A drab opening half at Victoria Park ended with the League One game’s first shot on target and the only goal. Evan Horwood’s attempt at chesting the ball back to his keeper fell short and Daniel Powell nipped in to round Scott Flinders and score from a tight angle.
But Pools dominated the second period without finding a breakthrough. Ryan Donaldson took a Ritchie Humphreys lay-off to volley against the bar on 50 minutes.
The striker, on loan from Newcastle, then tapped into the net after Antony Sweeney held up possession, only for referee Gary Sutton to rule the effort out on 66 minutes, much to the dismay of the Victoria Park crowd.
Colin Larkin, on as a substitute, cut inside to fire inches past David Martin’s post before James Brown did likewise.
Pools’ day was summed up on 84 minutes, when skipper Sam Collins thumped a shot against the crossbar from 16 yards and top-scorer Sweeney headed the rebound wide of an empty net.