Southend United boosted their chances of League Two automatic promotion with victory against in-form Hartlepool.
The visitors almost took the lead early on when Barry Corr broke through on goal but sent his effort just wide.
Southend took the lead just after the restart when Will Atkinson fired past home goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
Pools pressured for a late equaliser and were unlucky not to take a point when Dan Jones’s volley was diverted onto the underside of the bar.
The result was Hartlepool’s first loss in six matches but they sit precariously just one point and one place off the League Two relegation places.