|Morison 2, Easter 83||Venue: The Den
JERMAINE Easter struck his third goal of the season as Millwall claimed a vital win over Wigan Athletic at The Den.
The Lions went in front after just one minute and 32 seconds when Steve Morison scored for the second time this week following Martyn Waghorn's corner.
The home side repelled wave after wave of Latics attacks before substitute Easter doubled the lead on the counter attack with a cool finish.
James McArthur drilled past David Forde almost straight from the restart to set up a nervy finale, but the visitors were unable to find a leveller in four additional minutes.
Millwall's starting line up showed just one change from the midweek draw with Nottingham Forest as Liam Feeney came in for Lee Martin on the right wing.
Feeney was straight into the thick of the action and was appealing for a penalty inside the first minute when he appeared to be dragged back in the area.
But the Lions went in front moments later when Waghorn's corner caused havoc in the area and Morison eventually squeezed a shot inside the post and into the roof of the net.
David Forde, out to impress watching Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, made his first save of the afternoon when he beat away James McClean's 20-yard drive.
His second stop, to tip over Emmerson Boyce's close-range effort in the tenth minute, was certainly befitting an international goalkeeper.
Alan Dunne teed up Feeney for a right-wing cross at the other end but Martyn Woolford's looping header did not trouble Scott Carson.
Forde then made a comfortable save to again deny McClean when the winger opted to shoot from an acute angle with teammates better placed in the area, before Carson sprinted off his line to deny Woolford.
But Carson was rooted to the spot as Woolford, having slalomed past three defenders, bore down on goal in the 34th minute, but the visiting keeper was saved by the inside of his post as a golden chance went begging for Steve Lomas' side.
Manchester United loanee Nick Powell had his head in his hands shortly before the break after he failed to connect with Boyce's teasing cross from the right wing.
In the 54th minute, Morison worked a yard of space for himself on the edge of the area but slipped as he went to shoot and the ball drifted harmlessly wide of the post.
Carson fumbled a Waghorn free kick before Ben Watson blazed over and Grant Holt headed wide from McClean's cross as Wigan began to turn the screw.
Morison's opportunistic half-volley nearly caught out Carson in the 67th minute but, with the keeper at full stretch, the striker's effort zipped past the far post.
Waghorn fluffed his lines in the area following good work by Liam Trotter and Morison before Leon Barnett nearly scored an own goal when he headed Alan Dunne's cross past Carson, who scrambled back to clear.
But Easter made it 2-0 when he latched onto Trotter's sublime pass and slid the ball under Carson.
McArthur's arrowed drive into the far corner cut the Lions' lead in half and it took a stunning save from Forde to keep out Barnett's goal-bound header at the death.