Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore admitted his side were second best in their 4-0 loss at Pompey on Saturday and criticised the visitors’ self-destructive defending in the Fratton Park defeat.
The disappointed Pools boss saw his players concede two goals in each half to fall to their heaviest reverse of the season.
We’re disappointed really but if you give the ball away against good teams then you’ll get punished and that’s what happenedHartlepool boss Ronnie Moore
Caolan Lavery set the Blues on their way with a stunning opening goal before Pools defender Adam Jackson inadvertently diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper to double the home side’s lead at the break.
Paul Cook’s men made sure of the points on the hour mark when Gareth Evans fired home after Marc McNulty had been brilliantly denied by former Pompey stopper Trevor Carson in the visitors’ goal.
McNulty then put the gloss on a superb win for the hosts with a coolly-taken strike a minute before full-time.
A moment of potential significance arrived just before the break, however, when the Pools trailed 2-0.
Striker Scott Fenwick thought he had reduced the arrears to one, only to be denied by a fine sprawling save from Blues keeper Brian Murphy.
‘We’re disappointed really but if you give the ball away against good teams then you will get punished and that’s what happened,’ said Pools boss Moore.
‘For all the ball and the dominance they had, when you look at the goals we conceded it was a case of pressing the self-destruct button.
‘And when the goals go in it’s all about how you battle back and we didn’t do that.
‘At 2-0, the next goal was always going to be important and their keeper made a great save.
‘But then we mess about with it in our box instead of clearing it and it’s 3-0 and game over.
‘You have to make the right decisions in the right areas and we didn’t do that.
‘We were second best and we are miles off where we want to be at this moment in time.’