LATICS were denied a priceless victory against Championship leaders Leicester City after a late Dean Hammond header snatched a point with just three minutes to play.
Uwe Rosler’s side had twice taken the lead from set-pieces at the DW Stadium through Ivan Ramis and Rob Kiernan in a game which they dominated and played some of their finest football of the season.
The manager made six changes from Saturday’s draw to Bolton. Shaun Maloney also made a welcome return to the bench but didn’t come on for Latics.
Both sides showed exactly why they are pushing for promotion with the Foxes never out of the game and causing problems themselves through the dangerous Lloyd Dyer and attacking force of their first goalscorer Andy King and David Nugent.
In what was a blistering first 20 minutes, both sides had fantastic chances to open the scoring.
Nick Powell, who you would hope to find doing the business in the attacking third, denied the visitors a very early lead when he got back well to clear Liam Moore’s header off the line.
Wigan hit the attack immediately and could have taken the lead themselves. Nicky Maynard took the ball well in the box but scuffed his shot wide, only for it to fall to Jordi Gomez. The Spaniard took a touch and fired his effort inches over the bar.
Maynard then came even closer when Kasper Schmeichel produced the first of many fine saves, tipping the on-loan striker’s shot over.
From the resulting corner, Powell’s effort rattled the bar before Gomez picked the ball up inside the box and fired a shot just inches wide.
All this was in the opening 12 minutes with a scuffed Nugent effort in there for Leicester too.
Latics continued to get on top and began asking more questions with Maynard hitting the side-netting and Schmeichel producing another wonder-save to deny Jack Collison from close range.
The deadlock was finally broken on 28 minutes when Gomez’s pin-point free-kick found Ramis in the box who headed home from close range.
It was nothing less than Wigan deserved but they had hardly finished celebrating when they found themselves pegged back again.
After Latics failed to clear their lines, Nugent produced a fancy flick to play in King who coolly slotted past Ali Al Habsi.
The home side didn’t deflate though and remained on top after the break in a half that didn’t quite live up to the lively start the first had.
Wigan’s midfield was dominant, with McArthur and Collison helping control possession.
It nearly paid off too when Stephen Crainey whipped in a vicious ball from the left which Maynard was inches way from prodding home inside the six-yard box.
The lead was deservedly regained just after the hour-mark with Gomez the supplier again.
After superb work from McArthur to force a corner, the Spaniard whipped in a beautiful ball for the impressive Kiernan to fire in a bullet header.
The goal didn’t deter the home side from continuing to attack though and Rosler, who had already brought on James McClean for Maynard, sent Marc-Antoine Fortune on for Powell.
McClean looked dangerous on the break and saw his effort cleared off the line before Collison fired the follow-up into the side netting.
Leicester began to pick up and pushed men forward with boss Nigel Pearson throwing on veteran striker Kevin Phillips in the final 20 minutes.
Al Habsi had to parry Riyad Mahrez’s effort before Phillips’ effort was well blocked as the visitors searched for their equaliser in the last 10 minutes.
Unfortunately for Wigan it came with three minutes to go.
Mahrez whipped in a beauty of a free-kick for Hammond to equalise and break Wigan hearts.
Fortune could have won it at the other end but his late effort was right at Schmeichel.
Latics: Al Habsi, Perch, Boyce, Ramis, Kiernan, Crainey, Collison, McArthur, Maynard (for McClean 56), Gomez (for McEachran 79), Powell (for Fortune 66)
Subs: Carson, Barnett, McManaman, Maloney, Fortune.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Morgan, Hammond, King, Dyer, Moore, Knockaert (for Mahrez 60), Nugent (for Taylor-Fletcher 60), Wood (for Phillips 73)
Subs: Drinkwater, Schlupp, Miquel, Logan.