Wigan Athletic lost top spot in the League One table after their worst performance of the season against strugglers Blackpool at the DW Stadium.
The league leaders lost their second successive game against a team who had only won two of their previous 17 games, but the Seasiders thoroughly deserved their rare victory as Latics were abysmal on the night.
The Seasiders were the better side from the off and went ahead after only three minutes when Armand Gnanduillet deflected home Kelvin Mellor’s effort after some hapless Latics defending.
The home side struggled to make any headway against a resilient Blackpool defence and matters got worse when Mellor made it two on 37 minutes after more shambolic defending following a corner.
Latics huffed and puffed in the second half but they lacked quality in the final third and Blackpool ran out surprisingly comfortable winners.
The defeat means Wigan slip to second place in the table behind new leaders Shrewsbury, while Blackburn move to the same number of points as Wigan in third place.
Paul Cook made only one change to the team which had lost at Southend on Saturday with Reece James replacing Callum Elder at left back.
The game was only three minutes old when the Seasiders went in front following some sloppy Latics defending and Gnanduillet’s effort was deflected off a defender and post before crossing the line.
An inauspicious start but surely Latics would soon respond? Well no, they didn’t. They were completely out of sorts and outfought by a team who had been struggling near the bottom of the table.
They did create a few half chances but they lacked real conviction and a cutting edge.
Chey Dunkley headed wide from a corner and Michael Jacobs tried his luck from distance.
Nick Powell later curled a free kick narrowly wide of the target but Gnanduillet missed a great chance to extend the Seasiders advantage.
But the lead was doubled on 37 minutes when Mellor was allowed to walk through the centre of the Latics defence and steer the ball home from close range.
Cook would have asked for a major response in the second half but they only fitfully threatened the Blackpool goal.
Early in the second half Will Grigg saw an effort blocked and Dunkley headed wide from a good position following a corner.
They went closest on 65 minutes when Powell blazed narrowly wide from a tight angle.
Blackpool might have added a third on 80 minutes but Mellor’s header was tipped over the crossbar by Christian Walton.
Latics’ desperately disappointing evening was further compounded when captain Sam Morsy was booked late on and will now miss two games including the the FA Cup tie against Manchester City.
The visitors comfortably held out for a deserved three points but Latics performance was way below what is required if they are to achieve automatic promotion.
It is not a time to panic but Cook now has a major task to revitalise his weary looking team. Football fortunes can soon change but they must quickly recapture their form, or they could find themselves fighting it out in the play-off places.