Pools suffer a 4-2 defeat against Mansfield Town at Victoria Park on a poor night for Colin Cooper's side.
The players reacted well to going a goal-down after twenty minutes of the game through Marlon Harewood and Luke James went on to put his side ahead just after the break.
However, things went wrong for Pools and quickly as Mansfield Town went on to score three times late in the second half to take the three points from The Vic.
Marlon Harewood had the first shot of the game to give the Pools fans a lift on a cold night at The Vic but his effort from 35 yards sailed through the area but went high over Alan Marriott’s bar.
Luke James broke through after good play between Harewood and Barmby, beating the offside trap to get into a good position but the ball got away from him and the danger passed.
It was the visitors though who went on to enjoy the first real spell of sustained pressure, causing a few problems for Scott Flinders and his back line. Sam Collins put in a typically strong block to deny Mansfield on one occasion, while Jordan Richards arrived with a crucial header to clear the ball on another.
And with 20 minutes on the clock, James Jennings opened the scoring for his side. It was a scruffy goal for Jennings who beat Flinders from close range but it was enough to break the deadlock and was the first goal to be scored past Pools at The Vic since the 3-0 defeat t Rochdale on 22nd January.
It took Pools eight minutes to compose themselves and get back on level terms; it was great work by Jack Barmby on the edge of the box which opened things up for his side.
The on-loan midfielder forced his way across the area to create space and play the ball out to the lively Compton who did his bit to involve Luke James who in turn fed Marlon Harewood and the striker made no mistake from six yards as he fired past Marriott to make it 1-1.
There were two penalty calls with very different outcomes shortly after the equaliser; Oliver Palmer, who was lively for the visitors this evening, put up strong appeals for a penalty after going to ground inside the box but the official ignored his calls.
The referee showed the opposite reaction just moments later at the other end as he instantly pointed to the spot after seeing Michael Duckworth tripped by Ritchie Sutton inside the box. After a discussion between Compton and Harewood, it was the latter who stepped up to take the spotkick but he saw his effort well saved by Marriott.
There was time for one more chance on goal for a brighter Pools as Jordan Richard sent a freekick into the box which also found the Mansfield keeper waiting to collect and the teams went in level at the break.
It took Pools just seven minutes of the second half to take the lead and it was Luke James’ 15th goal of the season that did it. Good work from Compton down the left started the move which was finished when Brad Walker picked out James with a great ball and the young striker sent a lovely finish into the back of the net.
Cooper’s men failed to really take hold of the game following the goal though and it was Mansfield who again went on to enjoy another bright spell.
Pools were forced to do a lot of their work inside their own half in this second period and, while there was little action inside Flinders’ box, the visitors did manage to draw level.
A controversially-awarded freekick out on the right flank was taken by Jennings and the full back saw his ball in from distance catch Flinders off his line and loop over the keeper and into the top corner of the net.
There were then quick chances for sub Lindon Meikle who saw his effort blocked by Flinders and then Palmer whose strike crashed against the bar as Mansfield Town piled the pressure on a shaken Pools side.
James Poole did get a shot away at the other end but was denied by Marriott and that started abrief respite for his side and the forward went on to win a corner kick for his side. Although Sweeney bundled the ball over the net, he was ruled to have fouled Marriott and play continued.
And things were about to get worse for an out-of-sorts Pools side; despite having a player in an offside position, play was
As Pools looked for a late route back into this game, James Poole won another corner for his side but it came to nothing and it was Mansfield Town who found the next gpal.
A slip by Burgess allowed the visitors through and Jamie McGuire sent a ball past Flinders from the edge of the area to make it 4-2 and round off a very disappointing night at The Vic.
Booked: Duckworth (47), Burgess (71), Walker (73)
Attendance: 2976 (128 Mansfield Town)
Full Time: Pools 2 Mansfield Town 4
Pools: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Burgess, Holden (Jones 65), Walker, Duckworth, Compton (Poole 62), Barmby, Harewood (Sweeney 62), James
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Rowbotham, Hawkins, Franks
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Jennings, Howell (Clucas 58), Murray, Dempster (Miekle 58), Riley, Beevers, McGire, Rhead, Sutton, Palmer(Speight 82)
Subs Not Used: Clements, Westlake, Daniel, Stevenson