Striker Kyle Joseph scored his first senior hat-trick for Wigan Athletic as they defeated Burton Albion 4-3 in the battle of League One’s bottom two clubs.
The Brewers John Joe O’Toole headed the hosts ahead on 13 minutes following a series of corners. But the visitors equalised five minutes later when Darnell Johnson’s header was diverted into the net by Joseph’s knee.
Burton restored their lead on 25 minutes when Joe Powell’s deep cross found John Brayford who volleyed home at the back post. Latics were back level three minutes later when Joseph collected Olly Crankshaw’s cross and superbly rifled the ball into the top of the net from the centre of the box.
Some sloppy Latics defending allowed Kane Hemmings to restore the Brewers’ lead with a deflected shot on 72 minutes but the visitors restored parity almost immediately as Joseph completed an excellent hat-trick.
Latics took the lead for the first time on 83 minutes when Will Keane headed home from close range and held on to seal an important three points.
The result moves Latics to third bottom in the table and they now only remain in the relegation zone on goal difference. Burton remain bottom and are six points from safety.
Acting manager Leam Richardson made three changes to the team which had drawn with Shrewsbury. Olly Crankshaw, Thelo Aasgaard and Kyle Joseph came into the starting eleven with Kal Naismith injured and Alex Perry and Dan Gardner dropping to the bench.
Burton made the early running and forced a series of early corners. They took the lead with a well executed short corner routine when Charles Vernam’s cross was headed in at the near post by O’Toole.
But Latics were soon back level when Johnson headed into the box and Joseph was able to divert the ball into the net from close range.
The Brewers responded quickly and Brayford restored their lead with a close range volley at the back post from Powell’s deep cross.
Three minutes later and Latics were once again level as Joseph superbly rifled home from the centre of the box following Crankshaw’s cross.
2-2 at the interval but with both teams defences looking vulnerable more goals were to be expected.
Latics were unable to clear their lines on several occasions and the Breweres restored their lead on 72 minutes when Hemmings deflected shot found the bottom corner of the net.
But almost immediately Latics went up the other end and restored parity when 19-year-old Joseph completed his hat-trick with a left footed flick from the centre of the box following a good cross from Pearce.
The Brewers might have restored the advantage soon afterwards when Brayford’s strike from the edge of the box was deflected narrowly wide.
Latics were living dangerously as Powell wasted two opportunities for the Brewers. First he headed wide from a good position at the back post and then he blazed over from the edge of the box.
The misses were to prove crucial as Latics went in front for the first time on 83 minutes. Chris Merrie produced an inviting cross to the back post and Keane headed home from close range.
There was still time for Michael Bostwick to fire straight at Jones from the edge of the box but Latics rode out the final minutes and secured a memorable victory in the battle of the basement.