Pools picked up their first win of the 2012/13 campaign with a 2-0 triumph over Scunthorpe United at The Vic.
Jonathan Franks opened the scoring with a great strike in the first half and Luke James made it 2-0 late in the game to give Neale Cooper's men a much-needed victory.
After a bit of a scruffy start to the game, Pools took the initiative and began to test the visitors with some decent chances.
Evan Horwood was the first to try his luck on goal, sending a dangerous freekick in from the edge of the area – with the wall and keeper beaten though, his effort went agonisingly wide of the post on five minutes.
Cooper’s men were looking bright going forward with Antony Sweeney enjoying the freedom with the solid Paul Murray playing behind him, and James Poole looking lively alongside Steve Howard.
Howard was becoming a real threat down the left wing, testing the Scunthorpe defence with a number of quality balls into the box.
And at the other end the full-back put in a great challenge to steal the ball from Mark Duffy, while Peter Hartley intercepted a threat inside the area with a crunching tackle.
Pools had a couple more presentable chances on goal before taking the lead; Howard turned to shoot on the edge of the area only to see his effort go over the bar and Antony Sweeney saw his shot from distance go the same way.
With 23 minutes on the clock Pools were ahead; more good work down the left by Horwood saw the left back play a teasing ball into the box which worked its way across to the far post where Jonathan Franks met it with a thunderous strike which flew past Sam Slocombe and into the back of the net.
Pools’ first goal of the new League One season was a welcome one and gave Cooper’s men a boost as they looked largely in control for the remainder of the half.
There was one scare for Pools late in the half when Niall Canavan met a corner kick to strike on goal and his effort bounced back up to hit against Scott Flinders’ crossbar before being cleared out of danger.
Pools finished the first half on top, with chances for Howard and a couple for Sweeney keeping the visitors on their toes and Cooper will have been pleased to see his players come off at half time on top.
After a slow start to the second half from both teams, Josh Walker sparked things into life with a real rocket shot from distance – his effort sailed through the area only to scrape over the bar.
A deflected effort from Andy Barcham called Flinders into action and the big keeper collected as the visitors began to look a little more likely.
There was a real mix-up at the back for Pools as the ball bobbled around inside the area and with Flinders caught out of position, Prutton unleashed a fierce strike on goal but fortunately it sailed just over the bar.
Pools showed flashes in the second half but did less to threaten Sam Slocombe in the Scunthorpe goal.
Cooper’s men looked set to double their lead just before 80 minutes when Slocombe was caught off his line and Antony Sweeney sent a header towards an empty goal. But with the ball heading over the line, Josh Walker arrived and deliberately clawed the ball off target with his hand.
The referee spotted it though, showed Walker a red card and awarded Pools a penalty. Steve Howard stepped up to take the spot kick but his powerful effort was well saved by the visiting keeper and the score remained 1-0.
The Iron continued to press in the closing stages, showing real positivity despite being a man down and Pools were worked hard at the back.
But a good break forward by Pools saw Andy Monkhouse send a lovely ball into the box where sub Luke James showed exactly what he is capable with a calm first touch and a lovely drilled finish past the keeper to make it 2-0.
Full Time: Pools 2 Scunthorpe United 0
Att: 3863 (234 Scunthorpe United)
Sent Off: Walker (Scunthorpe United – 79)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Franks (Holden 70), Sweeney, Murray, Monkhouse, Howard, Poole (James 62)
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Humphreys, Baldwin, Walton, Luscombe
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Walker, Mirfin, Ryan (Jennings 55), Grella, Barcham (Keegan 71), Canavan, Duffy, Newey, Prutton
Subs Not Used: Severn, Gibbons, Hughes, Howe