WIGAN Athletic secured a vital three points on the seaside with a comfortable 3-1 victory over rock-bottom Blackpool.
A defeat was unthinkable for Latics but goals from Kim Bo-Kyung, Harry Maguire and James McClean gave Wigan’s survival hopes a boost under the watchful eye of Dave Whelan for the first time in over two months.
It wasn’t a pretty encounter and any sign of attractive football was cut out by the poor Bloomfield Road pitch but Malky Mackay’s side got the job done in front of a superb 2,000 following who made the journey.
Chances were few and far between in the opening half with a Kim effort blocked for Wigan before Blackpool headed wide twice from inside the area through Gary Madine and Grant Hall.
And just as it looked like the two sides would trot in for the break goalless, Latics took the lead after a goalmouth scramble.
James McClean fired an effort that could only be parried by Joe Lewis and as the goalkeeper lay on the deck, Jermaine Pennant drew it back for Kim to poke home from close range.
The travelling army of fans who had made the short journey to Blackpool had made prior plans to sing 90 songs in 90 minutes and they put in a cracking effort which made its way over to the players who carried on in the second half with confidence that has been so sparse this season.
Latics managed to dodge a potential turning point after the break though as Tony McMahon raced through and went down under a Scott Carson challenge but referee Keith Stroud booked the Blackpool captain for a dive.
A little over 10 minutes later, Latics should have doubled their lead after a superb clearance off the line from Emmerson Boyce found Kim who in turn played in Marc-Antoine Fortune on goal.
Instead of taking a touch into the box with so much space in front of him though, the striker opted to shoot with his left peg which resulted in the ball sailinh harmlessly wide.
Latics did, however, get their second five minutes later when Pennant’s corner was met by Maguire’s thundering header to put some much-needed daylight between the two sides.
And Bloomfield Road was practically emptied with 10 minutes remaining when Latics broke through man-of-the-match Kim as Blackpool threw everything forward.
The Korean played a neat through ball to McClean and subtitute Leon Clarke who were clean through on goal and it was the Irishman who took a touch into the box to fire into the bottom corner.
Blackpool did get a consolation goal from Madine with five minutes remaining but it was nowhere near enough as Latics claimed victory.
Blackpool: Lewis, Aldred, Perkins, Madine, Ferguson (for Davies 53), McMahon, O’Hara (for Oliver 80), Hall, Telford, Cameron (for Delfounseo 31), O’Dea
Subs: Parish, Clarke, Rothwell, Nosworthy
Latics: Carson, Boyce, Maguire, Pearce, Bong, Pennant (for Cowie 85), Kim, Perch, Ojo (for Clarke 54), Fortune, McClean
Subs: Al Habsi, Taylor, Cowie, McCann, Waghorn, McKay