Second half strikes from Danny Lloyd, Adam Rooney and Tom Walker ensured Salford City ended Hartlepool United's nine-game National League unbeaten run.
The defeat was just the second on the road of Matthew Bates' time in the Pools' hotseat - their first since March.
And as a result, Bates' men slipped outside of the play-off places in the fifth tier, ahead of the weekend visit of Aldershot.
Having won four on the bounce on the road, Bates made just the one enforced change to the Pools XI at the Peninsula Stadium with Peter Kioso suspended.
Conor Newton was handed the chance to shine on the right-hand side.
A midfielder by trade, Newton was right in the thick of the action from the off, having a hand in Pools' best chance of the half when he laid on a plate for Paddy McLaughlin, but the midfielder fired over when well placed.
In a nip and tuck opening 45 in terms of chances the hosts were dominant, but when it comes to overall play you could make a case for Pools being the brighter of the sides.
The impressive Walker hit the bar twice in the opening half, the first was tipped on to the bar quite brilliantly by Scott Loach, the second a rising strike from close range in which the wideman should have done better.
The biggest drama in a Pools sense was the loss of Niko Muir to injury. With options restricted Bates will hope the ankle knock is not too serious.
Having failed to take their chances before the break, Salford were in no mood to make the same mistake again after the break.
On the break Lloyd got on the end of a low cross to tuck home the opener before Ammies' skipper Rooney nodded powerfully past Loach from a corner.
And with Pools pushing to get back in it, they were again caught on the break as Walker, third time lucky, produced a finish from close range.
All told the scoreline flattered the hosts, the result did not. Ten minutes of madness at the wrong end put Pools to bed on the night in the north west.