Hartlepool overcame the dismissal of Peter Hartley to record a valuable 2-1 win over Oldham at Victoria Park.
Goals from Ritchie Jones and Andy Monkhouse put Pools in charge at the break, but Hartley was then dismissed before Pawel Abbott pulled a goal back for the Latics with two minutes remaining.
Pools took the lead after 33 minutes following an uninspiring start. Antony Sweeney charged forward and crossed from the left for Ritchie Jones to plant home a free header at the far post.
The hosts doubled their lead five minutes before the break as Monkhouse took a slack pass from Sean Gregan in his stride and drilled his shot through keeper Dean Brill from 12 yards.
Oldham didn't threaten until the closing stages, but they cranked up the pressure after Pool left-back Hartley was red carded after 83 minutes following a penalty area melee.
Substitute Abbott neatly headed in his seventh of the season when he met Chris Taylor's free-kick from the left.
And in injury-time, Oldham missed chances to level through Taylor and Nick Blackman, while the latter was denied by a strong Scott Flinders block.
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