The hosts took the lead after 23 minutes. James Poole crossed from the left and winger Jonathan Franks latched onto the ball at the far post to crash in his first for his new club and Hartlepool's first goal of the current campaign.
The Iron's best spell came at the start of the second half when Josh Walker's 25-yard shot was tipped over by goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
Flinders then flapped at a cross and Pools needed a firm block by Evan Horwood to deny Mark Duffy a leveller.
But the drab game exploded into action after 78 minutes. Antony Sweeney's goalbound header was pushed off the line by Walker's hand and the midfielder was sent off.
Steve Howard took the penalty, but his low kick was well saved by the diving Sam Slocombe.
Pools sealed an unconvincing win after 86 minutes as substitute Luke James was picked out by Andy Monkhouse to volley in from 18 yards out.