THREE goals in a seven minute spell ensured Hartlepool United buried their Scunthorpe hoodoo last night with a well-deserved victory despite a late rally by the Iron in the first round of the LDV Vans trophy at Victoria Park.

In two previous meetings this season, Scunthorpe had scored six goals in two wins over Pool and Brian Laws' side were unbeaten against Pool on ten occasions stretching back to October 1995.

But there was never any danger of the run continuing - despite Gareth Sheldon giving the visitors the lead on 31 minutes with an amazing goal.

The right-winger collected the ball on the edge of his own penalty area following a Pool corner before running the entire length of the pitch and with Micky Barron back-peddling, slotted past goalkeeper Anthony Williams from 20 yards.

Up until this point Pool had created most of the openings with Kevin Henderson firing over the bar on nine minutes and Mark Tinkler had a close range header tipped behind for a corner.

Tommy Miller then side-footed Paul Stephenson's right-wing cross wide when he had more time than he realised following some neat-passing on the counter-attack.

Pool bossed the majority of the first-half and got their reward when Henderson fired home a low shot after Tinkler's effort was blocked.

Five minutes later Pool's Paul Arnison completed a busy minute when he was first booked for a trip from behind on the largely ineffective Guy Ipoua and then put his side ahead when he capitalised on hesitant defending as he creeped in on the right-hand side of the box to convert a deep cross.

The half-time lead was certainly deserved as the home side created more opportunities than the visitors whose few attacking forays were snuffed-out by the strong Pool back-line as hit-man Ipoua was left frustrated by a lack of service from his midfielders.

Craig Midgley could have added a third five minutes after the re-start, but his right-foot volley from a corner was blocked.

But it was leading scorer Miller who effectively sealed the game as a contest with his tenth goal of the season when he shot past Tom Evans. The keeper got a hand to Miller's effort from 15 yards but it wasn't enough as the ball rolled over the line.

With the game seemingly already won against a Scunthorpe side who looked to be a shadow of the team who faced Pool last month, striker Anth Lormor came on to replace Henderson for his first outing since scoring at Rochdale in mid-October after recovering from knee trouble.

Scunthorpe rallied as substitute Darren Qualey forced the ball home after bundling his way through two tackles and Stamp headed straight at the keeper soon afterwards when he had more time and space