FULL-TIME: Hartlepool United 2 Scunthorpe United 0
A disastrous day at Hartlepool saw Scunthorpe United suffer their fourth league defeat of the season, leaving them bottom of the table, still without a point to their name.
Jonathan Franks put the hosts ahead in the first half, and though the Iron rallied after the break, a red card for Josh Walker left them down to 10 men.
Pools couldn't convert the penalty which followed, but they made up for it with a second goal from Luke James in the last five minutes.
Sticking with the same 4-5-1 system which served them well in their Capital One Cup defeat to Norwich in midweek, United made a decent start.
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But, crucially, for all their possession they were unable to carve out any clearcut chances – Andy Barcham and Mike Grella providing the only two shots of the opening half hour, neither of which came close to finding the target.
Hartlepool too, have struggled to find the net this season; though for all the comfort that should have given the Iron, they looked somewhat nervy at the back.
Sam Slocombe's early fumble from a corner set the tone and subsequently led to a free-kick as the visitors failed to clear.
Evan Horwood almost made the most of the opportunity, with a clean strike which flew just past the post in the sixth minute.
Slocombe was nearly caught out again barely five minutes later when he came charging off his line in a bid to clear a long ball forward, missed, and was reliant on Niall Canavan to mop up as the hosts threatened to pounce.
Mark Duffy did his best to work an opening for United, displaying his usual box of tricks as he twisted and turned the Hartlepool defence inside out.
And his persistence paved the way for a cross from Josh Walker, which Grella claimed he couldn't get to, due to being held back in the area.
Pools enjoyed some possession of their own, though Steve Howard and Antony Sweeney never looked like troubling Slocombe with their long-range efforts.
Franks however, fared somewhat better.
Horwood sent over an inviting cross from the right-hand side, and with Tom Newey opting to leave it, the Hartlepool midfielder slotted home at the far post with 23 minutes gone.
It was the hosts' first league goal of the season.
Scunthorpe tried to respond. Canavan went close with a first-time shot a few yards out from Josh Walker's corner which struck the bar, while Duffy's follow-up sailed over the woodwork.
But it was the home side who ended the first half in the ascendancy, Slocombe being called into action to catch Sweeney's diving header from Franks' cross just before the whistle sounded.
United reverted to two up top shortly after the break, when manager Alan Knill brought Connor Jennings into the fray.
And it was a change which sparked a bit of action from the home side.
Scott Flinders did well to tip over an effort from Walker as the hour mark neared, while the resulting corner had the hosts scrambling.
Barcham looked to maintain the momentum with a curled shot from the left, which Flinders ably dealt with, but United continued to apply the pressure.
Duffy should have done better when well placed to follow-up Barcham's cross, but though he thumped the ball goalwards, Flinders was able to get something on it to leave the visitors with just an unprofitable corner for their efforts
It is fast becoming the story of Scunthorpe's season, as those missed chances once again proved costly.
Hartlepool hit back, and when Canavan skewed his clearance from Neil Austin's cross, Sweeney went for the target.
Walker's handball was blatant as he tried to prevent an almost certain goal, with Slocombe in no man's land. An inevitable red card followed, leaving the Iron down to 10 men with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Slocombe kept his team in the game, pulling off a superb save to deny Howard from the resulting penalty as he dived to his right.
But ultimately it proved in vain as it was all too easy for Luke James five minutes later, the Pools substitute slotting home Andy Monkhouse's cross.
HARTLEPOOL: Flinders; Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood; Franks (Holden 70), Murray, Sweeney, Monkhouse; Poole (James 62), Howard. Subs not used: Humphreys, Walton, Luscombe, Baldwin, McHugh.
SCUNTHORPE: Slocombe; Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Newey; Duffy, Walker, Prutton, Ryan (Jennings 56), Barcham (Keegan 71); Grella. Subs not used: Severn, Gibbons, Hughes, Howe.
ATTENDANCE: 3,863 (234 away).