A disastrous start from FC Halifax Town gave them a mountain to climb against Hartlepool as they fell to a 4-0 defeat at Victoria Road.
Halifax were without captain Matty Brown through suspension as he missed his first game of the season, and it looked like the Shaymen really missed his commanding presence at the back.
Halifax will have been hoping they could get off to a good start in this one but that was not to be the case. Just four minutes on the clock and Hartlepool had the lead.
It was too easy for Hartlepool as their back line was undone by a simple give and go between Nicky Featherstone and Nicky Deverdics leaving the latter free on goal to easily slide the ball past Johnson.
It got worse for the away side, just three minutes later. Scott Garner got the wrong side of Rhys Oates and brought the winger tumbling to the ground and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot.
Liam Donnelly stepped up and made no mistake in sending Sam Johnson the wrong way to double the home side’s advantage and leave Halifax with it all to do with not even ten minutes on the clock.
It looked a very routine performance for Hartlepool who never really looked troubled by Halifax. Johnson was met by a scare as his opposite number lumped the ball up field and nearly caught the Halifax number one off guard as the ball bounced awkwardly but he just about managed to keep it out.
The woes continued as Garner picked up a yellow card for his poor challenge in the middle of the park and picked up his fifth booking of the season, ruling him out of the home tie against Eastleigh on Saturday.
On the half an hour mark it was three. A silky run from Michael Woods left Oates with acres of space and when the ball found him he made no mistake in stroking the ball into the far corner.
MacDonald and Denton the only real danger men in the first half, with the winger providing good width for the Shaymen however Hartlepool were well organised at the box and dealt with most of what Town were throwing at them.
There was nearly a glimmer of hope for the home side as McManus floated a lovely delivery into the box towards Denton. The forward had all the time and space in the world to pick his spot however the spot he picked was wide of the goal and Halifax went into the break trailing by three.
Hartlepool continued into the second half as they ended the first, with mountains of pressure. The home side knocked the ball around for fun and the game was completely played at their leisure and their tempo.
Halifax had a few half chances through Tom Denton, with the forward doing well with the limited service he had. The towering striker had a golden chance just before the hour mark as the ball fell kindly to him in the box however he blazed his half volley over the bar.
Hartlepool introduced Adeloye who looked dangerous and showed good feet to beat two Halifax men with a drag back before firing his shot straight at Johnson.
Hartlepool dominated, and Halifax struggled to make the most of the few mistakes they could profit from. A Laing slip in the middle of the park sent Danny Batty on his way however his ball towards MacDonald was over hit and this really summed up the game for the Shaymen.
There was nearly something to cheer about for the 137 travelling fans as Morgan whipped a lovely ball into the back post which was nodded in by Denton however it wasn’t to be as the assistant had his flag up.
To compound the misery, Hartlepool buried their fourth as Oates squared for Newton who made no mistake in turning the ball home and compelling Halifax to their tenth game without a win.
A poor performance no doubt and much for Billy Heath and his side to work on before the next game where Halifax return to the Shay to take on Eastleigh in another huge game and look to turn around this run of bad form.
Hartlepool United: 1. Scott Loach (C), 22. Liam Donnelly, 5. Scott Harrison, 23. Louis Laing, 17. Nicky Deverdics (29. Michael Ledger, 81′), 4. Nicky Featherstone, 14. Michael Woods, 24. Conor Newton, 21. Devante Rooney (30. Tomi Adeloye, 60′), 9. Jake Cassidy (8. Jack Munns, 79′), 11. Rhys Oates
Subs: 6. Luke George, 18. Lewis Hawkins
FC Halifax Town: 1. Sam Johnson, 36. Josh Clackstone, 3. Josh Wilde, 6. Scott Garner (C), 8. Nathan Hotte, 9. Tom Denton, 15. Josh MacDonald, 37. Daniel Batty (16. Adam Morgan, 80′), 11. Scott McManus, 10. Connor Oliver (2. Cliff Moyo, 63′), 35. Harry Middleton (18. Danny Clarke, 42′)
Subs: 13. Tom Nicholson, 38. George Waring.
Goals: Deverdics (4), Donnelly (7, Pen), Oates (31), Newton (89)
Yellow Cards: Garner (21), Hotte (36), McManus (55)
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 2,755 (136)
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist