A superbly instinctive finish by Donovan Wilson six minutes from time enabled Sutton to take a point at Scunthorpe, but it might have been more as both Wilson and Craig Eastmond missed chances in seven minutes of stoppage time, most of which was for an injury to Ben Wyatt in the build-up to Scunthorpe's goal five minutes after half time.
It was an eventful afternoon for Wyatt, one of two changes to U's line up as Rob Milsom and Louis John failed to recover from knocks and so Coby Rowe and Wyatt came in to the defensive line-up, but after an early scare for U's when Miles Hippolyte charged down a Jon Barden clearance and sent a first time dipping volley just wide, it was in an attacking situation Wyatt almost made an impact inside the first ten minutes, sending in a cross that centre back George Taft failed to cut out and Omar Bugiel was only denied the opening goal by the legs of goalkeeper Rory Watson. Wyatt was involved again minutes later with a crunching, and perfectly fair, tackle on Beestin which saw the Scunthorpe player require treatment.
U's had settled well, and the keeper was in action again when he grabbed hold of a low Craig Eastmond shot from just outside the penalty area, before Bugiel finished a driving run with a low shot just wide after Wilson had won possession in midfield.
It wasn't until beyond the mid-point of the first half that Scunthorpe had any sustained pressure, Dean Bouzanis having to tip away two corners and a fine intervention from Wyatt diverting Alex Perry's dangerous cross. However it was U's who came close again when Lewis Thompson, realising he had no chance of matching David Ajiboye for pace, grabbed hold of the winger to halt his progress and was booked. When Scunthorpe failed to clear the free kick, Bugiel's cross was headed down by Eastmond and Wilson's volley was very well saved by Watson, but if Scunthorpe were grateful to their keeper for a third good save, U's were indebted to Ben Goodliffe soon afterwards for one of his trademark defensive blocks when Perry's pass released Devarn Green on the right. His low cross ran through to Thompson, whose goalbound shot was turned away by a diving Goodliffe on the six yard line.
Harry Beautyman saw an effort loop off Manny Onariase in to Watson's arms, and when Jon Barden intercepted the keeper's throw out to set up another attack, Ajiboye's cross was cleared as far as Eastmond, whose volley went just wide to ensure an entertaining half ended goalless.
Five minutes after half time the deadlock was broken in unfortunate circumstances for U's as Bouzanis played a free kick on the halfway line to Wyatt, who had to stretch to retain possession and lost out to Beestin, whose arm made accidental contact with the U's defender who was left on the floor as referee Ross Joyce waved play on despite it appearing to be a head injury. U's were left to to defend a man short as Green's cross was met by Thompson's header, which looped on to the crossbar for Jake Scrimshaw, signed on loan from Bournemouth a day earlier and only in the starting line-up after an injury to Harry Bunn in the warm-up, to volley acrobatically in from the rebound.
Wyatt, who had needed a cut head bandaged in the first half, required several minutes' treatment and it seemed as though Joe Kizzi would get a competitive debut, but Wyatt was able to continue. However U's struggled to recover from the goal and endured a difficult spell as Onariase headed just over from a corner and Beestin sent a shot just wide from twenty yards. They did create a chance, though, when Bugiel's powerful run ended with a cross met first time by Wilson but with Watson again well placed to save.
U's brought on Enzio Boldewijn for Kenny Davis, the winger threatening with two runs, the second of which saw a shot blocked, and when Ricky Korboa replaced Ajiboye his first touch was to flick a long pass in to the path of Wilson, whose shot was just wide. The substitutions saw U's grab the initiative, though, and when Boldewijn got free on the left againand pulled the ball back from the by-line Wilson's sublime back-heeled finish brought U's level.
They could have won the game, as deep in to stoppage time Korboa launched a counter-attack which ended with Eastmond finding Wilson, whose shot was disappointingly wild and then right at the death Korboa again threatened, this time beating substitute Mason O'Malley on the right and finding Wilson, whose cutback ran through to Eastmond, who miscued his shot agonisingly wide with Beautyman unable to divert it in to the net.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Barden, B Wyatt, C Rowe, B Goodliffe, C Eastmond, D Ajiboye(sub R Korboa 77), K Davis(sub E Boldewijn 69), O Bugiel(sub A Smith 90+2), H Beautyman, D Wilson. Subs n/u L John, J Kizzi,R Bennett, B House. Booked: Bugiel
Scunthorpe: R Watson, A Perry, L Thompson(sub M O'Malley 78), H Davis, G Taft, M Onariase, D Green(sub H Jessop 69), A Beestin, J Scrimshaw, T Pugh, M Hippolyte(sub J Rowe 87). Subs n/u T Collins, F Shrimpton, C Wilson. Booked: Thompson, Perry, Scrimshaw.
Referee: Ross Joyce