HARTLEPOOL United manager Ronnie Moore was left frustrated following the 1-0 defeat away at Portsmouth to leave is side nine points from safety.
Pools, who lined up in a 3-5-2 formation, didn’t manage a single shot on target all game and Matt Tubbs made them pay with his 60th minute winner.
The striker beat Dan Jones in the air to give the home side all three points at Fratton Park.
Andy Awford’s side dominated the possession but were restricted to clear cut chances thanks to Pools’ dogged, and at times frantic defending.
Reflecting on the defeat, Moore said: “I was frustrated with the goal we conceded.
“They were allowed to get the ball across and we were asleep and the smallest man on the pitch is allowed to jump and get the header.
“That is a soul destroyer for us.
“It was a scrappy game and there weren’t many chances for either side.
“They had the better possession but we weren’t as good as we have been with the ball.
“We haven’t created, whereas in the past few weeks we’d looked like we would get some goals.”
On the new-look formation, Moore said: “We were poor up front and gave the ball away far too easily.
“If you keep giving the ball away then the midfield three won’t get on the ball and the wing backs never get into the game.
“We knew Portsmouth would play that too and we matched them up.
“It went to plan for the early part of the game but we didn’t use the ball well and were sloppy in possession.
“If the two strikers don’t get hold of the ball then you will always be in trouble.”