WIGAN Athletic smashed their eight-month home hoodoo to see off Brighton and remain alive in the Championship relegation dogfight.
In Gary Caldwell’s first home game in charge, Latics went ahead when debutant Tim Chow headed home from close range midway through the first half.
Brighton equalised on the hour mark through Dale Stephens, but Latics never stopped pushing for a winner that finally came with nine minutes remaining.
Marc-Antoine Fortune’s cross took a deflection off Stephens, and James Perch was on hand to stab the ball home from less than a yard.
Latics are now five points behind fourth-bottom Rotherham - who face a possible points deduction - with two matches to go.
Caldwell had sprung a massive shock by selecting Chow, back in favour less than a month after he was released by the club under previous boss Malky Mackay.
And he admitted the Wigan-born midfielder had fully justified the faith placed in him with an impressive performance capped by a crucial goal.
“I’ve known Tim a long time, since he came to the club, and I’ve always been impressed with his attitude and his work-rate,” said Caldwell.
“If you’re prepared to work hard and believe in yourself, that goes a long way in football, and he’s done that.
“He’s had a lot of setbacks in his time, and he deserved his opportunity for the way he applies himself every day.
“He showed me he’s more than capable of playing for this football club and it was great to see him score.”