Wakefield missed a golden opportunity to move into Super League's play-off places as they succumbed to a late Willie Peters drop goal after leading for virtually all of the game.
Widnes, desperate to break a six-match losing streak and ease their relegation worries, had battled their way back to level with Daniel Frame's second try. Wakefield then watched in horror as Peters launched his 40-yard match-winner.
"I wouldn't have gone for it myself, but I'm glad he did,'' said Widnes's acting coach, Stuart Spruce. The Wakefield coach, Shane McNally, believed that the difference between the sides was one of attitude. "If we'd had their enthusiasm and desire we'd have won the game,'' he said.
Wakefield got to the ground late because of an accident on the M62 and took time to get into their stride, squandering an abundance of possession before scoring twice in four minutes.
Jamie Rooney, playing his first game since breaking his leg in April, was heavily involved in both tries. First he kicked through for Justin Ryder to win the race with Chris Giles and slide over in the corner. Then he supported a storming run from his prop, Michael Korkidas, to go over, with David March again adding the goal.
Widnes were in danger of being swept aside, but they hit back for the first time when Frame forced his way over. Their defence, however, was patchy and some weak tackling allowed Ben Jeffries to weave through for the try that restored Wakefield's 12-point lead.
Peters was showing plenty of enterprise, though, and he belied his stature by powering his way over the line for his side's second try, with Stephen Myler kicking his second goal to cut the half-time lead to six.
Eleven minutes into the second half Peters, whose break a little earlier could have produced a try if someone had backed him up, launched a high kick, Deon Bird leapt highest to palm it back and Simon Finnigan was there to touch down.
Myler's penalty brought Widnes level, but Trinity seemed to have made the crucial breakthrough when Sid Domic intercepted from Peters and went 90 yards to score. March missed the easy conversion but Rooney's penalty stretched the lead.
Then, after Frame had forced his way over again, Peters made up for his error. Widnes's chances of avoiding the drop now look much better.
Widnes: Jules O'Neill; N Royle, D Bird, A Hughes, C Giles; S Myler, W Peters; A Hobson, S Millard, D Mills, D Frame, A Hay, S Finnigan. Substitutes used: P Atcheson, S McCurrie, T Wozniak, G Middlehurst.
Wakefield: C Halpenny; J Ryder, J Demetriou, S Domic, M Wainwright; J Rooney, B Jeffries; J Field, D March, M Korkidas, D Solomona, M Applegarth, R Spicer. Substitutes used: D Wrench, S Snitch, P Handforth, D MacGillivray.
Referee: R Smith (Castleford).Reuse content