 minutes remaining.
Wigan’s cause wasn’t helped when Warnock limped off with a lacerated leg, with Shaun MacDonald taking his place for the closing stages.
And there was to be a late sting in the tale when, after Latics failed to clear a corner, Abraham saw an effort blocked before Flint applied the finishing touch from all of a yard.