HARTLEPOOL United suffered a Halloween defeat in East London as they were put to the sword by Leyton Orient.
Aaron Drinan was the chief executioner with a hat-trick on a chastening afternoon for Pools who gifted the hosts three of their five goals at Brisbane Road.
Harry Smith and Tom James were also on target as the draw specialist O’s won for the first time in seven games.
Ironically, There was little to choose between the sides in the opening 45 minutes.
Pools went close in the 15th minute when David Ferguson’s free-kick from 25 yards went just wide of Lawrence Vigouroux’s top left corner.
But five minutes later, the O’s went in front.
For the first time, the reds stroked the ball around nicely before Smith laid the ball back to Drinan who finished superbly from a central position just outside the area.
There was controversy on 33 minutes when Pratley, already on a yellow card, deliberately handled the ball after fouling Angol.
Referee Alan Young opted for a calling-to rather than a yellow card, much to the dismay of Challinor who remonstrated with the fourth official.
If Challinor was mad about the referee, he was soon apoplectic as Pools conceded a needless second goal. Liddle tried to find Featherstone but the ball was intercepted and played to an unmarked Smith, who stroked the ball coolly past Mitchell from 15 yards.
Pools should have done better just before the break when Daly had the opportunity to shoot from the same vicinity as he scored against Harrogate.
Alas, he tried to play in Ferguson who was in space but the ball was too strong and Omar Beckles made a timely block.
Mr Young, having blown for the end of the first half early, played four further minutes when the teams returned to the pitch after the break.
It meant the second half began at 4.10pm, surely a contender for the longest first half in history.
Having gifted Orient their second goal, Pools were at it again on 51 minutes when Ogle lost possession down the right and the O’s moved the ball slickly to the opposite side where wing-back James produced a lovely finish past Mitchell.
With Pools very much off colour it looked like being a damage limitation exercise.
Sadly, the damage kept coming and when Mitchell lost the ball, Drinan found the unguarded net with a neat finish.
And the striker was not finished. In stoppage time, James’s wonderful cross was met by Smith whose header struck the post with Drinan in the right place at the right time to stroke in the rebound.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux; Mitchell, Beckles, Ogie; James, Clay, Pratley (Kyprianou 44), Archibald; Kemp (Reilly 85); Drinan, Smith. Subs (not used): Byrne, Wood,Happe, Omotoye, Sotiriou
Goals: Drinan 20, 84, 90, Smith 35, James 51
booked: Pratley 14, Clay 28
Pools: Mitchell; Hendrie, Liddle, Francis-Angol (Fondop 55); Ogle (Odusina 60), Featherstone, Daly, Holohan, Ferguson; Molyneux, Cullen (Grey 65). Subs (not used): Killip, Jones, Crawford, Shelton
Booked: Featherstone 23, Holohan 39
Referee: Alan Young