Relegation threatened Wigan Athletic recorded an emphatic 5-2 victory against fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers and relieved the pressure on manager Paul Cook.
Latics took an early lead when Joe Garner headed home from Reece James’ free-kick and went further ahead in the 51st minute following a deflected finish from Gavin Massey.
Four minutes later Wanderers keeper Remi Matthews made a major blunder allowing Michael Jacobs to steal the ball off him and set up Nick Powell for an easy tap-in.
The visitors then pulled a goal back through Gary O’Neil on 62 minutes but Latics restored their three goal lead when Michael Jacobs produced a stunning finish from the edge of the box.
Substitute Sammy Ameobi added a second for Wanderers on 80 minutes but Latics soon restored their three goal advantage when Nathan Byrne found substitute Leon Clarke at the back post to head home the fifth and final goal.
Latics move up to 19th in the Championship table and three points above the drop zone. Wanderers remain in 23rd spot and eight points from safety.
After some poor performances in the defeat at Blackburn on Tuesday Cook made three changes to his starting line-up with Christian Walton, Nathan Byrne and Cedric Kipre coming in for Jamie Jones, Lee Evans and Jonas Olsson.
Latics got off to a great start as they went in front after only four minutes. Reece James’ excellent free-kick found Garner in the box and the former Preston striker headed home from close range.
Wanderers were hitting high balls up to their two big strikers but the Latics central defensive partnership of Dunkley and Kipre held firm.
The hosts could have doubled their lead before the break as Powell played in Antonee Robinson and the USA international forced a superb save from Matthews.
Just before the interval O’Neil was denied by the excellent Walton at his near post.
Latics started the second-half brightly and soon doubled their lead when Powell slipped the ball into the path of Massey who drove forward before hitting a shot which deflected off a defender and the post before finding the back of the net.
Just four minutes later it was 3-0 as keeper Matthews was dispossessed by Jacobs and Powell was left to casually knock the ball into an empty net.
O’Neil almost immediately managed to pull a goal back for Wanderers to make it 3-1, but the prospect of a comeback was short lived as Jacobs broke clear and produced an unstoppable finish from the edge of the box.
Christian Walton produced a superb save with his legs to deny former Latics loanee Callum Connolly before Ameobi did reduce the deficit on 80 minutes.
But a minute later Latics got their fifth when Byrne’s deep cross to the back post found substitute Clarke who headed past Matthews.
Byrne might have added a sixth before the end when he crashed a shot from distance against the post, but it had been a very special victory for Latics against their local rivals and Paul Cook can sleep easily tonight.