Simon Cox's trio of great finishes had put Swindon Town in control, but Hartlepool stunned them with their revival, Joel Porter grabbing a hat-trick of his own.
Swindon got off to a flying start when Cox latched on to Billy Paynter's throughball, cut inside a defender and finished well from the edge of the area.
Swindon keeper Phil Smith made a brilliant save to deny James Brown minutes later, but at the other end home keeper Arran Lee-Barrett did well to save a Cox header one-handed before tipping Michael Timlin's free-kick over the home bar.
Cox got his second six minutes before half-time when he ran at the home defence, cut inside from the left and flashed in a low shot from the edge of the area that Lee-Barrett fumbled on the line and watched as the ball rolled in.
Cox's hat-trick came on 52 minutes, again running at the back-pedalling home defence before producing another great finish from the edge of the area after Andy Monkhouse's angled shot from the left was held up in front of goal.
But a minute later Hartlepool narrowed the gap, Porter scoring his first.
And Porter struck again eight minutes from time when his low 25-yard free-kick went through the wall and keeper Smith fumbled on the line to allow the ball to roll into the net.
A minute from the end, Porter's hat-trick came when a long throw was headed on to him wide on the right and he chipped into the far corner.
Hartlepool battled for a late winner, buy Gary Liddle's stoppage-time shot was just wide.