WIGAN Athletic’s two-year stay in the Championship fittingly ended on a downer as they were stung 3-0 by the busy Bees of Brentford.
Latics had started the game well, but once again failed to make the most of the chances that came their way.
And from the moment the home side went in front through Alex Pritchard on the half-hour mark, there was only going to be one winner.
The lively Jota made it 2-0 seconds into the second period, and Latics were put out of their misery 10 minutes from time when Andre Gray added his side’s third goal.
Only a last-minute penalty save from Lee Nicholls - making his first appearance in nearly 18 months - to deny James Tarkowski saved Latics further punishment.
Brentford’s win - coupled with defeats for Ipswich and Derby - allowed the Bees to sneak into the play-offs in the nick of time.
And the scenes of jubilation at the end rubbed even more salt into the wounds of a Wigan side who had been tipped to win promotion this term only to shockingly, but deservedly, suffer the ignominy of relegation.
Boss Gary Caldwell pulled no punches in his post-match assessment.
“It was a frustrating afternoon for us - especially in the second half,” he said.
“It wasn’t good enough in every department, and we’ve got a long summer ahead of us to do something about it.
“I told the players it would be a big afternoon and Brentford would come at us, but in the second half we just didn’t deal with that.
“As a team, both on and off the ball, we didn’t do enough.
“I think everyone needs to learn you need character to win football matches.
“When the questions were asked of us in the second half we didn’t stand up to the challenge.
“That’s something we have to address.”