REPORT: Wigan Athletic 1 Lincoln City 2
Despite their best performance in recent weeks, Latics paid a high price for more individual errors at the back, and remain second bottom of the division - albeit only two points adrift of safety.
Lincoln threatened first as right-back Regan Poole made his way into the Wigan box, but his shot flew harmlessly wide of the far post.
At the other end, Viv Solomon-Otabor raced through the left channel, but aimed his shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Wigan were indebted to Jamie Jones for keeping the scoreline blank when the goalkeeper scooped away a flick from a Lincoln corner at point-blank range.
And Lincoln goalkeeper Alex Palmer repaid the favour moments later after left-back Luke Robinson - recalled to the Wigan side - found himself with the ball at his feet, six yards out.
The visitors didn't heed the warning, though, and Wigan went ahead 12 minutes before the break, with Callum Lang driving through the Lincoln half before rifling into the top corner from 30 yards.
It was a goal fit to win any game but, sadly for Wigan, the lead lasted barely a minute, with Jones unable to keep hold of the ball and Anthony Scully slotting home from three yards.
Lang tried to restore the Latics lead just before the break, but the dangerman could only fire over the top.
Wigan lost Chris Merrie at the break, with Gavin Massey on for his first appearance in three months, and the winger was quickly into the game.
After Jones did well to deny Brennan Johnson, Latics broke and Massey carried the ball to the edge of the Lincoln box before being dispossessed.
Latics dodged a bullet when Hopper headed into the side-netting from a great position, before the visitors did nose in front 17 minutes from time.
Lang was only inches away from getting a toe to Solomon-Otabor's right-wing cross, and they were still bemoaning their luck as Lincoln broke and Hopper beat Curtis Tilt before firing past Jones.
Latics did have three great chances to level in the last 10 minutes, but Proctor fired over and Lang headed wide from promising positions, before substitute Will Keane wriggled his way into the box before shooting wide with the last kick.