Pools conceded a late goal in a scrappy FA Trophy tie at Workington and it proved to be the only goal of the game as Craig Harrison’s side made an early exit from the competition.
Chances were few and far between on a cold afternoon at Borough Park but it was the hosts who found the one breakthrough to take the win.
Workington tested Pools early on in the game, with a very direct approach from the off.
A long ball over the top found Sam Joel running through to shoot low on goal. Scott Loach got a touch to take the sting out of the shot and Liam Donnelly got back to clear the ball from rolling over the line.
Just minutes later and there was another long ball up that caught Pools out; this time it was Scott Allison running in on goal but he sent his chipped effort wide of target.
Once Pools settled more into the game, there were some half-chances at the other end as Michael Woods got on the end of a decent move to volley an effort at goal which went wide of the far post.
The match was quite a scrappy one, with the referee’s whistle interrupting proceedings and the ball spending plenty of time in touch.
Woods was next to have a real chance on goal as he met a cross in from Nicky Deverdics to head in from close range, only to see his shot tipped over by Aaran Taylor in the home goal.
Workington rallied again late in the half and enjoyed a burst of possession, with a Dave Symington effort being deflected out for a corner kick and then Pools made sure to clear the corner just before the break.
Early in the second half, Deverdics got forward to send a teasing cross into the box which was headed over by Jake Cassidy.
Tomi Adeloye won a freekick for his side within ten minutes of the second half, in the perfect position for Nicky Deverdics to step up.
And the midfielder stepped up and smashed a trademark effort over the wall and towards the top corner only to see Taylor get up and palm the effort wide for a corner.
Deverdics delivered the corner in from the right and picked out Liam Donnelly at the far post but his downward header was cleared off the line.
After a brighter start, the game turned scrappy again, with neither side getting into their flow. Pools rarely looked in danger of conceding but struggled to get the ball into box at the other end for much of the 45.
However, the game swung in the 82nd minute with a strong break from the hosts; Scott Allison cut in from the left and sent a low drive across goal and into the bottom left corner of Loach’s goal.
Pools upped their ante after the goal and there were quickfire chances at the other end; first Jonathan Franks fired over the bar and then Woods saw his header go high.
But with less than ten minutes remaining, there was little time for Harrison’s side to find an equaliser.
There was another late blow for Pools as Lewis Hawkins picked up a second yellow card in the 94th minute and was sent off.
And so Pools made a first-round exit from the FA Trophy on a disappointing afternoon in Cumbria.
Full Time: Workington 1 Pools 0
Booked: Hawkins (60)
Sent Off: Hawkins (90)
Workington: Taylor, Douglas, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Calvert, Wright, Symington (Earl 88), McLuckie, Allison, Joel (Waterston 75), Tinnion.
Subs Not Used: Fowler, Wilson, Whitehead.
Pools: Loach, Donnelly, Laing, Harrison, Adams, Hawkins, Newton (Rodney 65), Woods, Adeloye (Oates 60), Deverdics (Franks 78), Cassidy.
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Munns.