Wigan's promotion bandwagon rolled on as Paul Jewell's side secured a seventh successive league victory without conceding a goal in a 1-0 win at Port Vale.
A second-half header by Jason De Vos proved decisive as Vale suffered their second defeat since being forced into administration last week.
Wigan's Gary Teale drove narrowly wide in the 14th minute of a first half largely dominated by strong defences.
The only clear chance fell to Athletic midfielder Tony Dinning, whose 37th-minute shot was well saved by Mark Goodlad.
Vale came out fighting at the start of the second half as Steve Brooker forced a save from John Filan and Sean McClare's close-range effort was blocked.
Wigan substitute Lee McCulloch was then inches off target from long range as the game opened up.
And it was Vale's defence which was finally breached after a mistake by Goodlad in the 69th minute.
He failed to hold a routine effort from substitute Andy Liddell and De Vos powered in a header from Teale's resulting corner.