COLIN Cooper’s Hartlepool United were outclassed by his former club Nottingham Forest as they exited the Capital One Cup following a 3-1 defeat.
The Championship side were always in control against their League Two visitors and advanced to the Second Round thanks to goals from Radoslaw Majewski, Greg Halford and Matt Derbyshire.
Pools defender Neil Austin restored a bit of pride late on but by then the tie was over.
Cooper had made three changes for the trip to the City Ground with Peter Hartley, Sam Collins and Andy Monkhouse all making way from the side beaten at Rochdale on Saturday, Darren Holden, Simon Walton and Luke James their replacements.
The visitors did fashion the tie’s first chance when Brad Walker spun smartly 20 yards out but debutant goalkeeper Dorus De Vries denied the teenager the goal his skill had deserved as he smothered the low drill.
Forest, though, soon found their rhythm and only a well-placed Christian Burgess, guarding the goal-line, prevented Halford heading the opener from Jamie Mackie’s corner on nine minutes.
Scott Flinders was not called into action until just shy of the half-hour mark when Jamie Patterson, stepping inside his marker 20 yards out, bent towards the top corner only for the Pools custodian to save and hold.
But there was nothing he could do about Majewski’s breakthrough blast on 33 minutes, the Pole skipping between two visiting shirts 20 yards from goal before hammering low into the bottom corner.
It should have been two moments later when Gonzalo Jara escaped in behind Darren Holden but the full-back failed to steer his 12-yard belt beyond Flinders.
The Pools netminder failed to emerge for the second half with Andy Rafferty taking over in between the posts.
Forest left-back Dan Harding soon attempted to catch Rafferty cold with a speculative effort from range but the goalie was alert to the cheeky lob.
And he had to be on his guard to deny Simon Cox soon after when he smashed on target from a narrow angle.
It was all Forest and Algerian midfielder Adlene Guedioura soon went close with a vicious drive from 25 yards, the ball skipping wide of Rafferty’s goal.
Forest favourite Andy Reid was introduced for the hosts and he stung the palms of Rafferty with a sizzler from just outside the area.
From the resulting corner the substitute swept to the far post where Halford turned home a header to double the advantage on 65 minutes.
Within two minutes it was three, Patterson’s deep float helped above and beyond Rafferty by the brow of Derbyshire.
Austin’s consolation arrived on 76 minutes when his header looped into the bottom corner from Holden’s long throw.