Ipswich 3 Wigan Athletic 0
Wigan Athletic's wretched run of results continued with a dismal 3-0 defeat at struggling Ipswich that sends them another step closer to an immediate return to League One.
The Tractor Boys had been jeered by their own supporters in recent weeks after going eight games without a win.
But they were head and shoulders above Latics throughout as they cemented their own safety - while sticking another nail into the coffin of their opponents.
Goals from David McGoldrick and Freddie Sears in the space of five minutes midway through the first half put the home side into a commanding advantage they rarely looked like relinquishing.
Credit Latics for a spirited effort in the second period, with Ryan Colclough and substitute Alex Gilbey forcing a string of magnificent saves from Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.
But the visitors were unable to pull back a goal that would have perhaps made the home side sweat a little, and Sears secured the convincing win in the dying moments to send the 176 away fans home utterly deflated.
The travelling contingent from Wigan had made the long trip down to Suffolk with a renewed sense of hope after an enthusiastic showing in a narrow defeat at league leaders Newcastle at the weekend.
But having started the game with a starting line-up that had contributed only six goals all season - Michael Jacobs (3), Shaun MacDonald (1), Jake Buxton (1) and Dan Burn (1) - they were obviously hoping to keep it tight and nick something on the break.
By the half-hour mark, those plans were in tatters with Ipswich having opened up a two-goal advantage.
The opener, on 22 minutes, was far too easy, as the Ireland striker slotted home from 12 yards with no Wigan defender within yards of him.
Before Latics could regain their composure, it was 2-0 as an awful mistake by the usually-reliable Buxton was seized upon by Sears, who slotted past Matt Gilks with consummate ease.
There was then a long delay while referee Andy Davies required treatment before being eventually replaced by fourth official Darren Deadman.
And it was impossible not to take the surname of the new man as something of a metaphor for the way the car-crash campaign is continuing.
Wigan’s attempts at a response before the break were thwarted when efforts by Max Power and Jamie Hanson were easily snaffled by Bialkowski.
Graham Barrow tried his best to instigate a revival at the break by sending on attacking midfielder Gilbey - from just down the road in Colchester - for David Perkins.
Hanson’s pinpoint set-pieces were causing real alarm for the Town defence, and Craig Morgan got his head to one and reeled away in anguish as Bialkowski somehow tipped it over at point-blank range.
Moments later the same combination came even closer to a goal, with Morgan somehow unable to apply any kind of touch when it seemed easier to score from all of a yard.
Town almost made the game safe when Gilks did well to save from Myles Kenlock and then, in unbelievable fashion, Emyr Huws with a fingertip stop to divert to safety a beautiful curling effort.
Back came Latics and Bialkowski broke visiting hearts again when he turned over a snap-shot from Colclough after a quick turn in the box.
It was end-to-end at this point as Wigan’s attempts to get back into the game were allowing more and more gaps at the other end.
Gilks pulled off a fabulous double save to keep out Sears and Grant Ward, before Latics went all in by sending on Callum Connolly and Gabriel Obertan for Stephen Warnock and Shaun MacDonald.
Gilks pulled off another outstanding save to claw out Tommy Smith’s free header from eight yards, but even that was outdone by Bialkowski at the other end.
The big Pole left Gilbey with his head in his hands by getting down to save a daisy-cutter bound for the bottom corner, before doing even better in the dying seconds from a Gilbey rocket that almost defied belief.
In between, sadly, Sears did find the net, at the second attempt after being initially halted by Gilks, to cap another miserable night for Latics - and leave them needing snookers to survive.