Hartlepool United 1 Sutton United 1: Pools denied by injury time goal

Pools celebrate Rhys Oates goal. Picture by MARK FLETCHER/ SHUTTERPRESS
Pools celebrate Rhys Oates goal. Picture by MARK FLETCHER/ SHUTTERPRESS

High-flying Sutton United snatched a last-gasp equaliser to deny Hartlepool United three points.

Pools led 1-0 thanks to Rhys Oates's third goal of the season in the 39th minute.

But the U's pulled level nine minutes into stoppage time when sub Tommy Wright lashed in from six yards.

Craig Harrison made three changes to his Hartlepool United for the visit of sixth-placed Sutton United to Victoria Park.

Carl Magnay returned at right-back after mising the FA cup victory at South Shields.

It meant Michael Ledger switched to centre-half to partner Louis Laing at the heart of the defence with Scottt Harrison relegated to the bench.

Nicky Featherstone was ruled out with a groin problem, with Liam Donnelly, shaking of a back injury picked up in the warm-up at Mariners Park, deputising.

Lewis Hawkins returned to the starting XI, replacing Jack Munns who moved down to the bench.

The Londoners included former Pools midfielder Simon Walton.

Sutton had the better of the first half.

Nicky Bailey was just wide of Scott Loach's left stick with a 30-yard free-kick from a central position.

Loach was needed in the 12th minute to save a strong Ross Lafayette shot from the edge of the box.

The U's domination continued when Magnay made a vital block when Lafayette was left unmarked at the edge of the area.

Sutton should reallly have been ahead but they could not beat Loach, the keeper blocking with his feet from Josh Taylor in the 28th minute.

Pools finally began to find their rhythm though Jamie Butler's first catch of the day came from a Nicky Deverdics cross.

But the Pools left back was only home player putting some pace into the game and it was no shock he launched the move which produced the first goal.

He found Devante Rodney, who cut in off the left, with Butler unable to hold his right-foot shot, allowing OATES to nip in and score into the empty net.

Sutton came back with Kieron Cadogan's shot deflected out for Sutton's fifth corner.

The U's began the second half as thaet started the first and Magnay made two excellent cleearances for the hosts.

Pools should have doubled the lead on 55 minutes but Rodney missed a great chance with his left foot after Butler saved a low shot from Jonathan Franks.

It was almost 1-1 in the 63rd minute with Pools making one block on line before Taylor went wide from the rebound.

Harrison brought on Blair Adams with a quarter of an hour to go and he was heavily involved in Pools almost adding a second.

Fellow sub Connor Simpson headed wide from his cross from the left and then Butler saved his piledriver from the edge of the box.

Sutton continued to threaten amd Loach was forced to tip over a Taylor cross for an 88th-minute corner.

An injury to Kieron Eastmond right on full-time resulted in an extended period of injury time.

And nine minutes into it, Sutton snatched a deserved point. Pools could not get the ball away and WRIGHT lashed a shot high into the home net.

FULL-TIME:

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1

SUTTON UNITED 1

Pools: Loach, Magnay, Laing, Ledger, Deverdics, Donnelly, Hawkins, Woods (George 89), Franks, Oates (Simpson 77), Rodney (Adams 74).

Unused subs: Harrison, Munns,

Goal: Oates 39

Booked: Rodney 62, Laing 65, Adams 84, Donnelly 87

Sutton: Butler, Bailey, John, Collins, Thomas, Eastmond, Davis (Coombs 85), Walton (Wright 51), Cadogan, Lafayette (Dundas 70), Taylor

Unused subs: Spence, Beckwith

Goal: Wright 90+9

Booked: Thomas 68, Coombs 86

Referee: D Middleton

Att: 3,097 (away 93)