A tap-in from two yards from attacker Jeff Hughes was all that separated the sides at Victoria Park.
Then Matty Dolan, on loan from Middlesbrough and making his debut, twice fired in shots from long distance before Bradley Walker curled a first-time effort wide of the post.
Lone striker David Ball then turned a low shot into Flinders in a rare visitors attack.
In the second half, it was the visitors who looked more likely to score during a quick spell of pressure.
Ball struck the frame of the goal from an angle before his goalbound volley was deflected wide.
Pools' best chance of a leveller came when Howard's header from a deep Jack Baldwin cross was tipped wide by diving keeper Scott Davies.
- Sports & Recreation
- Scott Flinders
- Antoni Sarcevic
- Steve Howard