Colin Cooper’s side secured their passage into the Second Round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Bradford City.
A first-half Luke James strike set the ball rolling, with Jonathan Franks, Christian Burgess, Jack Compton and Nialle Rodney following after the break.
Pools were first to try their luck on goal on 11 minutes and the chance came largely against the run of play as it was Bradford City who looked strongest so far.
Jonathan Franks tried a shot on goal from outside of the area and, while his effort beat the keeper, it went just wide of the post.
For the next ten minutes it was Bradford who dominated; Jason Kennedy had their first real chance when he broke through into the box to send a weak strike on goal but he sent the ball just wide of target.
Rory McArdle went very close with a header on goal from a right-wing corner before Scott Flinders pulled off a good save to deny Garry Thompson with a flicked effort.
For all of the visitors’ pressure though, they failed to break through and it was Pools who took the lead in the game.
Neil Austin was instrumental in the build-up to the goal, forcing his way forward with the ball. He then played it forward to an influential Andy Monkhouse who sent it out wide to Franks on the right.
The winger sent a lovely cross which was headed back in by Jack Compton at the far post and it was Luke James who got on the end of it to head home Pools’ first goal at The Vic so far this season.
Minutes later and Pools could have been two-up as an Andy Monkhouse glancing header pulled a great save out of Bradford keeper Connor Ripley.
After struggling to get hold of the ball before the goal, Cooper’s men completely dominated after it, pressing the visitors at every opportunity.
And it was the unlikely figure of Christian Burgess who went closest before the break, seeing his close-range effort somehow cleared off the line.
Pools took a deserved 1-0 lead into the break and went into the second half looking to add to their tally and pick up their first win of 2013/14.
It took Cooper’s men just 2 minutes of the second half to double their lead; Andy Monkhouse picked out Franks down the right with a perfectly-timed cross. While the winger looked set to have missed his chance after hitting the defender with his first effort, he more than made amends with his second as he smashed home from the edge of the box to make it 2-0.
Less than ten minutes later and a confident Pools were three-up; a Jack Compton freekick picked out Christian Burgess inside the area and the big defender made no mistake as he rose to head it home.
Just two minutes later with 58 minutes on the clock Pools were 4-0 up; Luke James, who was very lively this evening, was fouled inside the area and the referee was quick to point to the spot.
Jack Compton stepped up to take it and sent a great kick into the top corner to make it 4-0 to Cooper’s side.
After the fourth, Pools took their foot slightly off the pedal in terms of attack but maintained their composure at the other end to try and prevent the visitors from breaking their deadlock, which they did with relative ease.
Sub Nialle Rodney stepped up in the closing minutes to round things up in some style; a Franks ball into the box was sent into the back of the net by an impressively executed overhead kick; a great way to open his Pools’ account while making it an impressive 5-0.
Pools will find out who they face in Round Two of the competition when the draw is made on Saturday 7th September.
Full Time: Pools 5 Bradford City 0
Att: 1740 (320 Bradford City)
Booked: Burgess (21), Austin (60), Baldwin (71)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Franks, Walker (Walton 67), Dolan, Compton (Poole 75), James (Rodney 67), Monkhouse
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Collins
Bradford City: Ripley, Darby, Meredith (McHugh 46), Ravenhill, Kennedy, Thompson (Reid 74), Yeates, Taylor, De Vita, McArdle (Connell 46), Doyle
Subs Not Used: McLaughlin, Wells