A week after securing their Football League status with a win over Scunthorpe, the Grecians played with a freedom and enthusiasm to jump above their out-of-sorts opponents in the final standings courtesy of goals from Jimmy Keohane and David Wheeler.
The visitors took the lead on 26 minutes with a touch of class from Keohane. After Pools midfielder Bradley Walker was robbed of possession by Wheeler, Keohane took the ball, ran forward and curled his finish in off the underside of the crossbar to bring deserved applause from the home crowd.
Keohane could have made it 2-0, but his close-range effort after being teed up by Wheeler was well saved by goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
Wheeler did add a second goal one minute before the break when he latched onto a long Liam Sercombe pass and rounded Flinders to tap in.
Pools had a chance to get one back within a minute, though, after James Poole was fouled in the area.
However, Jack Compton's penalty was well saved by keeper Christy Pyn who dived to his left to save.