Ronnie Moore believes Hartlepool United pressed the “self-destruct” button at Portsmouth.
In-form Pompey, beaten only twice all season, scored two goals in each half as Pools went down to their heaviest defeat of the season.
The goals were given on a plate – it was self-destructRONNIE MOORE
The first goal was a beauty from Caolan Lavery with the 37th-minute second having a huge element of good fortune for the hosts as Adam Jackson put the ball in his own net as he tried to cut out a Ben Davies cross.
Scott Fenwick saw a great shot just on half-time saved superbly by Brian Murphy.
Pools started the second half well but could not translate their possession into chances and number three by Gareth Evans killed Moore’s side off on the hour.
The final goal came in the last minute from Marc McNulty who finished well after being played through by Enda Stevens.
“The goals were given on a plate – it was self-destruct,” said Moore.
“One or two little breaks might have gone our way and they didn’t and we allowed the lad to open up and curl one into the top corner.
“For the second we turned into our own net, when the young lad has tried to turn the ball away.
“It’s hard to come back from it. We had a chance to come back on half-time, Scotty Fenwick hit it well, but it’s a good height for the keeper.
“A bit lower and it could be in and we are back into it.
“We then messed about in clearing it and it ends up in the net, 3-0. That was the killer.”
Portsmouth assistant manager Leam Richardson was pleased with the win and clean sheet but had words of comfort for Pools.
“Hartlepool are a good team,” he said. “As you’ve seen in spells today, they can handle the ball, they offer a threat at the top end of the pitch and they do make you work.
“I think we have found a little bit of momentum in our play and in our fluency, certainly in areas of the pitch.”