Barrow 1 Hartlepool United 0: Abject Pools second best in one-sided, one-goal away day defeat
Hartlepool United were outclassed from minute one as they suffered a one-sided, one-goal defeat at Barrow.
Josh Kay produced a bit of magic to win it after just 27 minutes - netting with a remarkable overhead kick to seal a deserved three points for Ian Evatt's men.
The result saw Pools end the day 17th in the National League table.
Manager Craig Hignett made just the one change for the side who beat Halifax Town on Saturday with Danny Amos recalled, which saw Myles Anderson dropping out. The defender lasted just 45 minutes as he was sacrificed after what can only be described as probably Pools' worst half of the season.
They were second best all over the park, with little to no threat up top and particularly vulnerable at the back.
Just two minutes were on the clock when James Philpot rattled Scott Loach's post with a vicious shot from a tight angle.
Scott Loach was forced to field a number of high balls, with a mixed success rate, and make a string of saves before Barrow eventually, deservedly, took the lead. And it was a strike right out of the top drawer.
Kay, just off the bench, produced an acrobatic overhead kick from a Connor Brown cross to give Loach absolutely no chance.
Just eight minutes on, Nicky Featherstone did the work of his good mate Loach, as he cleared a John Rooney strike off the line, following a corner straight off the training ground from the Bluebirds.
The only positive to take from the opening 45 was the fact Pools were just ONE goal down. It could easily have been FIVE.
If the first half was bad, the second ran it close.
On 50 minutes, a ball over the top on the break - Ryan Donaldson, who has moved to right back after Amos was withdrawn for Liam Noble, was caught out and goalscorer Kay produced a majestic touch to bring the ball under control and stroked at goal, but Loach saved with an outstretched boot.
The first time Pools really threatened the Barrow goal was just before the hour - that's how bad they were on the day!
David Edgar headed a Noble corner straight at Joel Dixon in the Barrow goal. it was a powerful header, but never troubling the home keeper.
Goalscorer Kay could, and should, have scored more than once on the day. He missed an open goal having been found by Jack Hindle with an inch-perfect cross from the right, with Pools' backline again all at sea.
And that was the way it stayed, despite Pools rallying a little as the game went on. They huffed and they puffed but they never really troubled the scorers.
Definitely the worst show under Hignett second time around, a contender for worst of the campaign as a whole. Little to nothing for the 1,140 Poolies to shout about.