Ridgewell slots Birmingham ahead at the DW Stadium
By Owen Phillips
Maynor Figueroa scored a dramatic injury-time winner to earn the Premier League's basement side a vital victory over fellow strugglers Birmingham City.
Wigan went 1-0 down in controversial fashion when Liam Ridgewell calmly slotted home from an offside position.
But the hosts recovered from a shaky start to draw level when Tom Cleverley struck from close range after a glorious team move.
And Figueroa blasted in from 20 yards to seal a deserved win.
Questions will no doubt be asked of Blues keeper Ben Foster's positioning because although Figueroa's shot was fiercely struck, it flew in towards the centre of the England international's net.
But while the winner itself may have been a little fortunate, the victory was most certainly not.
Martinez proud of players after vital win
The hosts dominated the second half and although Birmingham hit the bar in the first half through Sebastian Larsson and also had a seemingly clear-cut penalty appeal waved away, Wigan did the majority of the attacking.
The Latics remain four points adrift of safety but defeat could have seen them as many as six points off the fourth from bottom side. And that looked a distinct possibility after a dreadful start which saw the Blues go ahead in hugely controversial circumstances on six minutes.
Ridgewell loitered around the Wigan area following a set-piece and showed great anticipation to latch on to Martin Jiranek's header and calmly finish past Ali Al Habsi.
The big defender looked offside and replays confirmed the suspicion with two other Birmingham players also in an offside position from the flick. But Ridgewell coolly netted his fifth goal of the season to further dent Wigan's already fragile confidence
The hosts lost their shape after Ridgewell's opener and Cameron Jerome could have made it 2-0 soon after - only to be denied by a smart goalkeeping from Al Habsi.
But the game changed dramatically on 25 minutes when - with the Blues having been forced into a defensive reshuffle because of an injury to Jiranek - Wigan drew level after a patient, flowing move.
Figueroa salutes the crowd after his winner
Ben Watson played a crisp slide-rule pass inside the full-back to find Emmerson Boyce. and the full-back's blistering pace allowed him to pull the ball back to Cleverley via the finger-tips of Foster and Cleverley tapped home from close range.
Up until then, the hosts had barely had a sniff with Cleverley's neat turn and shot from Gary Caldwell's long pass their only shot on goal.
But after their leveller Wigan looked the more threatening, as they found their belief, defensive cohesion, sense of urgency and started playing at a much higher tempo.
Birmingham still had their chances, notably a stunning near 30-yard free-kick from Larsson which crashed back of the bar in the closing stages of the first period.
Jerome also ran clear of the home defence to force a decent stop from Al Habsi.
And despite increasing home pressure in the latter stages they were denied what seemed a blatant penalty when Antolin Alcaraz barged into Curtis Davies in the box.
But Wigan were the better side and at the other end Watson saw a free-kick comfortably saved by Foster while Ridgewell made two brilliant blocks to stop goal-bound efforts after a twinkle-toed run from Charles N'Zogbia.
James McCarthy blazed wastefully over and substitute and Latics top scorer Hugo Rodallega - who was only named on the bench because of injury - had the ball in the net but it was correctly ruled out for a push in the build-up.
McLeish expected more from players
Injury had deprived both teams of their top scorers with Nicola Zigic also missing for the visitors.
But Rodallega's absence seemed to affect the hosts more with his replacement Franco Di Santo looking every bit a striker who has not scored for 18 months.
Too often the Argentine's touch was heavy and he looked painfully lacking in confidence.
But a lively 30-minute appearance by the Colombian rejuvenated the Latics.
And the home pressure finally told when Wigan grabbed the points - and just their fourth home league win of the season - when Figueroa smashed the ball home from outside the box.
90:00+7:12 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+6:19 The offside flag is raised against Obafemi Martins. Ali Al Habsi takes the indirect free kick.
90:00+3:27 Substitution Mohamed Diame is brought on as a substitute for Charles N'Zogbia.
90:00+3:18 Liam Ridgewell delivers the ball.
90:00+1:48 Tom Cleverley provided the assist for the goal.
90:00+1:48 GOAL - Maynor Figueroa:Wigan 2 - 1 Birmingham A goal is scored by Maynor Figueroa from outside the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Wigan 2-1 Birmingham.
89:48 Corner taken by Ben Watson.
89:24 Inswinging corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia, Craig Gardner manages to make a clearance.
89:11 Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
88:16 The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson.
87:00 Corner crossed in by Ben Watson.
85:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Obafemi Martins by Maynor Figueroa. Free kick taken by Sebastian Larsson.
85:54 Booking Maynor Figueroa booked.
83:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Obafemi Martins on Emmerson Boyce. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
82:53 Centre by Maynor Figueroa, clearance by Roger Johnson.
82:40 The ball is sent over by Tom Cleverley, Liam Ridgewell manages to make a clearance.
81:43 James McCarthy has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
79:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugo Rodallega on Roger Johnson. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
77:47 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson from the right by-line, save made by Ben Foster.
77:36 A cross is delivered by Tom Cleverley.
75:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Watson on Barry Ferguson. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sebastian Larsson
from right wing, clearance made by James McCarthy.
