Hartlepool United suffered their first Victoria Park defeat in seven home games when Accrington Stanley showed their promotion credentials.
Seamus Conneely fired in a stunning goal inside three minutes and while Rakish Bingham equalised with a header, the impressive Tariqe Fosu netted the winner in first-half stoppage time.
Accrington were not afraid to hit shots from anywhere. Several found the Mill House terrace or Morrisons carpark, but NOT the third-minute volley from Conneely.
Pools could not clear an away corner and Conneely’s effort from outside the box beat a diving Carson to his right.
Accrington controlled play thereafter, having shot after shot.
Pools saw little of the play but when they got the ball to Thomas, he looked a danger. And so it proved in the 25th-minute when he won a corner.
Richards swung over a high delivery which Bingham powered in with his head, the ball flying into Ross Etheridge’s right corner.
The rest of the half belonged to Accrington who controlled play.
Carson made a fine save down to his right from Josh Windass nine minutes from the break.
And he made his mark in the first minute of stoppage time when his cross-shot from the right hit the post and fell to FOSU who converted the rebound.
Half-time: Pools 1 Accrington 2
There were two rare sights of goal for Pools early in the second half but but Richards hit the Stanley wall from a free-kick and Laurent put a tame shot at Etheridge soon after.
Pools were having a better half but Accrington were a danger on the break, Kee having a shot from the edge of the box deflected for a corner.
Bates did get his head to a Thomas free-kick but it was straight at Etheridge.
Centre-back partner Jackson then hit a shot straight at the keeper from distance after marauding forward and playing a one-two with Bingham.
The central defenders were the men to watch and Tom Davies saw a header go just wide from a Stanley corner 10 minutes from time.
Pools huffed and puffed but could not finds an equaliser.
FULL-TIME: HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1 ACCRINGTON 2
Pools: Carson, Richards, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Walker (Featherstone 46), Laurent, Woods, Gray (James 63), Thomas, Bingham (Oates 82)
Unused subs: Bartlett, R Jones, Magnay, Oates, Nelson-Addy.
Goal: Bingham 25
Accrington: Etheridge, Pearsaon, Davies, Hughes, Buxton, Mingoia, Conneely, Halliday, Fosu (McCartan 79), Windass, Kee
Unused subs: Mooney, McConville, Barry, Wakefield, Gornell, Boco
Goals: Conneely 3, Fosu 45
Booked: Conneely 28, Windass 74
Referee: Steve Martin
Att: 3,445 (away 181)