This wasn’t even a game of two halves. It was a tie which Pools dominated for 71 minutes and almost threw away in the last 20.
And by the end, it was the home team which was hanging on to secure a great three points.
It was a bit of a strange affair for Pools who had not played a match for two weeks.
The early play went Stockport’s way when Andy Preece fired a shot in with only seconds on the clock, but it only went into the side netting.
Yet Pools were the dominant side and it seemed as though the team would show no signs of rustiness when Lenny Johnrose scored.
It stemmed from a corner on the Pools right which Paul Cross took, Andy Saville headed on and Johnrose stooped to head into the net.
It has been a long time coming. It was a great cross from Dean Emerson and I managed to get on the end of itIan McGuckin, 1993
More pressure saw Pools go close with Saville just missing an Honour cross, and the same striker almost being put in a second time by Paul Cross.
Ten minutes into the second half, Pools went 2-0 up when Ian McGuckin scored his first ever senior goal. He got on the end of a cross from the right on 55 minuts and headed goalwards from the six-yard box.
County goalkeeper Redfern tried to get to the ball before it cross the line but McGuckin was also following the ball and bundled it into the net.
The second goal spurred Pools further and it was soon 3-0 when Saville scored his tenth of the season. It followed smart work by Johnrose on the wing before he crossed for Saville to blast the ball home from close range.
The third goal seemed to spark County into action and Andy Preece took advantage of hesitation in the home defence to nip in and drive a low ball past Hodge.
Pools still kept on attacking and Brian Honour almost scored with a low driven shot which was tipped away by Redfern.
Six minutes from the end, Stockport set up a tense finish when Kevin Francis nodded home a floated Beaumont cross.
Stockport almost completed an amazing comeback with another Francis header but Paul Cross was there to scramble the ball off the line.
Hartlepool: Hodge, R Cross, P Cross, McGuckin, MacPhail, Emerson, Johnrose, Olsson, Saville, Honour, Johnson. Subs: Wratten, Gilchrist.
Stockport: Redfern, Knowles, Todd, Frain, Barrass, williams, Gannon, Miller, Francis, Beaumont, Preece. Subs: Carstairs, Matthews.
Referee: J. Key (Sheffield).