Pools were convincingly dumped out of the FA Cup at the hands of League Two outfit Chesterfield this afternoon.
Three goals in the first half and three in the second gave the hosts an easy 6-1 victory as Pools conceded with little fight.
The first half here at the Proact Stadium proved a disaster for Pools, who really did lose the spark that had promised signs of change at Brentford last weekend.
Pools did look alert in the early minutes, with Ryan Noble unleashing a neat volley on goal from the left of the area which was parried straight by keeper Richard O’Donnell.
Steve Howard went on a powerful run down the right, capitalizing on some real hesitation at the back for Chesterfield, to send a low cross into the box but his ball just arrived too quickly for the arriving Sweeney and the chance passed.
With just 15 minutes on the clock though, Pools were behind; a lovely ball over the top sent Scott Boden running through with only Scott Flinders to beat and the Spireites forward did well to draw the Pools’ stopper off his line and send the ball into the back of the net.
The goal seemed to give the League Two opponents a lift and from then on in, Pools looked increasingly frail in both midfield and defence.
Danny Whitaker was allowed far too much space down the right, given the space to skip into the box and square the ball for Mark Randall who was given the simple task of hitting home to make it 2-0.
Steve Howard was denied a goal back for Pools when he rose well to head at goal but was denied by a strong save from home keeper Richard O’Donnell.
Just before half time, things got so much worse for Pools; a freekick to the left of the area was played back to the edge of the box and then hit past Flinders without a Pools shirt making it anywhere near either move.
And so Pools left the field at half time with an absolute mountain to climb if they were to get anything out of the game and some real hard work to be done if they were to keep the deficit from increasing in the second half.
Unfortunately things got worse shortly after the break; with 52 minutes on the clock, the hosts lifted a freekick into the area and central defender Terrell Forbes was allowed the space to volley home into the bottom right corner of Flinders’ net.
Steve Howard had another headed effort on the hour mark which pulled a second good save out of O’Donnell as Pools looked for at least a consolation this afternoon.
A Simon Walton corner kick in from the left was headed over the line by Antony Sweeney who met it with a powerful header on 77 to give that consolation.
Unfortunately though, Chesterfield hit back immediately to restore their four-goal advantage as sub Jack Lester broke upfield, shaking off any defence to send a decent effort past Flinders to make it 5-1.
Craig Westcarr hit a sixth on the 90th minute to round off a really miserable day for Pools at the Proact Stadium.
Full Time: Chesterfield 6 Pools 1
Booked: Hartley (52), Walton (54)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Baldwin (Collins 55), Hartley, Horwood, Humphreys (Poole 57), Sweeney, Murray (Franks 55), Walton, Noble, Howard
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Holden, Luscombe, Wyke.
Chesterfield: O'Donnell; Talbot, Forbes, Cooper (Westcarr 76), N.Smith; Whitaker, Clay, Togwell, Randall (Broadhead 90), Darikwa; Boden (Lester 70)
Subs Not Used: Mason, Evans, Wafula, Hazel.