Ten-man Swindon Town earned a vital three points as a fox in the box finish by Brett Pitman was enough to overcome Wigan Athletic 1-0 at the County Ground.
Pitman was quickest to capitalise on a parry by Latics’ goalkeeper Jamie Jones, finishing from close range after Tyler Smith’s header forced a save from the Wigan Captain.
However, Town’s dominance was brought to an abrupt halt, after Captain Dion Conroy was given a straight red card for a professional foul on Will Keane who may have been through on goal.
Despite the set-back and one man disadvantage the Town held firm and secured an important three points and first League clean sheet at home since November.
The opening fifteen minutes saw very few chances, with both sides having to adjust to the elements and get into the contest.
However, with the first meaningful and convincing attack of the game, Swindon struck first blood in this vitally important affair.
Matty Palmer combined well with Jack Payne on the right hand side, before curling a venomous cross onto Tyler Smith’s head, who forced a strong save for Jamie Jones to parry into Brett Pitman’s path, and the experienced striker pounced on the loose ball and put the Reds in the driving seat.
Hallam Hope nearly doubled the lead on 31 minutes, finding space in his favourite insight left position, cutting in and stinging the palms of Jones.
Pitman enjoyed an aerial battle with the Wigan defence and appeared to have already formed a strong partnership with Smith.
The former Portsmouth striker was also inches away from putting the Town two goals ahead, after another fine cross from Jack Payne, concluded with Pitman beating the defence to the ball and flicking it only just past the back post.
Town, fielding an attacking 4-4-2 formation, tormented the visitors from both flanks, but it was the combination of Hope and Dominic Thompson which really harangued the away side.
Thompson smoothly nutmegged one defender, exchanged a slick one-two with Hallam Hope and found Jordan Lyden on the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder’s effort was cleared of the line by Tom Pearce.
Wigan had to absorb their fair share of pressure but were also desperately unlucky to not equalise.
A wonderful cross from Pearce to the back post seemed certain to be put away by Callum Lang, but Thompson appeared out of nowhere and bravely put body on the line to force the ball away from goal for a corner.
The second-half began in the same fashion as the first, with clear chances hard to come by for both teams.
However, on 65 minutes the complexion of the match changed drastically with Town captain Dion Conroy sent off for a late, last man challenge on Will Keane.
Wigan made use of the extra man advantage and began to really threaten the Town defence.
A stray pass into the penalty area by Tendayi Darikwa strayed into the path Thelo Aasgaard, but his goal-bound effort was sensationally cleared by a brave Akin Odimayo.
All avenues were tried and tested by the visitors who ran into red wall after red wall, and despite five minutes of added time, the Reds proved to be inpenatrable and earned a well deserved three points.