Wigan gave themselves a great chance of Championship survival even if the club are docked 12 points for going into administration by thrashing Hull 8-0 as West Brom's promotion push was dealt a blow by a 0-0 draw with Fulham on Tuesday.
Kieran Dowell scored a hat-trick as Wigan recorded a new record league win by scoring seven times in the first half to move 12 points clear of the relegation zone, prior to the points penalty being applied.
"We're climbing a mountain but we're not at the top," said Wigan manager Paul Cook.
Wigan fans rallied to raise funds to ensure the 2013 FA Cup winners could just fulfil their fixtures till the end of the season after the club were put into administration in suspicious circumstances earlier this month.
"We're very proud of our supporters and the town, to raise the money and give us the support they have, and I think tonight we've gone a long way towards repaying that.
"Can we go the extra yard to give them that full satisfaction of overturning possibly a 12-point deduction? We have to keep believing we can."
By contrast, Hull remain rooted in the relegation zone having won just once in their last 20 games.
"We all felt embarrassed," said Hull boss Grant McCann. "We're all hurting. We have worked so hard this season, and to get done like we did today is unacceptable from everyone."
At the top of the table, West Brom opened up a four-point lead on in-form Brentford, who have a game in hand at home to Preston on Wednesday.
"There is no point watching it, it will only make me nervous," West Brom boss Slaven Bilic said of Preston's trip to Brentford. "I'm going to be big Preston fan of course."
The stalemate all but ended Fulham's hopes of automatic promotion as they remain five points behind West Brom with two games remaining.
Fulham came closest to a winner when Anthony Knockaert hit the bar 15 minutes from time, but the result did neither side much good with Brentford in stunning form having won all six games since English football's restart last month.
West Brom's stumble also edges top-of-the-table Leeds ever closer to a return to the top-flight after a 16-year absence.
Marcelo Bielsa's men could earn promotion on Thursday when Barnsley visit Elland Road if they better Brentford's result against Preston.