Since Wigan began their Premier League escapade seven years ago, a home victory against Tony Pulis' Stoke has always eluded them. A 2-0 win, thanks to goals from Antolin Alcaraz and Victor Moses, wasn't a bad way to shake that monkey off their back and keep in touch with survival.
There is a simple explanation as to why the Potters had always come away with something from this fixture: it has never been played in the spring months. Roberto Martinez's side are making a healthy habit of coming back from the dead to escape the drop late in the season.
It could be that the trick is being repeated, as Gary Caldwell's stab home at Anfield last week has breathed life into a club who have had a fairly torrid 2012 thus far.
"It was a historic day against Liverpool, but if you don't win at home after that then the points mean nothing," Martinez said. "We've been in this position before, the bottom five are going to pick up a lot of points. We need to just focus on ourselves."
This was Wigan's first home win since August. It is the emergence of Jean Beausejour as a major player in the revival that is the biggest surprise. He was a thorn in Stoke's side, revelling in Martinez's expansive system of playing two wing-backs. He and the man on the right, Emerson Boyce, were guilty of missing chances to open the scoring. The former was let down by a heavy touch at the back post while the latter squandered a glorious chance from three yards.
They were galling misses and it was a case, as it has been all season long, of wondering whether Wigan would capitalise on their dominance. Although Mark Clattenberg allowed Dean Whitehead to get away with a clear handball in his own area, Wigan persevered and the pressure on the away goal soon told. Beausejour, looking a shrewd January acquisition, crossed for Alcaraz to thunder a header past Asmir Begovic. The "In Bobby We Trust" banners on show before kick-off, referring to the manager, looked well justified and the points were safe when, in the dying moments, Moses picked up on a mistake by Andy Wilkinson and stumbled past Begovic to pass into the empty net and wrap up the points.
Martinez was full of praise for his wing-back, though he fluffed his lines twice in front of goal. "The first goal is an outstanding piece of football. It was a great ball from Jean. Everything about that move was outstanding," he said.
Pulis had no complaints and lamented Stoke's lack of attacking potency. "Wigan were the better team and they played better on the day," he said. "I changed it round and had three forwards on because I thought they would have a goal in them, but even that didn't work."
Wigan Athletic (3-4-2-1): Al Habsi; Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour (Sammon 87); Moses, Maloney (Watson 70); Di Santo (Gomez 82).
Stoke City (4-4-2): Begovic; Wilkinson Huth, Shawcross, Wilson; Pennant (Palacios 65), Whitehead, Whelan, Etherington (Jerome 49); Crouch, Walters (Fuller 65).
Referee M Clattenburg.
Man of the match Beausejour (Wigan).
Match rating 8/10.Reuse content