HARTLEPOOL United’s interim manager Antony Sweeney said his off Pools side were well beaten by a very good Forest Green Rovers.

The league leaders won 3-1 at Victoria Park to inflict a third League Two defeat in a row for Pools.

Rovers took the lead when a near-post corner was nodded in from close range by Jordan Moore-Taylor.

Matty Stevens was then played in just before the half-hour mark and when his shot came back off the bar, skipper Jamille Matt turned in.

Rovers grabbed a deserved third before the break as Stevens had time to turn and fire in low off the post.

Pools claimed a consolation after 80 minutes as Nicky Featherstone scored from the spot after Joe Grey was pushed over in the area.

They also had Jamie Sterry sent off for violent conduct during a melee on 88 minutes.

Sweeney said: “We were well beaten by a better side who are top for a reason and unbeaten away from home.

“We could have lost playing really well – that was the level of opposition – but we lost playing poorly.

“It’s disappointing and we will lose games at this level but the manner of the defeat was the hardest thing.

“We were off it, didn’t win any individual battles, any unit battles and you won’t win games of football like that.

“I don’t want to take much away from them, they are a good side who fully deserved the win and the plaudits, but we need to be better.”

It’s an immediate return to action on Tuesday evening when Pools make the long trip to face Swindon Town.