Wigan Athletic 1 Aston Villa 2
If Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner had been at Wigan Athletic, he might have been able to give his side a few Cleveland Brown-style tips on how to pick up the ball and run with it - because the pitch at the JJB Stadium is certainly much more conducive to doing so than kicking it.
And while pub players might be used to playing on the sort of quagmire Villa had to contend with on Saturday, their very own Dog and Duck star, Curtis Davies, showed that resilience and belief count for everything in the end as he scored to set Villa on their way to a 2-1 victory.
Davies, who compared himself to a pub player after his debut in the Carling Cup against Leicester City, finally made his first league start for Villa and immediately did his case for the defence no harm by scoring Villa's opener and contributing a solid performance after Wigan had taken a 28th-minute lead.
The West Bromwich Albion loanee was the only change to the Villa side which had performed so admirably against Chelsea on Boxing Day, replacing Zat Knight who had lost an appeal against a one-match suspension.
And the 21-year-old was soon making an impression with a couple of telling challenges as he battled to keep tabs on Wigan livewire Marcus Bent.
But Villa, struggling to combat the slippy, muddy pitch found it hard to stamp their authority on the game in the opening 20 minutes despite the encouragement of the biggest away support of the season.
More than 5,000 Villa fans had made the trip northwards and did their bit to urge their team on - eager to see them extend an unbeaten away run which has seen Villa only slip up once - to Manchester City - since February.
No doubt a few had also made the journey to bait former Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce, but it was his Wigan side who were to have the best of the early chances after talented Latics' midfielder Ryan Taylor had picked out Bent, who forced Scott Carson into a save in the eighth minute.
Taylor was then lucky to escape a booking from referee Howard Webb after fouling Wilfred Bouma before Villa target man John Carew sparked concern amongst the travelling supporters, limping off the field with a knock to his knee in only the 11th minute.
Martin O'Neill replaced Carew with Luke Moore but had little time to fret over the big man's loss as Antonio Valencia used his pace to by-pass Bouma, only for his final shot in the 13th minute to prove far too tame for Carson.
It was the 23rd minute before Villa finally got something on target. Nigel Reo-Coker, so vital to his team in the centre of the field, did well to pinpoint Agbonlahor and the speedy Villa forward had soon turned his man inside out to cross to Moore, whose shot-on-the-turn was just not enough to beat Chris Kirkland in goal.
Ryan Taylor then had a chance to put Wigan ahead after Bent had headed the ball back down to him, but Carson gathered the effort safely.
But Villa's relief was short-lived as Taylor swung in the resulting corner to pick out Titus Bramble. The towering Wigan defender climbed highest to head home past Carson and give Wigan the lead.
In the 32nd minute, Shaun Maloney won the ball on the right and found Moore and although the Villa striker was sandwiched between two defenders, he did well to get a shot towards goal.
Maloney himself then forced a save from Kirkland with a long-range effort as Villa looking more like acclimatising to the woeful playing surface.
Antoine Sibierski saw an effort glance wide under pressure from the advancing Olof Mellberg before Davies himself saved Villa's bacon with another clearance from Bent.
In the 40th minute, Maloney took a free kick from 30 yards after a foul on Ashley Young by Michael Brown, but, unlike his wonder strike at Sunderland, this time the Scot looked more like a rugby league star, skying his shot like a conversion up into the stands.
As the second half got under way amid a torrent of sleet, Villa came out with the wind to their backs and immediately looked like they were finally getting to grips with the conditions.
Bruce had made sure Agbonlahor was marked out of the game in the first half but now the England Under-21 star started to create a few problems and it wasn't long before Villa's new tempo paid off. Gareth Barry's inswinging corner found Davies outclimbing Bramble in the Wigan box and the Villa debutant made no mistake in flicking it home with his head for a 54th-minute equaliser.
Craig Gardner then entered the fray for Maloney and immediately provided a fresh set of legs, linking up well with Moore.
The latter then did well on 62 minutes to whip the ball across the face of the goal but the advancing Agbonlahor could just not quite connect with it. He made amends, however, in the 70th minute to help Villa to their second, and ultimately, the winning goal.
Bouma crossed to Moore after winning the ball out wide and he in turn set up Young who went on one of his trademark attacks.
The winger did exceptionally well not only to keep the ball in play but fire it back across the goalmouth under pressure from Mario Melchiot and there was Agbonlahor to whip it in to the top right-hand corner of Kirkland's net.
Villa had two more chances before the final whistle to try to grab goals but were denied by a Wigan side eager to shed the tag of the Premier League side who concede the most goals in the last ten minutes.
In the dying seconds, Young limped off to make way for Stiliyan Petrov but his only role was to join the visiting throngs in their delirious post-match celebrations.
Scorers: Bramble (28) 1-0; Davies (54) 1-1; Agbonlahor (71) 1-2.
WIGAN ATHLETIC: (4-4-2) Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Kilbane, Valencia, Landzaat, (Olembe, 79) Brown, R Taylor, Sibierski, (Agahowa, 61) Bent. Subs: Pollitt, Granvqist, Skoko.
ASTON VILLA: (4-4-2) Carson, Mellberg, Laursen, Davies, Bouma, Agbonlahor, Reo-Coker, Barry, Young, Carew (Moore, 10) Maloney (Gardner, 60). Subs: S Taylor, Petrov, Harewood.
Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire).
Bookings: Wigan - Bramble, (foul); Villa - Agbonlahor (foul).