A clinical hat-trick from Roy O'Donovan secured an important 3-0 win for Hartlepool over relegation rivals Southend.

The striker, signed on loan from Sunderland, coolly finished twice in the first half and then in the 90th minute to see off the Shrimpers, with whom he spent a month with earlier in the season.

After 16 minutes he was played in by a sublime Adam Boyd pass and rattled his finish in off the underside of the bar.

Beating a weak offside trap on 32 minutes, he had all the time he needed to pick his spot and finish coolly past Steve Mildenhall for his second.

O'Donovan had a chance to complete his hat-trick by the hour mark, but failed to test Mildenhall from close range.

The visitors, without a win in 10 games, had Alan McCormack sent off after 82 minutes after he collected a second caution for a foul on Andy Monkhouse.

After 90 minutes, the visitors almost got one back, Simon Francis cracking his 18-yard shot against a post.

But there was still time for O'Donovan to complete his haul. Latching onto Denis Behan's pass he cracked low into the corner of the net.

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