Pools were beaten convincingly by fellow League One strugglers Oldham Athletic this evening.
Two goals in a dominant first half and another after the break gave the Boundary Park outfit all three points and took survival a step further for John Hughes' side.
Pools showed a lot of promise from kick off, pouring forward and the early signs were positive.
Simon Walton sent a good ball forward from midfield which was headed towards goal by Steve Howard, back in the side in place of Charlie Wyke, but his effort went wide.
Nathan Luscombe sent a volley at goal which took a deflection before Peter Hartley saw a header from an Evan Horwood corner cleared off the line.
But that was it for Hughes’ men in the first half as Oldham gradually pushed their way to total dominance - and a deserved 2-0 lead.
Sam Collins intercepted a Lee Croft cross from the right and Scott Flinders got in his first of many saves to deny Jose Baxter who shot through a crowd.
Baxter tried again moments later from outside of the box but his swerving effort was again stopped by the Pools’ keeper.
The first goal arrived on 17 minutes when an excellent cross from the left picked out Robbie Simpson in the area and he was allowed to send a powerful header into the roof of the net.
Walton then mis-kicked to Baxter who fed Croft and he went through with just Flinders to beat but fortunately he reacted well to deny a second.
But with the hosts full of confidence and Pools gradually becoming their own worst enemies, a second was on the horizon.
And just ten minutes after the first, it was 2-0 as Jean-Yves M’Voto found himself with a free header inside the area.
Pools’ composure was disappearing as the half progressed and really struggled for the remainder of the 45.
With passes sent astray and Oldham given too much room, Hughes’ side needed to address their nerves during the break if this game was to end in anything but defeat.
And Pools did look more assured after the break, with the early introduction of Luke James to the action giving them a new outlet and spark in the final third.
James and Howard pressed Bouzanis from every goalkick, while James went on a couple of good early runs to test the Oldham back line.
Good work by Horwood on the left set the ball through to Andy Monkhouse in the left side of the box but his ball went wide of the far post as Pools looked for even a glimpse of hope.
Oldham dealt with what Pools had to offer and remained a threat going forward and Hughes’ side had to remain focussed. Neil Austin got a crucial header out to clear the danger while Flinders remained the busier of the keepers.
The hosts showed their dominance with a third goal on 69, a break down the left saw Jose Baxter pick up possession on the edge of the box where he unleashed a rocket shot which flew past Flinders and into the back of the net.
Sam Collins sent a header from a Horwood freekick wide of the near post in one of Pools’ best chances of the game but, with the clock ticking, there was no way back into this game now for John Hughes’ side.
And so it was another disappointing defeat for Pools, who have failed to score in their last five matches, and one that came against fellow relegation battlers. Now Pools face an even bigger battle if they are to avoid the drop into League Two.
Full Time: Oldham Athletic 3 Pools 0
Att: 3269 (123 Pools)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Walton, Sweeney, Luscombe (James 52), Franks, Poole (Monkhouse 27), Howard
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Holden, Hawkins, Rutherford, Wyke
Oldham Athetic: Bouzanis, Brown, Grounds, Wesolowski, M’Voto, Tarkowski, Croft (Millar 71), Simpson (Obita 79), Barnard (Iwelumo 83), Baxter, Smith
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Iwelumo, Montano, Obita, Byrne, Mellor