CLAYTON Donaldson grabbed a brilliant hat-trick as Wigan Athletic crashed to another damaging defeat at Birmingham.
The big striker was a Latics target last summer, opting instead to join Blues on a free transfer from Brentford.
And he rubbed salt into the Wigan wounds by being the difference between the two sides.
It was a nightmare Latics debut for Liam Ridgewell, whose mistake allowed Donaldson to open the scoring with barely a minute on the clock.
Donaldson doubled the advantage on 14 minutes when he followed in after Andy Shinnie’s shot had come back off the post.
The opening half-hour was as bad as Latics have played all season, but they were inspired by the introduction of early Ben Watson and dominated the last 15 minutes of the half.
James McClean pulled one back nine minutes before the interval, and Latics started the second half in similar fashion.
With Ridgewell having been hooked for Martyn Waghorn at the interval, it was all Wigan from the restart with the home side holding on.
Shaun Maloney, Adam Forshaw, McClean and Ivan Ramis came close to levelling the scores as Latics asked all the questions.
But the wind was knocked out of Wigan sails when Donaldson bundled home from close range - a scabby goal but good enough to secure all three points for the home side.
FOR A FULL MATCH REPORT, PICTURES AND REACTION, SEE MONDAY’S WIGAN EVENING POST