A solitary James Collins strike on the hour mark was enough to ensure Hartlepool United left the Checkatrade Stadium with nothing.
In a fairly even opening, Crawley probably had the better of the chances with Adam Bartlett making one or two saves and Liam Donnelly making one block to deny Enzio Boldewijn.
At the other end Sean Kavanagh tested Glenn Morris with a well disguised strike, but the keeper was equal to the powerful effort low down.
Collins did have the ball in the net late on but he was flagged for offside.
After the break the home side upped the ante and should have been in front on the break.
A right wing cross by Boldewijn found Collins unmarked in the area and just six yards out he somehow managed to head over. It was a let off for Pools.
Collins was in no mood to let Pools off four minutes later though when the home side took the lead. A floated cross from deep saw the frontman find space in the area yet again and this time he made no mistake, flicking into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Pools threw caution to the wind after falling behind but even the introduction of Billy Paynter could not see them carve open a clear cut opportunity.
Despite dominating possession and pinning the Reds back, it was the home side who looked the more likely of grabbing a second. Late on substitute Bobson Bawling drew a fantastic save from Adam Bartlett as the hosts held on for the three points.