Pools extended their winless run in League Two to eight games after a 4-0 loss to Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium this afternoon.
Sam Collins’ side showed promise in the first half but, after a goal for the hosts either side of the half time break, a typically disappointing second 45 followed.
It was a fairly even first half here at the Pirelli Stadium and, while there were few real chances on goal in the early stages, Pools offered more going forward.
Marlon Harewood was a presence up front, holding things up well for his side and causing problems for the home defence.
At the other end, Matthew Bates and Neil Austin were kept busy in an open first half, while Scott Flinders dealt with anything thrown at him.
The dangerous Stuart Beavon had the first chance on goal after 20 minutes when he turned quickly inside the box to shoot on goal but Flinders held it comfortably.
Matty Dolan was fouled on the edge of the area and stepped up to take the freekick himself – after persuading Jack Compton to step aside - and the midfielder lifted a lovely effort over the wall but just wide of the near post on 22 minutes.
Flinders was back in action shortly after as he collected a low drive from Albion's Hartlepool-born star Bryn Morris, before watching a volleyed effort from Robbie Weir go just wide of his post.
A Jordan Richards corner went past the danger area but Dolan collected and played in Darren Holden who burst into the box to shoot on goal. His strike went over the bar but Holden was providing an outlet with some positive running from left-back.
Burton countered from a Pools throw to create another opening on goal with Morris sending a great cross in from the right. Darragh Lenihan met it to head on goal but his effort went wide of the far post.
Pools were looking bright going into the break and, with a few decent crosses into the box from both wings, they were enjoying their strongest spell.
But with 45 minutes approaching on the clock, a defensive mix-up between Bates and Richards allowed the hosts to break though - Alex MacDonald taking full advantage to curl an unstoppable effort in off the far post from left corner of the penalty area.
And things got quickly worse for Pools following the re-start as Burton were allowed to double their lead with just 25 seconds having been played.
A knock-down from Jacob Blyth set up MacDonald who was allowed too much space to bundle through in to the area and he made it look easy as he slotted home to make it 2-0.
All of the promising work of the first half was quickly undone as Pools again put in a performance of contrasting halves, making it too easy for the hosts on too many occasions.
The goals either side of the break saw confidence ebb away for Pools and they were under the cosh for a spell following the second goal. Collins’ side had to deal with a few testing crosses into the box and there were last-gasp clearances from Austin and Holden.
Scott Flinders pulled off a decent save at full-stretch to deny Beavon on the volley but was beaten from the resulting corner; the corner delivered into the near post where Shane Candsell-Sherriff rose above Holden to sneak the ball into the back of the net and make it 3-0 on 65 minutes.
It was 4-0 on 69 minutes as Stuart Beavon sent a low shot across the face of goal which beat Flinders and went in at the far post after yet more slack defending allowed the Albion front man to profit.
Pools failed to create anything to really test Jon McLaughlin in the Burton goal for the remainder of the half and Burton eased to victory with the visitors happy the winning margin didn't grow larger.
Pools remain bottom of League Two, six points adrift from safety and face Oxford United at The Vic on Saturday in their next match.
Booked: Austin (38), Green (88)
Burton Albion: McLaughlin, Edwards, Candsell-Sherriff, Mousinho, Weir (Palmer 82), Beavon (Knowles 72), MacDonald (Harness 77), Blyth, McCrory, Morris, Lenihan.
Subs: Matthews, Taft, Sharps, McGurk.
Pools: Flinders, Richards, Bates, Austin, Holden, Featherstone, Dolan, Walker (Green 68), Franks, Compton (Woods 46), Harewood (Fenwick 63).
Subs: Maxted, Lanzoni, Hawkins, Green, Ironside.