Hartlepool closed the gap on the League Two play-off places with victory over bottom side Northampton.
The visitors went close early on as Luke Norris saw a headed effort bounce off the inside of the post.
Hartlepool went ahead when Luke James controlled a pass from Matty Dolan before finishing beyond Matt Duke.
The advantage was doubled after James Poole was bundled over in the box by Mathias Doumbe and Simon Walton coolly sent Duke the wrong way from the spot.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Hartlepool manager Colin Cooper told BBC Tees:
"I don't think anyone could argue we deserved to win that game.
"We dug in early on and earned the right to play by standing up to a big, strong team.
"That's the most pleasing thing for me. Teams are going to test whether we've got the resolve and we showed we have.
"I really am delighted to keep a clean sheet against Northampton because there was always going to be a lot of balls coming into our box."
Northampton manager Aidy Boothroyd told BBC Radio Northampton:
"We started really well and in the second half we had a real go at them, but it wasn't enough for me. We got what we deserved.
"It's about consistency. We looked a very good team last week but you've got to come to places like this and dig out results.
"Unfortunately, we had too many players not at the same levels they were a week ago.
"The players are giving their all but lads like Darren Carter and Ishmel Demontagnac come back into contention for Chesterfield."
Hartlepool United 01 Flinders 21 Duckworth 02 Austin 08 Walton 06 Baldwin 35 Burgess 14 Compton 04 Dolan Booked (Walker - 75' ) 10 Poole (Sweeney - 58' ) 33 James (Rodney - 88' ) 11 Monkhouse Booked Substitutes 05 Collins 07 Franks 13 Rafferty 15 Sweeney 19 Richards 23 Rodney 38 Walker Northampton Town 01 Duke 12 Tozer 03 Widdowson 34 Ravenhill 18 Reid Booked 27 Kouo-Doumbe 29 Dallas (Platt - 71' ) 32 Ferdinand 33 Norris (Morris - 60' ) 25 Blyth 19 Emerton Booked Substitutes 02 Amankwaah 06 Collins 08 Morris 09 Platt 17 Deegan 21 McNamara 23 Heath
Ref: Mark Haywood