A late bout of pressure wasn’t enough to give Wigan a share of the points at the Den. Millwall took an early lead when Steve Morison’s shot was deflected in via Ivan Ramis.
Jermaine Easter doubled Millwall’s lead in the 82nd minute before James McArthur pulled a goal back with a low left foot strike from outside the area.
Late on Callum McManaman may have had a penalty when his shot was blocked in the area and Leon Barnett’s header was kept out by a combination of the Millwall keeper Forde and the crossbar.
Millwall hung on for all three points and Latics were left too rue the fact that they hadn’t done enough over the 94 minutes to get a result.
Caretaker manager Graham Barrow made three changes from the midweek defeat to Leeds with Perch, Beausejour, Keane being replaced by Crainey, McClean and Holt.
Millwall started on the front foot and in the first minute they could have had a penalty when Stephen Crainey appeared to pull down Liam Feeney.
But the Lions did score in the third minute when Latics failed to clear a corner and Morison’s shot was deflected in off Ramis.
Wigan tried to get a foothold in the game but the Millwall keeper David Forde was in fine form, twice denying James McClean and when it looked as though Emmerson Boyce had finally beaten Forde his goalbound effort was deflected over the crossbar.
The Lions nearly doubled their lead on 34 minutes when Martyn Woolford jinked his way into the Wigan penalty area but his shot crashed against the post.
The second half started scrappily, with Grant Holt shooting tamely at Forde while at the other end Morison slipped when about to shoot.
On 58 minutes, Waghorn’s free kick from the right hand side was spilled by Carson but the keeper managed to catch the ball on the second attempt before a Millwall player could reach it.
Ben Watson shot wide from the edge of the box after Liam Trotter had deflected a cross into his path.
Wigan started to gain the ascendancy with substitute McManaman prominent, Holt twice nearly getting on the end of crosses.
But it was the Lions who got the crucial second goal in the 82nd minute, following a Wigan throw Trotter’s long ball found Easter who slotted past Carson.
A minute later Wigan pulled a goal back when McArthur’s low shot from the edge of the area evaded everyone including the Millwall keeper.
Latics pressed for the equaliser and created several good opportunities, first with McManaman claiming for a handball before getting away a shot at close range, then being denied by the post.
Leon Barnett thought he’d equalised in injury time but his header was forced over by a combination of Forde’s fingertips and the cross-bar.
Wigan’s new manager Uwe Rösler, who was watching from the stands, must quickly stabilise the team’s results after their fifth consecutive defeat. The players are better than current results suggest but unless performances improve the play offs will soon become an unrealistic target.