Wigan 3 Cardiff 0
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
In a first half that flirted with the idea of entertainment but never really delivered, chances were at a premium as endeavour triumphed over artistry.
Both sides have ambitions of the Premiership and it was Wigan who looked the brighter, in a half of neat moves that lacked the final delivery and a midfield full of toil but little precision.
Cardiff set their stall out from the first whistle and with a defence that sat so deep it could have been in the stands, Wigan struggled to create opportunities.
It took until the 25th minute for either keeper to be called into action, as the impressive Jason Roberts took two bites to steer past Martyn Margetson - only for the Wigan man to see the goal ruled out for offside.
However, his efforts of pace and invention were awarded in 36th minute, when strike partner Nathan Ellington broke on a right-hand overlap and drilled his low cross into the path of the gleeful forward - who dispatched with consummate ease.
Wigan then spent the remainder of the half attempting to double their advantage, with Jason Jarrett conducting from the midfield and creating further chances for both Roberts and Ellington.
In the second period, Wigan's supremacy was cemented by the excellent of their strikers Roberts and Ellington.
First, Roberts broke with menace and when his effort was spoiled by Margetson, the ball was drilled back with interest from Alan Mahon. The City custodian was back on his feet but could only spill into the path of Ellington, who doubled Wigan's advantage.
Four minutes later, the 58th, and Roberts controlled a through ball adroitly and with composure and class held off the Cardiff challenge, to record his second goal of the evening.
Wigan then proceeded to create and squander a host of chances, in a rampant second-half display which will delight boss Paul Jewell and exasperate Cardiff chief Lennie Lawrence.