A single strike, prodded in from close range by Anthony Wordsworth, proved decisive as the U’s won their second game in a row.
Pools, under caretaker boss Micky Barron, started brightly and James Poole lobbed inches wide from 20 yards.
But the visitors went close when Karl Duguid stabbed wide from six yards when he met a Kayode Odejayi flick.
Ian Henderson then drifted a close-range effort wide before he was denied by the legs of goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
But the goal came after 36 minutes. Brian Wilson’s floated ball drifted over the defence and, after his shot was kept out by Flinders, Wordsworth scrambled it home from inside the six-yard area.
Pools went close again on half-time but Antony Sweeney’s ball rolled across the face of goal.