Port Vale 4 Hartlepool United 0: Pools crash out of FA Cup

Craig Hignett sent to the stands.
Craig Hignett sent to the stands.

Hartlepool United crashed out of the FA Cup at the second round stage after being outclassed by League One Port Vale.

From minute one the visitors were second best, and it took just 12 minutes for the home side to open the scoring.

Having seen a couple of early efforts go wide or be saved by Trevor Carson, towering striker Rigino Cicilia found his range with a neat finish across the Pools keeper for 1-0.

It was 2-0 just two minutes later as a Kiko cross from Pools' right was turned home by a combination of Michael Woods and Alex Jones.

The game was as good as over before the break when Vale made it 3-0 - Jones found far too much space on the left-hand side of Pools' area, and cool and calm, he stroked home, giving Carson no chance.

Just to make matters worse, Pools lost their manager Craig Hignett on the stroke of half-time.

After an altercation, in which it appeared as if Michael Woods was fouled, Hignett was reported to the referee by his linesman. And after a quick discussion, Hignett was dispatched to the stands, and was soon joined by coach Tony Caig.

It was 4-0 on 57 when Rob Jones, restored to the side for his first start since September 10, was adjudged to have fouled Sam Kelly in the area, Darren Handley pointing to the spot with absolutely no hesitation. Former Newcastle United full-back Ryan Taylor made no mistake from 12 yards, sealing Vale's place in the third round draw in the process.

And as if things couldn't get any worse for the visitors Jones, out for much of this campaign with a hip problem, had to be carried off on a stretcher midway through the second period.

All in all, an afternoon to forget in the Potteries for Pools.