74:39 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
73:50 Conor Sammon takes a shot. Roger Johnson gets a block in.
Correction - 73:18 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
73:18 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Blocked by Roger Johnson.
72:55 The ball is crossed by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance made by Stephen Carr.
72:13 Foul by Curtis Davies on Charles N'Zogbia, free kick awarded. Ben Watson restarts play with the free kick.
72:13 Booking Curtis Davies is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
71:07 David Bentley challenges Gary Caldwell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ali Al Habsi takes the direct free kick.
70:18 Centre by Tom Cleverley, Conor Sammon takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
69:10 The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, Antolin Alcaraz manages to make a clearance.
68:05 Foul by Antolin Alcaraz on Cameron Jerome, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
68:05 Booking Antolin Alcaraz is booked.
65:54 Maynor Figueroa gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Carr. A cross is delivered by Sebastian Larsson,
Header by Liam Ridgewell from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
64:55 Charles N'Zogbia produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.
62:39 Substitution (Birmingham) makes a substitution, with Obafemi Martins coming on for Jordon Mutch.
62:39 Substitution Conor Sammon on for Victor Moses.
62:39 Substitution Hugo Rodallega comes on in place of Franco Di Santo.
61:44 Maynor Figueroa takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
60:57 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.
57:58 Substitution (Birmingham) makes a substitution, with David Bentley coming on for Jean Beausejour.
55:24 Curtis Davies gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia. Direct strike on goal from the free kick
comes in from Ben Watson, save by Ben Foster.
53:56 Tom Cleverley concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Carr. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sebastian Larsson
from right wing.
53:34 Franco Di Santo sends in a cross, clearance made by Stephen Carr.
51:24 Gary Caldwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Gardner. Direct free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
51:24 Booking Booking for Victor Moses.
49:02 Corner crossed in by Ben Watson, Ben Foster makes a save.
47:58 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson from the right by-line, clearance by Curtis Davies.
47:38 Victor Moses fouled by Liam Ridgewell, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
47:20 Jordon Mutch challenges Tom Cleverley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tom Cleverley takes the free kick.
45:54 Cameron Jerome gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emmerson Boyce. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+2:18 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+1:27 Centre by Liam Ridgewell, clearance made by Antolin Alcaraz.
45:00+0:09 Emmerson Boyce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Gardner. Sebastian Larsson fires a strike on goal direct
from the free kick,
44:17 Emmerson Boyce delivers the ball, Charles N'Zogbia produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand
41:47 James McCarthy takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
40:32 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Sebastian Larsson.
39:45 Franco Di Santo concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
38:41 Unfair challenge on Sebastian Larsson by Maynor Figueroa results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
35:59 Cameron Jerome concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Caldwell. Free kick taken by Ben Watson.
34:54 Victor Moses produces a cross, Stephen Carr manages to make a clearance.
32:45 Jordon Mutch has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
31:17 Jean Beausejour is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia, Ben
Foster makes a save.
31:08 Centre by Ben Watson, Barry Ferguson makes a clearance.
30:33 Ben Watson delivers the ball in from the corner, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
26:29 Foul by Jean Beausejour on Gary Caldwell, free kick awarded. Ali Al Habsi takes the free kick.
25:56 Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, Franco Di Santo makes a clearance.
24:51 The assist for the goal came from Emmerson Boyce.
24:51 GOAL - Tom Cleverley:Wigan 1 - 1 Birmingham Tom Cleverley scores a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 1-1 Birmingham.
22:46 Corner taken by Ben Watson, Ben Foster makes a save.
21:04 Foul by James McCarthy on Craig Gardner, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from left
channel, save made by Ali Al Habsi.
20:28 Jordon Mutch takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.
18:47 Corner from the right by-line taken by Sebastian Larsson, Franco Di Santo makes a clearance.
16:15 Foul by Charles N'Zogbia on Liam Ridgewell, free kick awarded. Liam Ridgewell restarts play with the free kick.
15:07 Corner from the right by-line taken by Sebastian Larsson, Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.
13:53 Substitution Curtis Davies joins the action as a substitute, replacing Martin Jiranek.
13:06 Maynor Figueroa fouled by Cameron Jerome, the ref awards a free kick. Antolin Alcaraz takes the direct free kick.
10:05 The referee blows for offside against Franco Di Santo. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.
9:38 Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
8:46 Stephen Carr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley. Ben Watson takes the free kick.
7:18 Cameron Jerome challenges Emmerson Boyce unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
5:34 Assist on the goal came from Martin Jiranek.
5:34 GOAL - Liam Ridgewell:Wigan 0 - 1 Birmingham Goal scored by Liam Ridgewell from deep inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Wigan 0-1 Birmingham.
4:50 Ben Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jordon Mutch. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the
free kick, Gary Caldwell makes a clearance.
3:55 Tom Cleverley takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
0:35 Corner taken by Ben Watson, Antolin Alcaraz takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
0:12 Foul by Liam Ridgewell on Charles N'Zogbia, free kick awarded. Ben Watson takes the free kick.
0:00 The game gets underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.