A second half goal from Michael Woods inflicted a disappointing 0-1 home defeat on the U’s in their final midweek clash at the Cambs Glass Stadium of the season.
Shaun Derry made two changes to the side that beat Carlisle United four days earlier, with Harrison Dunk and Jake Carroll returning to face his former side.
The first half was a low key affair with Luke Berry and Leon Legge going closest for the U’s when both headed narrowly wide of Joe Fryer’s goal.
United were getting joy down the left wing through Harrison Dunk though, who caused young right-back Kenton Richardson problems during the opening 45 minutes.
However, the match defining moment came shortly after the hour mark, when the Pools hit United on the counter attack and Woods finished neatly past Will Norris to give Dave Jones’ side a decisive advantage.
Max Clark attempted a long range effort minutes after the goal, before receiving a red card for his full blooded challenge on Nicky Deverdics with 19 minutes to play.
Substitute Paul Lewis came closest of anyone in Amber and Black to levelling when his far post header was cleared off the line, but Hartlepool saw the remaining minutes out without too much trouble and took the spoils.
Commenting post-match, Cambridge United Boss Shaun Derry was frank in his assessment and said: “We are very disappointed to have come off such a positive performance on Saturday at Carlisle to producing a very poor display tonight.
“We didn’t influence any part of the game this evening or make anything happen, there was not enough fighting for the cause.
“There is a collective disappointment from all of us that we couldn’t match the standard we set ourselves away on Saturday.”
Cambridge United: Norris, Halliday, Legge, Wharton, Carroll, Mingoia, Dunne (Lewis, 59 mins), Clark, Berry, Dunk (Maris, 59 mins), McDonagh (Elito, 45 mins)
Hartlepool United: Fryer, Featherstone, Thomas, Walker, Amond, Oates (Deverdics, 32 mins), Woods, Alessandra, Harrison, Donnelly, Richardson
Attendance: 3,824 (101)
Vindis Man of the Match: Brad Halliday