It was a game that could have easily slipped away from Latics after they fell behind seven minutes in to a Modibo Maiga goal but a brace from Mauro Boselli, a left footed drive from Ivan Ramis and a late Jordi Gomez penalty sent Roberto Martinez’s men sailing through to the fourth round.
Boselli was like a man possessed up front as he held up nearly every ball played into him and his two goals with be a welcome confidence boost, especially the cute chip over Stephen Henderson to make it 3-1.
Martinez made seven changes from the 2-1 defeat to Fulham at the weekend, with Callum McManaman, Adrian Lopez and Ryo Miyaichi making their first starts of the season.
There was also a place on the bench for Slovakian Under 21 international Filip Orsula who made a cameo appearance for star performer Boselli.
A long trip down for the fans wasn’t greeted with an ideal start when a short pass from Lopez wasn’t controlled by James McArthur on the edge of the area and in came Maiga to steal the ball off him and lash it into the top corner with his left foot from range.
It was a game of two tactics and the direct approach from Sam Allardyce’s West Ham threatened to undo Latics but, the impressive wide play and expansive passing from the away side was on show just six minutes later.
The wide play was what brought about the equaliser when Gary Caldwell played Maynor Figueroa in down the left wing.
The Honduran played an inviting ball in low along the floor and Boselli beat his man in the six-yard box to slide in and poke the ball home.
Latics got on top after that and despite a few speculative efforts from range, the first half was relatively comfortable with the defence standing firm to the balls over the top.
Just as the game looked to be trailing off to half time, Spanish defender Ramis blew West Ham away with his first ever goal for Wigan Athletic.
As Latics pinned the Hammers in at the Bobby Moore end, it was a case of right place at the right time when Ramis picked the ball up 20 yards out after not retreating to his usual defensive position.
The defender saw a gap and went for it with a well-placed and well-struck left footed drive into the bottom corner of the goal.
Surely it couldn’t get any better before half time?
Three minutes later and it did, this time the excellence of Latics flowing tactics paid dividends and so did the goal scoring instinct of Boselli.
It was perfect timing from the Argentinian striker as he beat the offside trap to get on the end of David Jones low through ball beyond the back line.
Then it was a case of ‘keeper against striker and mind against mind, there was only one winner and Boselli cutely lobbed Henderson to nestle the ball into the net for 3-1.
The second half was much of the same as long balls and corners were launched at Latics’ defence but, a combination of Ramis, Caldwell, Lopez and the fists of Ali Al Habsi battered out each attempt from West Ham.
Latics were continually dangerous on the break with the pace of McManaman and Miyaichi and the hard running and tackling of McArthur in midfield.
The Scotsman turned provider for Latics’ fourth goal with exactly that enthusiasm and effort he had shown all game.
McArthur broke from midfield with pace before playing a one-two with Miyaichi on the edge of the area.
As McArthur received the ball in the area his touch took him close to the ‘keeper but with one swift turn away from goal Henderson was sold into going to ground and conceding a penalty.
There was a slight delay on the penalty as substitute Gomez waited on to take it with Gary O’Neil receiving treatment in Latics’ half.
Three minutes later up stepped the Spanish midfielder and in went the fourth as he finished it off into the bottom left corner.
Latics still had some defending to do though with West Ham trying to grab a consolation goal but, once again Caldwell and co. stopped them at every attempt.
Fraser Fyvie and Orsula made late appearances also, on what was a fine evening for Wigan Athletic and one that will satisfy all involved at the club as Latics progress to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup
West Ham: Henderson, Spence, Tomkins, McCartney, Potts, Noble (Taylor 72), O'Neil (Tombides 84), Vaz Te (Fanimo 62), Jarvis, Maiga, Hall
Unused Subs: Spiegel, Collins, Driver, McCallum
Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Stam, Ramis, Lopez, Caldwell, Figueroa, Jones, McArthur (Fyvie 85), Miyaichi, McManaman (Gomez 74) , Boselli (Orsula 90)
Unused Subs: Pollitt, Boyce, Kone, Watson,