THREE goals in the space of six minutes either side of half-time gave Latics a convincing victory at fellow strugglers Reading.
Arouna Kone opened the scoring with a scrappy close-range effort on 43 minutes, before doubling the lead with a clever finish in first-half stoppage-time.
Maynor Figueroa’s lovely strike three minutes after the restart, after a good ball from Franco di Santo, all-but secured the visitors their fourth away win in the league.
Reading’s cause wasn’t helped when Pavel Pogrebnyak was red-carded by referee Phil Dowd shortly after for an ugly lunge on Figueroa in centre-field.
And in the end the Royals were flattered by the final winning margin, with goalkeeper Adam Federici making fine saves to deny Di Santo, Kone, Figueroa and substitute Jordi Gomez.
Latics: Al Habsi; Scharner, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour; Maloney, Di Santo, Kone.
Subs: Joel, Stam, Alcaraz (for Boyce, 84), Gomez (for Di Santo, 75), Espinoza, Henriquez, McManaman.
Reading: Federici; Kelly, Mariappa, Morrison, Harte; Kebe, Leitgerwood, Akpan, Karacan, McAnuff; Pogrebnyak.
Subs: Taylor, Shorey, Pearce, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre (for Akpan, 46), Hunt (for Kebe, 63), McCleary (for Karacan, 70).
Referee: Phil Dowd