Pools fell to their third successive pre-season defeat as Championship side Middlesbrough ran out winners at Victoria Park thanks to two second half goals.
From then on in, Pools struggled to really get hold of the ball and spent much of the first half chasing the visitors.
A Grant Leadbitter free-kick from the left caused a fumble on the line but Scott Flinders did enough to see it wide before Luke Williams saw his effort through the area held by the Pools’ keeper.
Jack Compton had Pools’ first chance of the game just before the 20th minute mark when he latched onto a ball from Marlon Harewood to cut inside and shoot. His effort sailed over former Pools keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos and into the stand behind.
Andy Halliday had a chance at the other end when he shot from the edge of the area but again Flinders held the shot, while Kike saw a decent effort from distance scrape just wide of the post.
Compton had another half-chance just before the break but his shot deflected into the arms of Konstantopoulos and the first half finished goalless.
Middlesbrough took just a few minutes of the second half to open the scoring when half time substitute Adam Reach met a ball in from the right to loop a header into the top corner of Flinders’ net.
A half-time power cut meant the second half was played in failing light but it was the visitors who continued to dominate as Pools found few routes forward.
Sub Bradley Fewster came off the bench to make it 2-0 within minutes of his introduction; James Husband sent a lovely cross into the box and Fewster met the ball to head past a helpless Flinders.
With darkness descending, Fewster saw another header go over the bar as the visitors continued to press but there were no more goals this evening and the game finished 2-0.
Full Time: Pools 0 Middlesbrough 2
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Austin, Bates, Holden, Parnaby (Rowbotham 73) , Greening, Walker, Compton (Franks), James, Harewood
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Collins, Smith, Rowbotham, Jones, Richards
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Bennett, Husband, Burgess, Hines, Whitehead (Morris 74), Leadbitter, Adomah, Kike (Fewster 68), Williams, Halliday (Atkinson 71)
Subs Not Used: Gibson, Morris, Tomlin, Osorio