Mellor ends poor Preston run
Neil Mellor's goal was enough to defeat Hartlepool as Preston ended their miserable run of form by winning for the first time in 10 League One games.
Mellor's strike proved the difference against a Pools side which has now lost seven successive home games in all competitions.
The hosts should have been awarded a penalty after 16 minutes when Jamie McCombe handled in the area from a Peter Hartley header but referee Jock Waugh played on.
North End, winless in the league since September 27, then scored the only goal five minutes later. Mellor picked up a loose ball and drilled a low, first-time shot into the net from 25 yards.
Lilywhites goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann saved from Antony Sweeney and James Poole as the home side searched for a leveller. The closest they came to scoring was on the hour mark when Poole galloped forward 70 yards in possession and whipped in a low shot that Stuckmann did well to push around the post.
Pools have only scored one goal - a penalty - at home since September 17, a run of 576 minutes.