Yakou Meite’s last-gasp header saw Reading snatch a dramatic 3-2 Sky Bet Championship win over fellow strugglers Wigan.
Athletic went in front midway through the first half thanks to Nick Powell but Reading equalised from a John Swift free-kick just before the break.
The Royals then improved slightly in the second period but Wigan restored their advantage in the 64th minute from a Joe Garner strike.
However, Mo Barrow made it 2-2 in the 89th minute with a low 25-yard drive before Meite nodded in the winner deep into stoppage time.
Reading had shown decent recent form coming into this match, with only one defeat in their previous seven fixtures.
After a quiet opening, the hosts were the first to threaten when Meite cut in from the right flank.
He had a clear sight of goal but, though his effort was well struck, it flew narrowly over the crossbar.
Wigan ventured forward only rarely and most of their tentative approach work broke down long before the home area.
Visiting skipper Sam Morsy did manage to find space after the Reading defence backed off but his goal-bound shot was deflected away from danger.
However, Wigan became more positive as the half wore on, with Powell just missing a searching cross from Antonee Robinson to the far post.
It was a sign of what was to come, with Wigan going ahead in the 20th minute.
Ovie Ejaria clumsily lost possession in midfield, which allowed Michael Jacobs a free run into the Reading box. His cross was perfect for Powell, who touched home his fifth goal of the season from close range.
Reading were slow to respond but almost equalised before the break after good work on the left by Tyler Blackett. His cutback pass fell nicely for Garath McCleary but the winger drove straight at visiting goalkeeper Jamie Jones.
The Royals did draw level in the third minute of first-half stoppage time, though, after Reece James had fouled Danny Loader on the edge of the Wigan area. Swift stepped up and curled an excellent free-kick past the defensive wall and the helpless Jones.
Matters became heated in the touchline technical areas after the interval, with words exchanged between rival staff.
It led to Jorge Mendonca – Reading’s first-team assistant coach – being shown a yellow card by referee Andy Davies.
Tempers also began to fray on the pitch but Wigan kept their heads to regain the lead in the 64th minute. Powell provided the assist, after a goalmouth scramble, for Garner to volley home at the far post.
However, there was late drama to come as Barrow levelled from a superb late strike and Meite then headed in from a corner to secure an unlikely home win.
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