Wigan Athletic virtually secured promotion to the Championship with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Southend United.
Latics are now nine points ahead of Walsall who are the only side that can catch them with three games to play.
They have a much superior goal difference of +22 over Walsall and it would now require a miracle for them to be overtaken.
Latics will now look to end the season in style by finishing as League One champions.
They comfortably despatched Southend, and in truth it should have been many more than the 4-1 score line, as they dominated from the kick off.
Chris McCann opened the scoring after only nine minutes and he could have scored two more before Will Grigg added a second on 17 minutes.
Grigg added his second and his 26th goal of the season on 36 minutes before Michael Jacobs completed the rout on 50 minutes.
The Shrimpers managed a consolation goal on 74 minutes when Craig Morgan inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.
Latics made three changes to the team which started at Burton Albion on Tuesday night with David Perkins, Donervon Daniels and Yanic Wildschut replacing Sam Morsy, Reece Wabara and Conor McAleny.
The home team were on the offensive right from the start and almost scored in the first minute, when Stephen Warnock drove forward and unleashed a powerful drive which the Shrimpers keeper Ted Smith was unable to hold and Michael Jacobs headed the rebound over the crossbar.
Yanic Wildschut was proving a constant danger down the left hand side and with a little more composure in front of goal he should have got on the scoresheet.
But Latics were not to be denied and they made the breakthrough on nine minutes through Chris McCann.
Jacobs drove forward and set up McCann just inside the area and the midfielder finished low into the far corner past the Shrimpers keeper.
Latics were in fine form and were looking likely to score with each attack.
McCann hit the post on 14 minutes with a low drive, but Latics added a second on 17 minutes through the prolific Will Grigg.
Wildschut’s effort from the edge of the area came back off the post and the ball fell to Grigg who made no mistake from close range.
Latics were producing wave after wave of attacks and Southend were offering little resistance much to the disgust of their manager Phil Brown.
Wildschut, Grigg, McCann and Jacobs all had chances before they increased their lead on 36 minutes through Grigg.
Michael Jacobs bisected the Southend defence with a superb pass and the striker added his 26th goal of the season with a delicate chip over the advancing keeper.
It should have been more before the interval, as Jacobs went close and the Southend defence continued to chase shadows.
Latics continued their onslaught at the beginning of the second half and it was not long before they added a fourth.
Jacobs released Wildschut down the left and the winger drove forward before setting up Jacobs with a low pass, and the midfielder smashed the ball into the top right hand corner of the Shrimpers net.
It seemed only a matter of time before Latics would add further goals.
Will Grigg was looking for his hat-trick and he nearly managed it on 57 minutes, he was one on one with the Southend keeper but he saw his effort go just wide of the upright.
Four minutes later Grigg had a goal disallowed for offside after a great team move.
The outstanding Warnock drove forward and had his shot parried by Smith, and Grigg was on hand to finish but the linesman unfortunately ruled it out.
Grigg had another great chance on 74 minutes when he met substitute Conor McAleny’s low cross from the right, but he blasted wide of the target.
On another day the division’s leading marksman could easily have had six, but he had to settle for two goals with two games still to play.
As Latics eased off, Southend managed a consolation goal in bizarre circumstances when Craig Morgan inadvertently deflected David Worrall’s cross into his own net.
Latics saw out the rest of the game with little difficulty and with news that Walsall had been beaten 4-0 at Bradford filtering through, promotion to the Championship was virtually confirmed.