Pools were condemned to their heaviest defeat of the season as Dover Athletic ran out 4-0 winners at Crabble Athletic Ground on Saturday.
Craig Harrison’s men were behind inside three minutes and the afternoon rarely threatened to get any better as Dover completed the National League double over Pools.
A miserable first visit to the Kent outfit was summed up by a red card dished out to former Dover man Nicky Deverdics late in the second half for an alleged elbow.
Pools boss Harrison had opted to restore Michael Ledger to the centre of defence alongside Louis Laing but had to once again make do without Jonathan Franks who failed to recover from a hamstring injury in time to travel.
It took just three minutes for the hosts to go in front when Anthony Jeffrey was able to force the ball inside for Mitch Pinnock to run on to on the left of the penalty area where he let fly with an early low drive which sneaked past Scott Loach and in to the net.
Pools attempted to recover from the setback and Rhys Oates almost prodded an equaliser when he got on the end of a low ball in from Jake Cassidy but it went wide of the target.
However, Dover continued to carry a threat and almost doubled their lead when Manny Parry headed a left-wing corner against the base of the post.
They did get their second goal on 25 minutes when Jeffrey shrugged off the attentions of Laing on the left of the area before sending a low ball across to Pinnock who couldn’t miss from close range.
Liam Donnelly tested Dover keeper Mitch Walker with a fierce drive as Pools tried to respond; the midfielder also had another effort from distance which went too high.
Oates got away from his man down the left and drove in to the box with possession but waited too long to get his shot away and that allowed a defender to block it away for a corner.
Pools came out looking more resolute after the break and had plenty of the ball without ever really over-working Walker in the home goal.
The game was effectively over eleven minutes from time when substitute Kadell Daniel found enough space at byline to lift a cross in to the box for former Pools man Ryan Bird to nod his eleventh goal of the season.
Carl Magnay almost pulled one back in spectacular fashion when he sent a powerful left-foot drive towards the top corner but Walker got a fingertip to it to turn it round the post. Donnelly also came close again when he hit the post with a volley.
Pools afternoon got worse on 89 minutes when Deverdics was shown a straight red card for what looked a fairly innocuous collision with Connor Essam on the edge of the box.
The misery was compounded in injury-time when Pools failed to defend a free-kick from the right and Bird was on hand to poke home his second of the afternoon and Dover’s fourth.
Full Time: Dover Athletic 4 Pools 0
Dover Athletic: Walker, Okosieme, Parry, Ilesanmi, Brundle, Essam, Nortey, Jeffrey (Daniel 64), Pinnock, Gallifuoco, Bird.
Subs not used: Richards, Fazakerley, Alabi, Deen-Conteh.
Pools: Loach, Magnay, Ledger (Adams 77), Laing, Deverdics, Donnelly, Woods, Munns, Cassidy, Oates (Adeloye 61).
Subs not used: Richardson, Hawkins, Rodney.
Attendance: 1,083 (119 Poolies)