Pools lost out 3-1 at Mansfield Town in a game in which Ronnie Moore’s side struggled to cope with the hosts.
Mansfield used their width to good effect all afternoon and Pools could just not stop the crosses from coming into the box time and again.
Pools started well and set the early tempo of the game, focusing the attack around the pace of Rakish Bingham.
The striker, who was making his first return to his former club in today’s game, went close to scoring a great goal on eleven minutes.
It was great play from Pools in the build-up, with the cross coming in from Jake Carroll on the left and Bingham met the cross with a lovely volley at goal. But as good as the volley was, Brian Jensen’s save edged it as he showed quick reactions to tip the effort onto the bar.
Pools were back on the attack just after as Kudus Oyenuga broke with menace down the left wing but with Bingham in space in the middle, the winger went for goal and saw his effort blocked.
The hosts started to test the Pools back line more as the half went on and by 20 minutes, Trevor Carson had been called upon to collect a couple of teasing crosses from each wing.
It was the left that the hosts were using most as Nathan Thomas found himself in the space to deliver a series of dangerous crosses into the box.
Thomas flashed a ball across goal which just missed Matt Green arriving at the far post, while Carson was forced out to punch clear a ball forward under pressure from Green.
It was another cross into the box that finally undid Pools at the back on 24 minutes; this time there was a scramble and Green was able to force the ball over the line from close range to give Mansfield the lead.
At the other end, Kal Naismith sent a freekick into the box which had Matthew Bates throwing himself full-stretch to meet – unfortunately it was Bates and not the ball that ended up in the net.
Pools were still facing too many crosses into the box and Carson had to react quickly to get down and block a Thomas strike through the area.
On 38 minutes though, Pools were level; a Jake Gray freekick sailed into the box only to be met by Blair Adams who rose to head clear. Admas’ header though went only as far as fellow Stags defender Krystian Pearce and it rebounded back towards goal and past Brian Jensen to make it 1-1.
Within eight minutes of the second half, Pools allowed Thomas too much space down the left once more; this time the midfielder forced his way in to fire a powerful drive across goal which just scraped wide of the far post.
Mansfield Town restored their lead on 57 minutes through sub Adi Yussuf. The midfielder had been on the pitch for less than two minutes when he picked up possession outside of the area and smashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner of Carson’s net.
It was a great strike that lifted the home fans inside the One Call Stadium for the first time on this cold afternoon.
The impressive Adam Jackson came to the rescue for Pools as he first put in a block after Yussuf had broken past Harrison and then put his head in the way of a thunderous strike from Adam Chapman with the follow-up shot.
Jake Carroll put a perfectly-timed challenge in to steal the ball from the path of Mitchell Rose who had pushed into the box for the right with the goal in his sights.
Pools spent more of the second half defending and offered little in the opposing goalmouth to threaten an equaliser for the first 30 minutes.
And the result was sealed on 80 minutes when more good work from Yussef inside the box, which saw him allowed the space to turn and pass forward, was finished by Green who poked it past Carson for his second and Mansfield’s third of the game.
Shortly after the goal, Kal Naismith hit the crossbar with a decent freekick in from the right but there was no comeback for Pools and the game finished in defeat for Moore's side.
Full Time: Mansfield Town 3 Pools 1
Att: 3031 (358 Pools)
Booked: Harrison (66)
Mansfield Town: Jensen, Rose, Pearce, Chapman, Clements, Green, Westcarr (Yussuf 54), N Thomas (Blair 72), Tafazolli, Lambe (Collins 64), Adams.
Subs Not Used: Shearer, J Thomas, McGuire, Fitzpatrick.
Pools: Carson, Harrison, Jackson, Bates, Carroll, Oyenuga (Oates 56), Gray, Magnay, Naismith, Bingham, Mandron (Fenwick 69).
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Jones, Walker, Featherstone, Smith.