Sutton United 2 York City 2
Gander Green Lane
Sat 11th Mar 3.00pm
Two York City substitutes grabbed dramatic late goals to rescue a valuable and in the end unexpected point against Sutton United on the 3G pitch at Gander Green Lane.
In truth it was a very poor spectacle that finally burst into life inside the final twenty minutes when former £1.4m Middlesbrough midfielder Nicky Bailey lashed the home side in front. Sean Newton then conceded an 87th minute own-goal and the visitors appeared totally finished.
However, Scott Fenwick immediately headed in a corner delivered by fellow replacement Yan Klukowski, who then converted a superb free-kick in the final minute of stoppage-time.
Manager Gary Mills earlier named an unchanged starting eleven for the third successive game, with late hero Klukowski returning on the bench alongside Aidan Connolly after both were declared as available.
Bedsente Gomis was instantly comfortably off-target for hosts who were without their leading striker Roarie Deacon due to suspension. Kieron Cadogan also went down inside the area when challenged by skipper Simon Heslop.
Jon Parkin was though penalised at the far post while attempting to get onto Alex Whittle's cross before Adriano Moke needed treatment following a blow to the head. Hamza Bencherif next picked up the opening booking of the afternoon.
Home midfielder Jake Jebb proved wayward from a subsequent free-kick but the visitors soon had Newton's cross deflected onto the crossbar by Parkin, who was adjudged offside. Adam Coombes dragged wide at the other end and Parkin's long-distance response threatened only the corner flag.
Vadaine Oliver saw an effort midway through the half comfortably taken by on loan goalkeeper Will Puddy; although the back-in-favour marksman should really have opened his account on the half-hour when heading wide Whittle's cross towards the far post.
Goalkeeper Kyle Letheren was then penalised for blocking on the edge of his area and Jebb's delivery deflected behind. Jamie Collins drove wide from the resultant corner before Gomis was similarly missing the target.
Kevin Amankwaah was cautioned for bringing down Amari Morgan-Smith inside the closing five minutes of a really scrappy opening half - and Newton's resultant free-kick was too close to Puddy. Dean Beckwith also hoisted over in added time from decent work by Cadogan.
Coombes was straight at Letheren from an overhead attempt following the break, with Moke's forceful reply from the edge of the area being safely collected by Puddy. Newton was soon cautioned for a challenge on the breaking Maxime Biamou.
But Sutton went in front with sixteen minutes remaining when Bailey's 25-yard drive found the bottom corner after Newton had initially headed away.
The hosts almost had another as Amankwaah's header was blocked on the line by Heslop and Coombes next cleared an inviting target - prompting a triple change from their opponents, for whom Helsop again covered well as substitute Dan Flitchett broke.
The Minstermen were though to disastrously concede again when Newton directed a firm 87th minute back-pass from the touchline beyond Letheren and into his own net.
Substitute Fenwick instantly replied with a sharp header from a corner taken by fellow replacement Klukowski, who also turned over Newton's delivery in a frantic conclusion during which Parkin was also booked.
However, Oliver suddenly won a free-kick in the final added minute - and Klukowski stepped up to dramatically crash an equaliser into the top corner.
Sutton United: Puddy, Amankwaah, Beckwith, Collins, Gomis, Bailey, Spence, Jebb (Jefford 58), Biamou (Fitchett 67), Coombes, Cadogan (May 83)
subs (unused): John, Dundas
Goals: Bailey (74), Newton OG (87)
York City: Letheren, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Heslop, Moke (Fenwick 80), Hall (Klukowski 80), Whittle (Connolly 80), Oliver, Parkin, Morgan-Smith
subs (unused): Rooney, Holmes
Goals: Fenwick (89), Klukowski (90)
Ref: C. Hatzidakis