Stevenage 6 Hartlepool United 1: Woeful Pools hammered
Hartlepool United sank without trace today as they conceded six goals at Stevenage.
Pools, who had left skipper Billy Paynter on the bench and began with a 4-3-3 formation, had been given a dream start when Nathan Thomas put them into a fourth-minute lead against a club they had never beaten.
But Tom Pett levelled for the hosts and on-loan Nottingham Forest striker Tyler Walker put them ahead before the break when Pools could not clear their lines.
Stevenage, who had started the day 22nd, added four second-half goals through Dean Wells, Walker, Michael Tonge and Matt Godden as Pools fell to pieces at Broadhall Way.
Pools came under early pressure with Fraser Franks heading wide with a free header from a Michael Tonge corner ffrom the right.
But Pools were in front in the fourth minute through THOMAS'S first goal of the season.
Jordan Richards swung over a cross from the left that the Boro defence made a real mess of an Thomas knocked in the loose ball from a couple of yards out.
Pools came close to doubling their lead in the 26th minute when Jamie Jones made a super flying save from a Lewis Alessandra free-kick.
And Boro went to the other end to make it 1-1, Matt Godden rolling in a cross for the right which PETT stroked past Adam Bartlett.
Bartlett then made a fine save from Andrew Fox and then appeared to make a better one as he flew to his right to tip around a Walker shot only for the officials to award a goal-kick.
Pools had struggled throughout the first half with corners and they were undone in the 44th minute.
They failed to clear when they had the chance and WALKER'S overhead finish from six yards put Boro in front.
Pools were sunk by two goals in the space of five minutes.
Not for the first time this afternoon, Pools could not defend their six-yard box and WELLS headed first against the bar and was then first to the rebound to nod home.
And it was 4-1 in the 57th minute. Pett released Fox down the left and his low cross was met by WALKER who stroked his shot past Bartlett's left.
In between goals, Pools brought on Paynter and after the fourth, Fewster, but the boys in blue looked lifeless.
And Stevenage had their fifth in the 69th minute from a TONGE penalty.
Carl Magnay fouled Pett with a poor challenge and referee John Busby pointed to the spot and Tonge beat Bartlett.
It should have been six seconds later when Walker was clean through but the on-loan Forest forward shot straight at Bartlett.
And the keeper then pulled off a stunning save to keep out sub Henry Cowans.
It was sixth in the 78th minute with GODDEN getting on the scoresheet as Pools conceded poorly again.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1
Stevenage: Jones, Henry (Kerr 81), Wells (Lee 77), Franks, Ntlhe, Pett, Tonge, King, , Fox, Godden, Walker (Cowans 73)
UnusedSubs: Day, Liburd, Hyde, Hunte, Lee, Cowans, Kerr
Goals: Pett 27; Walker 44, 57; Wells 53; Tonge pen 69, Godden 78
Pools: Bartlett, Richards, Magnay, Harrison, Carroll, Featherstone, Woods (Laurent 70), Deverdics (Paynter 56), Alessandra, Amond (Fewster 60), Thomas.
Unused subs: Dudzinski, Martin, Laurent, Hawkins, Heardman.
Goal: Thomas 4
Booked: Richards 42, Magnay 68, Harrison 83
Referee: John Busby