MATTY Smith’s drop-goal 15 minutes before time proved the difference as Warriors laboured to victory over Hull FC.
With the score at 12-6, the half-back’s one-pointer served to widen the gap in a game which up to that point was lacking intensity.
But a late try from Callum Lancaster, goaled calmly by Mark Sneyd, set-up a tense finish.
Joel Tomkins opened the scoring for Wigan after nine minutes, when after a period of pressure on the Hull line Smith timed his pass well enough to create a gap for the try scorer.
Five minutes after the first try, Gareth Ellis found his way over - but Wigan were let off the hook as referee Ben Thaler ruled it out for a forward pass.
A sweeping move intended to create a chance for Joe Burgess was cut short by a knock on and Josh Charnley caused a worry when he limped off after 33 minutes without returning.
A run of penalties against Wigan gave Hull a lift upfield as the half drew to a close - but unable to create any genuine threats, the next points came from Smith’s boot when Wigan were awarded a penalty within range with four minutes until the break.
Later, a simple but well-executed move saw Dan Sarginson left just needing a neat step to register the next try with seconds to spare before the interval.
Wigan’s lack of killer instinct almost proved fatal in the second period, as their laboriously-built lead was cut by a Fetuli Talanoa try just two minutes after the restart.
Lack of chances prompted Smith to fire over a drop goal with 15 minutes to go.
But a nervous finish was ensured in the final 10 minutes as Hull closed the gap to one point.
On the Wigan line, it looked as though Danny Houghton had missed a gap, but his pass found Lancaster who finished well.
Sneyd’s touchline goal caused a tense finish - but Shaun Wane’s side held on for their first win in three league games.
Wigan Warriors: Bowen; Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess; Powell, Smith; Sutton, McIlorum, Mossop, J Tomkins, Farrell; Patrick
Subs: Williams, Bateman, Clubb, Tautai
Hull FC: Rankin; Lancaster, Michaels, Yeaman, Talanoa; Pryce, Sneyd; Bowden, Houghton, Ellis, Hadley, Minichello; Westerman
Subs: Green, Watts, Paleaaesina, Thompson
Tries: J Tomkins, Sarginson
Goals: Smith 2 + 1 DG
Goals: Sneyd 2