Hartlepool overcame Rochdale to give manager Neale Cooper his first win since returning to Victoria Park.
Andy Monkhouse had his header cleared off the line in the first half by visiting keeper Stephen Darby, while Nicky Adams went close for Dale with a long-range shot.
James Brown headed the hosts in front from close range just six minutes after coming on in the second half.
Luke James' spectacular volley from 25-yards out sealed the victory for Pools.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Rochdale caretaker manager Chris Beech told BBC Radio Manchester:
"We've said to the lads we should be sat on six points in nine and we're sat on two.
"We did have the worse goal difference in the league and we've managed to stop conceding as many goals, as frequently.
"Everybody and every team are going to get beat but it's how they react."