Pools fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at The Weston Homes Community Stadium as Colchester United recorded only their second victory in 23 games.
Early chances were missed and defensive errors allowed the hosts to capitalise and take an easy victory.
Neale Cooper's men took an early lead in today's match but despite a strong opening, no more goals followed and the hosts crept into the game to take a 2-1 lead before the break. Colchester added a third after the break on another disappointing outing for Pools.
Once again this afternoon, Pools looked full of confidence and Cooper’s team looked really positive for the opening 30 minutes.
Two early solid blocks from Peter Hartley set the tone as Pools looked in determined mood; solid at the back and lively going forward.
As Pools pressed from the start, an early corned picked out Hartley inside the area and he sent a glancing header at goal, which went just over the bar but signalled Pools early intent.
And with just 5 minutes gone, a great solo effort from on-loan midfielder Craig Lynch gave Cooper’s men a deserved opener.
The youngster cut into the box full of confidence and curled a great goal past Mark Cousins and into the top corner.
Steve Howard, again dominant for Pools, picked up a lovely ball from a battling Lynch to lift a ball from left of the area over Cousins – but despite his effort looking goalbound, it landed on the roof of the home net.
With Pools continuing to dominate, Jonathan Franks unleashed a low effort from the edge of the box just the ball went just wide of target.
Again though, the self destruct button was not far away for Pools and, with a strong period of pressure failing to bring more than the one goal, Colchester began slowly to battle their way into the game.
There were a couple of mild warnings for Pools as Jack Baldwin, who looked composed again at right back, headed clear before putting in a strong challenge to clear the danger.
Pools bit back at the other end as Antony Sweeney had a powerful header cleared off the line by Anthony Wordsworth.
With 37 minutes showing on the clock, Pools were given another warning, this time from Jabo Ibehre who turned to fire a shot on goal, which fortunately went over the bar of Flinders’ goal.
Just a minute later though and Cooper’s men were pegged back and it was another defensive slip – with the ball given away too easily, it was slipped between Collins and Hartley for Gavin Massey who lifted it over Flinders and into the net.
Unfortunately it wasn’t over for Pools there in the first half as there was another to come on 43 minutes.
With a ball played up the left by Colchester – after Massey had been allowed to get away with a handling – Peter Hartley tried to meet the ball to head it back to Flinders. But Hartley barely got a touch on the ball and it sailed past him and into the path of Ibehre who ran through one-on-one with Flinders to send a low effort home to make it 2-1.
And so Pools left the field at half time again having to rue missed chances from a dominant opening to the game and again having fallen behind in disappointing circumstances.
After the break, Scott Flinders was the busiest man on the pitch, saving twice in the opening minutes to deny the hosts from taking a real hold of things.
The big keeper pulled off a great save to deny Ibehre and then another one-handed block at full stretch to keep a Marcus Bean effort out.
Flinders’ saves though did nothing to settle the nerves of his teammates and Colchester piled on the pressure in the opening minutes of the second half – with Pools seeing nothing of the ball inside the final third.
Pools were really having to throw everything back to keep the hosts out but predictably the third goal did arrive for the hosts.
A cross from the left found Jabo Ibehre surrounded by defenders inside the area but the U’s striker was the man who picked up the ball to poke home past Flinders to make it 3-1.
With Colchester now tow ahead, the urgency of their attack went a little and the game steadied a little but it was still the hosts who looked the more likely to add to the scoresheet.
The game was so flat for the much of the remainder of the game – just a low shot from Monkhouse giving Pools brief hope but it went wide of target, while James Poole found himself in a strong position to shoot but instead chose to cut back and pass the ball.
Peter Hartley had a headed effort blocked late in the game as any small chance Pools had of getting back into the game ebbed away and the match finished in another disappointing defeat.
Full Time: Colchester United 3 Pools 1
Att: 3471 (127 Pools)
Booked: Howard (44)
Pools: Flinders, Baldwin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Franks, Murray (Poole 77), Austin, Lynch (Monkhouse 56), Sweeney, Howard
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Richards, Holden, Humphreys, James
Colchester United: Cousins, Rose, Okuonghae, Eastman, Wilson, Bean, Wordsworth, Eastmond, Massey (Sears), Watt (Henderson), Ibehre
Subs Not Used: Pentney, Morrison, Izzet, White, Duguid