Pools lost out 3-1 at Exeter City this afternoon in a disappointing game at St James Park.
Chris Turner's men took the lead in the first half when Denis Behan was gifted the opener but Pools were pegged back before the break and the hosts took advantage in the second half to take all three points.
It was a scrappy opening here at St James Park, with the strong winds playing a big part in proceedings.
There was a early chance for the hosts to take an early lead when a ball across field to the right side of the box was headed back across with a Matt Taylor looping header but just as Stuart Fleetwood looked set to volley home, he missed his kick and Neil Austin was able to clear.
At the other end, Denis Behan hit a speculative effort from outside the area but he saw the ball go high of target.
Craig Noone on the left wing for Exeter was their biggest threat and the pacy wide man enjoyed success down the flank, hitting numerous testing balls into the box.
Pools were tested by a great ball into the area from Richard Duffy which picked out Noone at the far post - fortunately Steve Haslam did enough to clear the danger.
Adam Boyd had a half chance for Pools when he got on the end of a long Sam Collins throw to turn and fire on goal but his touch was not clean and Oscar Jansson was able to collect.
James Brown ran in from the right wing to hit a low ball into the area which was picked up by the in-running Behan. The Irish striker poked an effort at goal but he was denied by Jansson.
With 24minutes on the clock, Pools capitalised on an horrendous mix-up at the back for Exeter to take the lead.
A ball over the top from Antony Sweeney caused problems for the hosts and, with Matt Taylor running to head back at his keeper, Jansson ran well outside of his area to clear, resulting in the pair colliding and the ball running free.
Denis Behan was on hand to pick up the loose ball, where he trotted to the goal line before smashing it home into the back of the empty net.
With the home defence looking shaky after the mix-up, Pools needed to use this period well and capitalise for a second.
But, while Adam Boyd tried his luck with a cheeky overhead kick which went wide, there was little to really test Jansson and Exeter went on to equalise.
The lively Noone put a good ball into the box which was touched on by Fleetwood for Eastwood and the striker fired a great shot on goal which was touched on to the post by Flinders. Unfortunately though, it was Ryan Harley who popped up first and crashed the rebound into the bottom left corner of the net.
There were chances for both sides to grab the lead going into the break; Stewart heading wide for Exeter and Monkhouse seeing his headed effort saved by Jansson but there were no further goals and the teams went in all square at half time.
The second half continued in much the same fashion as the wind continued to swirl and both teams enjoyed chances on goal with neither dominating.
Chris Turner made two changes at half time with Andy Monkhouse and James Brown replaced by Jon-Andre Fredriksen and Colin Larkin respectively.
And Fredriksen had an early chance to hit home when he picked up a long throw from Neil Austin but his effort found the arms of Jansson from close range.
Exeter took advantage straight from this effort to make it 2-1; a long ball forward found Fleetwood in a lot of space and despite the striker looking offside, the officials allowed play to continue.
Fleetwood picked up the ball to twist and turn his way into space before firing a fierce effort into the top right corner of the net.
Pools continued to work hard in search of an equaliser; Denis Behan hit a freekick from twenty yards which took a deflection on its way through and was blocked well by Jansson.
Adam Boyd did well to keep the ball in place and lift it back across the face of goal for Colin Larkin but his effort from close range was blocked by the keeper.
The resulting corner from Ritchie Humphreys found Boyd twelve yards out on goal - the striker fired a powerful header at goal but he saw the ball crash against the crossbar and bounce back into play.
There was another chance for Pools from a corner kick - this time Antony Sweeney lifted a dangerous ball into the box, which Liddle rose well to head goalwards, but his effort scraped wide of the far post.
Colin Larkin had the best chance to equalise when he ran through on goal with only the keeper to beat and with Jansson looking to have sat on his line too long, a goal looked on the cards but the young stopper made the move forward just at the right time and blocked Larkin's effort with an outstretched foot.
And so Pools looked to be running out of time to get anything from this game and when James Dunne smashed home in impressive style with a 25-yard volley late in the game, it really was game over for Turner's men.
A great reaction save from Scott Flinders in extra time to turn a Duffy effort onto the bar saved Pools from going 4-1 down.
There were chances for Pools to get back into the game but on the day it was Exeter who made the most of their chances and Turner's men were punished.
Pools now face the long trip home to the North East after a disappointing afternoon but will have to pick themselves up in time for Tuesday night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash with Grimsby Town at The Vic.
Att: 4706 (125 Pools)
Pools: Flinders, Haslam, Liddle, Collins, Austin, Brown (Larkin 46), Sweeney, Humphreys, Monkhouse (Fredriksen 46), Behan, Boyd (Bjornsson 74)
Subs Not Used: Cook, McSweeney, Rowell
Exeter City: Oscar, Duffy, Russell, Seaborne, Taylor, Harley, Edwards (Archibald Henville 82), Stewart, Dunne, Fleetwood (Corr 82), Noone (Stansfield 82)
Subs Not Used: Marriott, Tully, Cozic, Logan