Jake Buxton boosted Latics’ Championship survival chances with an 88th-minute headed winner at Molineux.
It was Buxton’s first ever goal for Latics as they managed their first double of the season by defeating Wolves.
In a scrappy game with few chances at either end, it was the former Burton Albion and Derby County centre-back who headed Max Power’s corner into the bottom left corner of the net to give Latics a vital win in their relegation scrap.
Latics move up a place to 22nd in the table two points behind 21st place Burton Albion. Wolves remain in 18th place and could now be drawn into the relegation dogfight with 15 games remaining.
Warren Joyce made two changes to the team which started at Fulham with Matt Gilks replacing the injured keeper Jakob Haugaard and Will Grigg replacing David Perkins in a 4-4-2 formation.
In a disjointed opening half both teams struggled to create any clear cut chances.
Keeper Matt Gilks saved comfortably from Helder Costa an 21 minutes and Shaun Macdonald had Latics first attempt on 30 minutes.
There were numerous fouls and stoppages, and both teams lacked any penetration often due to a poor final ball.
Jamie Hanson replaced Michael Jacobs at the half-time interval and after an uneventful opening to the second half Omar Bogle was replaced by Gabriel Obertan.
Wolves went closest on 74 minutes when a Dave Edwards header from Connor Ronan’s cross forced a full length save from Gilks.
Just as the game looked to be moving towards a stalemate substitute Obertan did well to win a corner, Max Power fired in a tempting cross and Buxton met it near the penalty spot to head powerfully past Carl Ikeme.
There were four minutes of added time, but could Latics now hang on for a vital three points?
Wolves pressed for the equaliser and on 92 minutes Gilks made another fantastic save to deny Connor Ronan’s 30 yard drive.
Obertan might have added a second for Latics a minute later but his shot was superbly pushed away for a corner by Ikeme.
It hadn’t been a great game of football, but in Latics current position it is the result that matters. They now move to within touching distance of the teams above them and the prospect of a great escape looks more likely.