HARTLEPOOL United fell to a 3-1 defeat against Barrow AFC at Holker Street.
The high-flying Bluebirds nerve looked back any the SO Legal Stadium after scoring twice in the first eight minutes through Josh Gordon and Ben Whitfield, with Billy Waters adding the third in the 21st minute.
Keith Curle’s injury-hit side performed much better in the second half and scored though new signing, Christopher Missilou, a French-born ex-Oldham midfielder with a handful of caps for DR Congo.
The 30-year-old, who has agreed a short-term deal, had worked with Curle at Northampton.
Missilou was handed an instant debut in one of three changes, taking over from Callum Cooke in midfield. with Theo Robinson is in for the banned Josh Umerah and Jake Hastie taking over from Wes McDonald
Pools suffered a nightmare start, going behind in the fourth minute.
Ben Killip came out to get the ball, couldn't get it under control and lost it, allowing Gordon to curls it in with his left foot from 25 yards.
Four minutes later, it was 2-0.
There was a lovely ball to the right by Josh Kay to Whitfield who cut in on his left foot and smashed past Killip.
There were problems for Pools with stand-in centre-back David Ferguson struggling with a left hip problem.
And the problems worsened in the 21st minute when Niall Canavan’s ball opened up the Pools defence with Gordon teeing up Waters who finished with ease.
Ferguson had to admit defeat on 25 minutes to his injury with Clark Odour coming on with Pools going to a three at the back of Brody Paterson, Euan Murray and Reghan Tumilty.
There was little from Pools going forward, bar a cracking drive from Hastie which brought a good diving save from Paul Farman.
Curle made a double substitution at half-time, bringing on Cooke and Joe Grey for Nicky Featherstone and Theo Robinson.
Pools made a good start to the second period, with Mo Sylla’s powerful shot saved by Farman, while Cooke slid a shot wide after good work by Grey, with Hamilton being crowded out after a promising run.
The 345 away fans had something to cheer in the 77th minute with a debut goal by Missilou.
Sylla found him with a nice header with the ex-French Youth international’s left-foot shot from the left side of the box beating Farman.It gave Pools some unlikely hope and sub Wes McDonald warmed the palms of the keeper with a thumping shot from the left late on.
Barrow: Farman; Warren (Kenlock), Ray, Canavan, Brough; White (Moyo 81), Neale; Whitfield (Stevens 70), Kay; Waters (Nwabuokei 62), Gordon (Bennett 81)
Subs(not used): Lillis,
Goals: Gordon 4, Whitfield 8, Waters 21
Pools: Killip; Tumilty, Murray, Ferguson (Odour 25), Paterson; Featherstone (Cooke 46), Sylla, Missilou; Hamilton Robinson (Grey 46), Hastie (McDonald 82)
Subs (not used): Letheren, Taylor, Ndjoli
Goal: Missilou 77
Booked: Hastie 16, Tumilty 43, Cooke 47, Sylla 90
Referee: Leigh Doughty
Att: 3,284 (away 345)