HARTLEPOOL kept up the pressure on leaders Sutton as Rhys Oates’ eighth goal of the season was enough to see off Woking 1-0.

Second-placed Pools started on the front foot and should have been ahead after 14 minutes but Luke Molyneux’s shot hit the crossbar from Oates’ cutback.

Midfielder Luke Williams came close to the opener after 21 minutes following a driving run from full-back Jamie Sterry, while at the other end, former Hartlepool striker Niko Muir almost marked his return to Victoria Park with a goal from a Matt Jarvis cross.

Goalkeeper Ben Killip pulled off a stunning save to deny Woking forward Sam Ashford on the hour, while Oates should have put the home side in front shortly afterwards but he fired wide from close range.

Ashford was denied by the woodwork in the 66th minute but it was Hartlepool, after a spell of pressure, who broke the deadlock with 10 minutes remaining.

Oates was played in by substitute Mark Shelton and he fired the ball across the keeper and in off the far post to move Hartlepool four points behind Sutton.