Wigan Athletic 3 Bury 0
A brace from Will Grigg and a maiden goal for Ryan Colclough saw Wigan Athletic thoroughly shake up Bury to move to within two points of the League One summit.
All the goals arrived inside the opening quarter, with the visitors chasing shadows for the majority as Latics looked a class above.
Grigg put the home side one up on six minutes when he nodded home Yanic Wildschut’s cross past Ian Lawlor.
Two minutes later it was 2-0, with Colclough cutting in from the right before drilling low into the far corner.
And it was effectively game over by the 20-minute mark when Grigg added his second from the penalty spot.
The Northern Ireland striker was tripped inside the area by a diving Lawlor, and he exacted the perfect revenge from 12 yards.
Any Bury attempts at a response were thwarted by Jussi Jaaskelainen, who made a breathtaking double save to deny Tom Pope and Danny Mayor just before half-time, before tipping over a bullet header from Ryan Lowe shortly after the restart.
Wigan were soon back on top, and would have won by more had Grigg and Max Power not left the Bury crossbar rocking with powerful shots that had Lawlor well beaten.
Latics are now unbeaten in 12 matches, and have lost only two of their last 26 league matches.
If results go their way, they could even top the third tier - for the first time in nearly 13 years - after Tuesday night’s trip to Millwall.
Right from the off, Bury were second best as they attempted to repeat their League Cup victory on this ground some six months ago.
Much has happened in the meantime, of course, not least the arrival at the DW of wing wizard Wildschut.
And the flying Dutchman laid the first goal on a plate for Grigg with a lovely run and cross from the left.
Two minutes later, the lead had doubled after Colclough cut in from the opposite flank, and guided a lovely shot past Lawlor to open his account for the club.
It was one-way traffic at this point, with Wildschut cleverly releasing Chris McCann, who narrowly failed to find Grigg at the far post.
Bury threatened for the first time on 11 minutes with a neat counter-attack being led by Ryan Lowe, whose curling effort drifted past the far post with Jaaskelainen a concerned onlooker.
But that was a temporary blip as Latics continued to pile on the pressure, McCann getting forward at every opportunity from left-back and almost finding Power with his next probing delivery.
Goal number three duly arrived on the 20-minute mark when Grigg tempted Lawlor into tripping him in the box, and picked himself up to score his 16th goal of the season.
It should have been four on the half-hour mark when Power’s free-kick found McCann unmarked, six yards from goal.
However, with virtually the whole goal to aim at, the midfielder-turned-defender guided his shot into the grateful arms of the Bury goalkeeper who should have been picking it out of his net.
Another Power set-piece almost brought up Grigg’s hat-trick, only for the striker to fail to get a decisive touch on the ball from close range.
Superb skills by McCann, who nutmegged his opponent, saw him advance on goal, and a rasping left-foot shot was only just past the far post.
After almost one-way traffic, Latics were given a warning at the other end when, from a Craig Jones cross, first Pope and then Mayor thought they’d scored - only for Jaaskelainen to pull off a fabulous double save at point-blank range.
The home side ended the half in the ascendancy, however, with Lawlor required to tip over a Power free-kick and Grigg seeing a goalbound shot blocked by team-mate Wildschut.
Jaaskelainen was called into action again at the start of the second period, to somehow claw out a header from Lowe that looked destined for the back of the net.
Grigg saw another shot blocked by a desperate defender, and he must have known the hat-trick Gods were not with him when he unleashed a cracking shot from the edge of the box that beat Lawlor, only to hit the under side of the bar, bounce down on the goalline, and then away to safety.
That was Grigg’s last involvement, as he was replaced along with Wildschut by Craig Davies and Conor McAleny.
It was then Power’s turn to hit the woodwork, after Colclough laid on the chance with great work down the right.
That was the signal for Colclough to be replaced by Haris Vuckic, and the changes helped Bury more than Wigan as the game got increasingly scrappy.
Power came close again to scoring the goal his performance warranted, only to be denied by the legs of the over-worked Bury goalkeeper.
The ex-Tranmere man found himself on the receiving end of an untidy challenge from Jones in stoppage-time that led to all 22 players getting involved in a mass bout of pushing and shoving, which saw the aggressor cautioned along with Mayor, Andrew Tutte and Wigan’s Davies.