Jordi Gomez scored a superb hat trick for Wigan as they left it late to see off a plucky Reading side at the DW Stadium.
The Spanish midfielder was the standout player for the Latics as they ended their two match losing run to move above Sunderland and up to 15th in the Premier League table.
It was tough on the crestfallen Royals, who were a goal to the good at half time and thought they’d earned a vital point with 10 minutes to go after falling 2-1 behind, but ended up empty handed.
A bright start for the hosts almost conjured a goal in the early stages, but Arouna Kone was unable to convert Jean Beausejour cross despite being unmarked in the six-yard area.
The Ivory Coast striker came close again after he rounded goalkeeper Adam Federici but was then thwarted by Nicky Shorey’s goal line clearance and it proved to be a vital intervention from the left back as he laid on the opening goal for Sean Morrison.
Shorey’s whipped free-kick found the 21-year-old in the area and his header beat Ali Al-Habsi to had the visitors a 35th minute lead that they carried over into the second half.
However, just before the hour Gomez scored his first of the afternoon, needing two bites of the cherry to beat Federici after being set up by substitute Franco Di Santo.
He doubled his tally 10 minutes later with a clever header from Beausejour’s cross to put Wigan ahead, only for an error from the usually reliable Al-Habsi gifting Reading an equaliser, deflecting Hal Robson-Kanu’s strike into the net.
But with the clock winding down to its climax Gomez would deservedly have the final say as he secured a vital three points for Roberto Martinez’s side, cooly firing home from 10-yards after good work from Kone.