An early Joe Grey goal wasn’t enough as Hartlepool were beaten 3-1 by Oldham Athletic at the Suit Direct Stadium on Boxing Day.
John Askey made three changes to the side from the 4-4 draw at Wealdstone on Saturday with Josh Umerah, Mitch Hancox and Brody Paterson coming into the side.
Hartlepool took an early lead when Grey marked his 100th appearance for the club with a goal. The striker latched onto a fantastic pass from Hancox to slot the ball past Matthew Hudson and into the bottom corner.
The lead didn’t last long though, as Oldham responded with two goals in the space of eight minutes.
On the 9th minute, Josh Stones capitalised on a loose ball in the Pools penalty area to turn the ball home past Joel Dixon.
Stones then became provider eight minutes later as he intercepted a poor pass from Manny Onariase before slotting the ball through to strike partner James Norwood, who cooly converted his effort.
Pools’ Callum Cooke and Brody Patterson had chances to level the score in the closing stages of the first half but couldn’t find the back of the net.
The visitors started the second half strongly, with Stones missing multiple chances to increase his tally for the day.
Oldham did increase their lead in the 64th minute as Stones turned two men in the Hartlepool box before squaring the ball to Norwood to grab his second with a simple tap-in.
Fan favourite Anthony Mancini returned to action on the 74th minute, as he replaced Hancox from the bench - his first appearance since the end of August.
It didn’t take long for Mancini to make an impact as he burst through Oldham’s midfield before finding Grey, but his effort was saved by Hudson.
Hartlepool couldn’t create enough to get back in the game though as the visitors came out comfortable winners.
The defeat leaves Pools sitting 16th in the National League and without a win in their last five league games.
Pools: Dixon, Brennan, Onariase, Ferguson, Paterson (Burton 67), Featherstone, Hancox (Mancini 74), Hastie (Stephenson 67), Cooke, Grey, Umerah
Subs (not used): Jameson, Wallace
Goals: Grey (5)
Oldham goals: Stones (9), Norwood (17, 64)