Former Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor returned to the Suit Direct Stadium for the first time to put an end to his former club’s worries by guiding Stockport to a 5-0 win in League Two.
Challinor, who left Pools 13 months ago after guiding the club back into the English Football League, saw County climb to 12th and five points off the top flight.
Two first-half goals from Kyle Wootton were wasted before Paddy Madden added a third in the 61st minute and substitute Callum Camps and Will Collar completed the decisive goal.
Hartlepool, who are two points off the bottom of the table, don’t seem to be showing the appointment of Keith Curle as manager on an 18-month contract with the success they need.
Wootton’s first was not to be delivered on the big plate after 16 minutes. Reghan Tumilty’s stray header fell well for the midfielder to pick up the onrushing Ben Killip.
Less than four minutes later Wootton was on hand to convert Collar’s superb effort in the six-yard box.
Hartlepool should have pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, but Jake Hastie got on the back foot after a brilliant pass from Callum Cooke.
When Madden was left to head home his eighth of the season from Ryan Rydel’s corner inside Killip’s right-hand corner just after the hour mark, there was no turning back.
Camps turned in Collar’s corner from close range as the latter struck from inside the box to add a fifth.