A SHOCKED Mick Wadsworth was left to reflect on a “rogue” six minutes in which his side were torn apart as Peterborough struck three times.
The Hartlepool boss blasted the slipshod defending which allowed Posh to bag a quick-fire treble courtesy of Craig Mackail-Smith (62), Tommy Rowe (64) and Lee Tomlin (68).
James Wesolowski added an injury-time fourth, but by then Pools were dead and buried.
And Wadsworth agreed all the damage had been done during that isolated second-half capitulation.
“It was a real rogue six minutes which lost us the game,” he said.
“All three goals came from the same area and that was a problem for us where we didn’t deal with things particularly well. It’s a poor defensive performance over a very short period.
“I won’t single out individuals, because that’s not fair, but I will speak to those players and we’ll deal with it in training before tomorrow night’s game against Notts County.”
Pools’ cause wasn’t aided when, at 0-0, the ever-dependable Peter Hartley succumbed to illness.
And Wadsworth, who had also seen Paul Murray and James Brown complain of sickness last week, added: “Losing Peter was a big issue – he was feeling terrible at half-time and was really struggling.
“It’s a shame because I thought he had a very good first half, but he got worse and worse and was struggling at half-time.”
Up until Hartley’s withdrawal, Pools had more than matched their hosts and had arguably carved out the best chance of the game, Antony Sweeney getting his angles all wrong with a first-half header having been picked out by Andy Monkhouse unmarked six yards from goal.
“We had some good chances and of all the culprits, Tony had the easiest,” said Wadsworth. H Hartlepool are set to land England youth striker Ryan Donaldson on a one-month loan deal from Newcastle United.
The 19-year-old could make his debut at Victoria Park tomorrow night.
Peterborough: Lewis, Whelpdale, Langmead, Bennett, Kennedy, Wesolowski, Lee, Rowe, Boyd, Mackail-Smith, Tomlin. Subs Not Used: Collis, Little, Mendez-Laing, Arron Davies, Obika, Clayton, Basey. Booked: Lee. Goals: Mackail-Smith 62, Rowe 64, Tomlin 68, Wesolowski 90.
Hartlepool: Kean, Austin, Collins, Hartley (Bjornsson 52), Horwood, McSweeney, Liddle, Gamble, Sweeney, Humphreys, Monkhouse. Subs Not Used: Flinders, Boyd, Yantorno, Haslam, Mackay, Murray. Booked: Austin.
Att: 5,800 Ref: Rob Lewis (Shropshire).