HARTLEPOOL United are six points adrift of safety after a morale-sapping 3-1 defeat at home to rivals York City.
Pools had gone into the break leading 1-0 thanks to Scott Fenwick’s first ever professional strike from close range in the 27th minute.
But three goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes completed a dramatic turnaround for the visitors.
Two quick-fire goals from York defender Keith Lowe in the 53rd and 55th minute gave the Minstermen the lead before Jake Hyde completed the dramatic turnaround.
York moved up to fifth bottom of League Two, six points above Pools.
Paul Murray made two changes with Fenwick handed his full debut, partnering Marlon Harewood up front.
Jordan Richards came in on the right wing for Dutch winger Sidney Schmeltz, who was on the bench alongside new signings, goalkeeper Jon Maxted and on-loan duo Andy Campbell and Joe Ironside.
Charlie Wyke missed out with a knee injury and has now returned to Middlesbrough following his three-month loan spell.
It was a frantic start, with the visitors carving out the first shot on target after less than a minute.
Jake Hyde took advantage of a mistake by Scott Harrison, who was playing his last match before returning to Sunderland, but his low shot was easily blocked by Scott Flinders.
Pools had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Michael Duckworth was body-checked by Stephane Zubar but Eddie Ilderton waved it awa.
Brad Walker then saw his follow-up shot from 20-yards saved by Alex Cisak.
Murray’s side got the breakthrough they deserved in the 27th minute.
Harewood bustled his way into the penalty area and played the ball across the six-yard line to FENWICK who poked it home to score on his full debut.
He could have had two more shortly after, first just failing to connect in a similar position before then heading over from a couple of yards out.
Two minutes before the break it was Harewood’s turn to miss a goalden chance - screwing his shot wide from 12-yards out after being played in by Richards.
Half-Time: Pools 1 York 0
Pools had Scott Flinders to thank for maintaining their slim lead two minutes into the second-half, the stopper making a great diving save to prevent Zubar equalising.
Three minutes later and the home side were denied their second penalty of the afternoon.
The lively Fenwick brought down by Femi Ilesanmi but again the appeals were rejected.
It proved costly as York equalised in the 53rd minute, Keith LOWE with a towering header from a Josh Carson corner.
Things went from bad to worse for Pools two minutes later.
York captain Russ Penn given far too much time and space on the left-wing to cross for LOWE who headed home his second from six-yards.
The turnaround was complete in the 63rd minute, HYDE carving open the Pools defence before shooting low past Flinders from the edge of the area.
Murray then brought on Ironside and Campbell in a desperate bid to get back into the match, the latter shooting just wide with his second touch.
Pools were left shell-shocked by the second-half collapse and were unable to string together a period of pressure on the York goal.
To add insult to injury, Duckworth hobbled off in the 79th minute, Dan Jones on in his place.
Walker had a close range effort cleared off the line in injury time.
But that was the best Pools could muster as they limped to their 12th defeat of a sorry season.
Full-Time: Pools 1 York 3
Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Duckworth (Jones, 79), Harrison, Collins, Austin, Richards (Campbell, 67), Walker, Featherstone, Franks, Fenwick, Harewood (Ironside, 63).
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Bates, Woods, Schmeltz.
Goal: Fenwick (27)
York City (4-4-2): Cisak, McCoy, Ilesanmi, Coulson, Fletcher (Meikle, 90), Penn (C), Montrose (Summerfield, 45), Lowe, Carson, Zubar, Hyde.
Subs Not Used: Ingham, McCombe, Halliday, Platt, Meikle, Jarvis.
Goals: Lowe (53, 55) Hyde, 63.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)
Attendance: 4,234 (York 799).