In a relegation six-pointer and local derby, Blackburn Rovers beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 and moved out of the relegation zone.
For long spells both sides demonstrated why they have been struggling this season and failed to display anything more than hard work.
A superb solo effort from man-of-the-match Marvin Emnes, in the 58th minute, proved the difference and helped Tony Mowbray, who has seven points from a possible nine, continue his unbeaten run since taking charge at Blackburn.
An injury in the fifth minute halted proceedings before they really got going as Wigan midfielder Shaun MacDonald was stretchered off after he looked to have twisted his knee. Max Power replaced him.
Blackburn dominated possession without having many clear chances, playing out from the back, while Wigan looked to stay tight at the back and counter when they got the chance.
In the 22nd minute Wigan had their first threatening moment. A weaving run from Michael Jacobs left him free on the edge of the box but he drove the ball wide of goal.
Down the other end, Emnes had a shot blocked on the penalty spot and Jason Lowe volleyed the rebound high and wide.
Ten minutes later Wigan’s game plan almost worked as Sam Morsy teed up Omar Bogle after a surging run. The former non-league striker curled his shot into the arms of Jason Steele.
On 44, Sam Morsy nearly gave Wigan a half-time lead. His shot on the edge of the box cannoned of Darragh Lenihan and squirmed its way past the post. Jason Steele was helpless had that trickled in.
In the second half, Wigan changed their game plan and were much more offensive which added to the pace of the game.
Stephen Warnock got in behind his opposite fullback, Ryan Nyambe, three times in the first 10 minutes and just lacked the cross to hurt Rovers.
Wigan’s Callum Connelly cut inside and struck his shot straight at goalkeeper Jason Steele. The goalkeeper quickly distributed it up the field to Marvin Emnes who brought the ball down perfectly, cut inside the defender and slotted the ball into the near post to open the scoring in the 58th minute. The first sign of real quality in a poor game.
As a reward for his goal, Emnes was taken off immediately by Tony Mowbray and the forward walked straight down the tunnel clearly frustrated.
Confusion reigned in the 70th minute as Wigan tried to make a double substitution, the management staff had Gabriel Obertan and Will Grigg set to come into the fray.
Obertan came on for Jacobs but then as Bogle and then Ryan Tunnicliffe made their way to the touch line to be replaced by Grigg the fans’ boos seem to change the minds of the assistant manager Graham Barrow.
Grigg is sent to the bench only to come on for Callum Connelly two minutes later.
The next chance of note, on 81, saw Danny Graham turn expertly and free up some space for himself inside the box. Wigan defenders swarmed on him to block his goal-bound shot.
Wigan pressed in added time for an equaliser and a chance fell to Darragh Lenihan inside the box but he failed to take the chance and sliced over.
Blackburn Rovers Starting Line Up: Steele, Williams, Lowe (c), Feeney (Mahoney,57), Mulgrew, Emnes (Bennett, 61), Gallagher, Guthrie, Nyambe, Lenihan and Conway (Graham,57). Subs: Raya, Hoban, Graham, Joao, Tomlinson, Mahoney and Bennett
Wigan Athletic Starting Line Up: Gilks, Buxton, Morsy, Connolly (Grigg, 72), Bogle, MacDonald (Power, 7), Jacobs (Obertan, 70) Tunnicliffe, Warnock (c), Hanson and Burn. Subs: Evans, Perkins, Power, Gibley, Grigg, Obertan and Weir.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Attendance: 13,165 (Wigan: 1985)