An injury-time strike from Eoin Doyle saw Craig Hignett's side cruelly knocked out of the EFL Cup at Preston North End.
Pools had shown real grit and determination throughout the evening, putting in a professional and organised display to keep their Championship hosts out for over 90 minutes of the game.
But with the game deep into injury time, Preston countered and Doyle hit home from close range to see Pools out of the competition in the First Round.
It was a lively first half at Deepdale, with Pools looking organised and determined as they faced an increasing threat from the hosts.
A cross from Paul Gallagher on 13 minutes was the first real moment of danger from Preston after a quiet start to the game. Matthew Bates, back in the team for tonight’s game, rose well to get to the ball before Toto Nsiala kicked it clear.
The hosts’ strike duo of Joe Garner and Eoin Doyle began to look more of a threat but Pools looked composed at the back, with Bates and Nsiala looking solid.
A Greg Cunningham cross into Ben Pringle at the far post pulled the first save of the game from Bartlett who reacted quickly to tip the ball back around the post and out for the corner.
The busy Pringle sent a fast-paced cross in from the left which picked out Alan Browne in the centre but he sent his header over the bar.
Paul Gallagher was next to try his luck, this time with a powerful blast from the edge of the box but Nsiala threw his head in the way to send it over for a corner.
Toto was involved at the other end shortly after when Nicky Deverdics lifted a freekick long into the box and, while it beat the Preston defence, the ball was just a yard ahead of the chasing Nsiala.
Garner sent another couple of headed chances wide of goal as Preston upped their pressure near to the break and Browne fizzed a header narrowly wide but Pools held firm and the sides went in all square at half time.
Jake Carroll came to the rescue early in the second half, throwing himself full-length to head a Greg Cunningham dangerous cross wide of target.
Nathan Thomas won a freekick just outside the box on 52 minutes, which Nicky Deverdics stepped up to take. His strike rose over the wall but was also just too high for goal as it went over the bar.
Daniel Johnson took a chance from distance, sending a low drive towards Bartlett’s goal but his effort went wide of the right-hand post.
Carl Magnay got his head to a corner from the left but it went wide, while at the opposite end Michael Woods kept a certain goal out with a brilliant last-ditch goalline clearance, stretching out an orange boot to clear the ball.
Preston went close again just after when Eoin Doyle saw his close-range effort hit the post and bounce out of play.
Former Pools loanee Jordan Hugill, on as a 63rd-minute sub, was lively for the hosts and saw himself first denied by Nsiala with a powerful block on the edge of the area and then Bartlett who got down to collect his low strike.
As the 90th minute loomed, there was real desperate defending for Pools as shots from Doyle and Hugill were blocked out by a combination of Bartlett, Bates and Nsiala.
Pools wasted a well-positioned freekick in added time and allowed the hosts to counter at pace but with Doyle's shot was blocked well by Bates, the ball was squared for Robinson who just had Bartlett to beat but the Preston man sent it high over the bar from close range.
Another Pools freekick was cleared upfield quickly by Lindegaard who had collected the ball. The ball was crossed into the box and, when Pools couldn't clear, Doyle was able to finish from close range to grab a last-minute winner for Preston North End to take the hosts through to the next round of the EFL Cup.
Full Time: Preston North End 1 Pools 0
Booked: Woods (61), Magnay (81)
Preston North End: Lindegaard, Cunningham, Wright, Browne, Johnson (Robinson 63), Gallagher, Doyle, Garner (Hugill 63), Grimshaw, Pringle (Humphrey 81), Huntington.
Subs Not Used: Maxwell, Beckford, Spurr, Welsh.
Pools: Bartlett, Magnay, Bates, Nsiala, Carroll, Woods, Laurent, Deverdics, Alessandra, Amond, Thomas.
Subs Not Used: Dudzinski, Richards, Jones, Featherstone, Hawkins, Oates, Smith.