Andy Monkhouse's eighth goal of the season proved enough for Hartlepool to edge past Oldham in a 2-1 home win on Saturday afternoon.
Hartlepool were reduced to 10 men in the frantic closing stages and saw their two-goal lead reduced to one, but they held on - just.
Pool took the lead in the 33rd minute following an uninspiring start. Antony Sweeney charged ahead from deep and crossed from the left for Ritchie Jones to plant a free header in at the far post.
It was soon two when Pools top scorer Monkhouse took a slack missed pass from Oldham's Sean Gregan in his stride and drilled his shot through goalkeeper Dean Brill's leg from 12 yards.
Oldham did not threaten until the closing stages, but cranked up the pressure after Pool left-back Peter Hartley was sent off in the 83rd minute following a penalty area melee.
Oldham substitute Pawel Abbott neatly headed in his seventh of the season when he met Chris Taylor's free-kick from the left and in injury time Oldham missed chances to level, through Taylor and Nick Blackman, while the latter was denied by a strong block from home goalkeeper Scott Flinders.