GOALS from Jason Pearce and Michael Jacobs gave Wigan Athletic a 2-0 victory at Rochdale in the early kick-off - and sent them temporarily to within two points of the summit of League One.
Boss Gary Caldwell had called on his men to crank up the pressure on their fellow promotion chasers by taking advantage of their lunchtime kick-off to ‘put down a marker’.
And his players didn’t disappoint with a solid performance on the road to extend their unbeaten league run to 10 matches.
Pearce nodded home the opening goal on 16 minutes after Jacobs floated in a delightful free-kick from the left wing.
And it was game over on the hour mark when Yanic Wildschut raced down the left before pulling the ball back to Jacobs, who crashed home his shot off the bar.
Latics successfully kept their opponents at arm’s length for the remainder, and indeed could have gone further ahead in the dying seconds.
Wildschut and Tim Chow set up David Perkins, whose rasping drive from 25 yards was superbly tipped round the post by Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis.