It was a Hayes Lane horror show for Pools as Matthew Bates’ men fell to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Bromley on Saturday afternoon.
Pools proved the masters of their own downfall during an afternoon to forget in Kent which was underlined by the concession of two soft penalties and compounded by a red card for Peter Kioso.
It was a third defeat in a row for Bates’ side who dominated possession for large parts of the first hour against Bromley but were undone by a lack of cutting edge and some uncharacteristic individual errors.
There was one enforced change to the line-up for Pools as the start of Andrew Davies’ three-match suspension forced a reshuffle at the back where Mark Kitching was restored to left wing-back and Ryan Donaldson moved back across to the right.
A slow start from Pools was underlined on 12 minutes when Peter Kioso’s pass along the edge of the area was misplaced, Carl Magnay couldn’t get there and with Adam Mekki threatening to get to the ball first he was bundled over by Myles Anderson. Frankie Sutherland tucked away the opening goal from the spot with the minimum of fuss.
It could have got worse for Pools a minute later when Mekki did well to find space down the right to deliver a cross in to the box and George Porter nodded wide at the far post when he might have done better.
Pools slowly began to recover a foothold in the game and started to knock the ball around with a growing confidence, the midfield trio of Liam Noble, Nicky Featherstone and Paddy McLaughlin enjoying plenty of freedom to play.
A corner from Noble was delivered from the right tested the Bromley defence but Magnay’s header from eight yards looped just too high.
The best chance fell to Marcus Dinanga on the back of a wonderfully-patient passing move from Pools which led to the ball finding the on-loan front man in behind the home defence but he sliced wide from ten yards.
Pools continued to dominate possession with the hosts seemingly happy to play on the counter-attack and allow their opponents to have the lion’s share of the ball.
Dinanga got to the byline after an incisive move but couldn’t find Niko Muir in the middile, while Noble fired an effort over from twenty-five yards after another slick move.
There was another opening for Dinanga towards the end of the first period when the ball was worked left for Kitching and he sent a cross in to the far post but the striker’s header fell off-target.
Things started fairly positively after the break too as Kioso came close to nodding in a leveller from a right-wing Noble corner but his effort flashed across goal rather than in to the net.
Donaldson also had a decent opportunity to shoot after the ball made its way to him on the left corner of the area after a swift counter-attack led by Noble but his effort was well-blocked by a defender.
But then just after hour mark things started to unravel for Pools. A dangerous Bromley attack looked to have been snuffed out when the ball fell to Donaldson on the left corner of the area but he dwelt too long, had his pocket picked by Omar Bugiel and the big striker rifled home to make it 2-0.
It was 3-0 a quarter of an hour later when Bugiel was played through on goal before being bundled over in the area by Kioso who, having already been shown a yellow card, was sent-off by the referee before Sutherland drove home low from the penalty spot.
The final insult came five minutes from time when the hosts raided again down the right and a low ball right across goal was forced in from close range at the back post by Porter.
A miserable day for Pools and their heaviest defeat of the season ahead of next weekend’s trip to League One Gillingham in the First Round of the FA Cup.
Full Time: Bromley 4 Pools 0
Attendance: 1516 (241 Pools)
Booked: Kioso (46), Donaldson (79)
Sent Off: Kioso (77)
Bromley: Gregory, Sutherland, Johnson, Raymond, Bugiel (De Silva 86), Mekki (Goodman 74), Porter, Wood, Brindle, Quigley (Ogedi-Uzokwe 60).
Subs Not Used: Goddard, Rooney.
Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Magnay, Anderson (Hawkes 68), Kitching (Newton 46), Featherstone, Noble, McLaughlin, Muir (James 58), Dinanga.
Subs Not Used: Richardson, Murphy.