Nick Powell scored the only goal with eight minutes left to hand Wigan a hard-earned but richly-deserved 1-0 win over Plymouth in Sky Bet League One.
The struggling Pilgrims had somehow kept Wigan out for over three-quarters of an entertaining encounter, only to concede a penalty when Michael Jacobs was fouled in the area.
Powell had twice seen close-range headers tipped over by Kyle Letheren - making his debut in goal for Plymouth - but stepped up and smashed the ball home to secure the three points.
And the goal was no more than Wigan deserved for a rampant performance that could and should have brought more goals.
Letheren performed heroics to keep out Powell, Will Grigg, Gavin Massey and Jacobs with a series of stunning saves.
And when he needed a stroke of luck, he got it when he saw a Sam Morsy shot strike Grigg on its way against the bar, with Powell also seeing a second-half effort disallowed for offside.
Even after Powell broke the deadlock, there was almost time for a late sting in the tale, with Graham Carey lining up a free-kick for Plymouth in stoppage-time.
The delivery flew over the Wigan wall, only to flick the bar on its way over.