Sears double eases Ipswich fears as Wigan slide towards drop
Freddie Sears struck twice to ease the pressure on Mick McCarthy as Ipswich enjoyed a 3-0 win over hapless relegation-threatened Wigan.
Sears' double came after David McGoldrick ended a four-month barren run and lifted some of the gloom around Ipswich to all but end any fears they might get sucked into the bottom three.
As for Wigan, who gifted Ipswich all three goals, it was another night to forget as they continue to slide towards League One.
After a tense opening 15 minutes, the first chance of any note came when Myles Kenlock cut in from the left but fired wide from 20 yards out.
And it was the young full-back who was integral to Ipswich taking the lead midway through the first half.
Kenlock was alert to dispossess dithering Wigan defender Craig Morgan and after powering down the left wing, his low cross was perfectly weighted for McGoldrick to slide the ball home.
Ipswich doubled their lead in almost identical fashion on the half-hour mark as Wigan once again were masters of their own downfall.
This time it was Jake Buxton who lost possession and after McGoldrick released Sears, the striker made no mistake, drilling the ball beyond Matt Gilks.
Wigan offered little in the final third, though Max Power finally tested Bartosz Bialkowski with a speculative 35-yard shot before the Town keeper was equally adept at dealing with Jamie Hanson's long-range effort in first-half injury time.
Morgan looked to atone for his earlier mistake but headed straight at Bialkowski soon after the restart before Ipswich almost claimed a third when the impressive Kenlock's near-post shot was pushed aside by Gilks.
The Wigan keeper was being kept busy, producing a brilliant diving save to prevent Emyr Huws scoring a fine solo effort.
Bialkowski was equally impressive at the other end, showing fantastic reflexes to tip Ryan Colclough's powerful shot over.
Ipswich knew a third would kill the game off but Gilks produced two quickfire saves to deny Sears and then Grant Ward and then a third - arguably his best of the night - to tip away Tommy Smith's downward header.
In what was becoming a showcase for the two keepers, a brilliant double save by Bialkowski denied Callum Connolly and then Morgan, but the points were made safe just moments later.
McGoldrick took advantage of some more horrendous defending to tee up Sears, who smashed home the rebound after he was initially denied by the luckless Gilks.