HARTLEPOOL are now without a win in four League One games after a late Angel Rangel strike sent Swansea to the top of the table.
A share of the spoils was looking likely until Pool failed to clear and, when the loose ball ran to the Spaniard, he fired it into the bottom corner through a crowded penalty area.
Despite the defeat – Pool’s third in four matches – manager Danny Wilson was upbeat about his side’s performance.
“We got the bit between the teeth and played a system we thought would negate Swansea,” he said. “They had a stroke of luck with the goal, and that is disappointing because we defended very well throughout the game.
“Our keeper had very little to do, yet their goalkeeper had to make several excellent saves. The players are disappointed, but we were unlucky against a side who are now top of the league.”
The Swans had opened with pace and went close on several occasions but were unable to find the finishing touch they so badly needed to improve their poor home form.
Hartlepool occasionally broke free and James Brown had Swansea goalkeeper Dorus De Vries leaping to tip a shot on to the crossbar after a rare attack.
The visitors once again struck the woodwork after the break when a lob from Antony Sweeney beat the keeper only to rebound to safety via the bar.
But just as it looked as though more home points were being lost by Roberto Martinez’s men, up stepped Rangel to fire Swansea to the top of League One.
“Sometimes it is better to dig out a result, and perhaps we needed to do that at home as we have dropped too many points at the Liberty Stadium,” said Swansea boss Martinez.
“We did plenty of attacking but must learn to be more patient, and sometimes our final ball was not good enough.”
SWANSEA CITY: De Vries, Rangel, Lawrence, Monk, Painter, Britton, Bodde, Pratley (Duffy 71), Robinson, Anderson (Butler 53), Scotland (Bauza 80). Subs (not used): Tate, Orlandi.
Booked: Pratley, Bodde, Painter, Bauza.
Goal: Rangel 82.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Budtz, Nolan, Nelson, Antwi , Humphreys, McCunnie, Boland (Foley 86), Brown, Sweeney, Moore, Barker (Porter 72). Subs (not used): Elliott, Monkhouse, Gibb.
Booked: Boland, McCunnie.
Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire).