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Burton Albion 3 Hartlepool United 0
Hartlepool United slumped to a sixth successive defeat - increasing fears of dropping out of the Football League.
A feeble 3-0 reverse at Burton leaves Pools only two points outside the bottom two with three games to play.
They face Morecambe at home on Monday, before travelling to Plymouth next Saturday and playing Exeter at Victoria Park on May 3.
And to make their task harder, Pools could be without top scorer Luke James for the finale after he suffered an ankle injury in the early stages and was carried off in some distress.
His replacement, Marlon Harewood, had Pools best chance to score, but after being played in on goal by Andy Monkhouse his delayed finish was easily kept out by keeper Dean Lyness.
Pools trailed when Billy Kee beat Sam Collins to a long ball to turn in, went two down after Jimmy Phillips curled in and Lee Bell made it three with a low free kick from distance.
Colin Cooper's side were well beaten and the Pools boss only conducted a short press conference after the game, taking a handful of questions from the club website before departing.
The club have reduced admission prices on Monday to five pounds and hope supporters will turn out in numbers to try and lift flagging spirits and confidence among the squad.