Colchester United 1 (Read 80) Sutton United 1 (Sowunmi 90+5)
A stoppage time equaliser from Omar Sowunmi earned Sutton a deserved first away league point of the season after Arthur Read's fine individual goal had seemed set to give Colchester what would have been a fourth consecutive League Two victory.
With Ben Goodliffe suspended, Sowunmi was fit to return alongside Louis John, but injuries ruled out Craig Clay and Rob Milsom, the latter fit for the bench but Clay failing a pre-match fitness test, so Dominic Gape came in for his first start and Joe Kizzi switched to left back with Ryan Jackson coming in on the right.
Colchester began with three corners in the first five minutes, none of which came to anything as two were played short and cleared and the third landed safely in the hands of Dean Bouzanis, and it was Sutton who created the first real threat as Josh Coley was fouled thirty yards out and Harry Beautyman's free kick was headed over by Sowunmi.
Kizzi was booked for a heavy challenge on Jayden Fevrier, but the free kick gave U's their best chance so far as Coley was able to counter as U's cleared, and his crossfield pass gave Aiden O'Brien the chance to attack the penalty area and beat a defender before shooting just wide.
That heralded a good spell from Sutton without being able to create any clear chances, Beautyman sending a volley looping wide, and Colchester, whose slow build-up frustrated the home crowd on occasions, went close when Read's 20-yard shot was beaten away by Bouzanis. The end of the half saw U's under pressure, with Harry Smith and Beautyman both booked and Colchester missing two good chances as first Samson Tovide put Joe Turner through, with Bouzanis making a good save to divert the shot over, and Turner then returning the compliment only for Tovide to blaze the ball in to the 228 Sutton supporters behind the goal.
Sutton started the second half well, and when goalkeeper Owen Goodman came a long way to reach a Christian N'Guessan free kick and failed to gather cleanly, both Sowunmi and Kizzi had shots blocked in the six yard box and moments later when Smith headed down John's cross, Gape's shot was also blocked. It became a more open game, with both sides failing to make the best of their possession, and with twenty minutes to go Colchester made a triple substitution in attack. There were still few clear cut chances, Sowunmi miscuing a volley wide from an N'Guessan free kick, but with ten minutes to go one of the Colchester substitutes, Brad Ihionvien, played a ball through for Read, who showed tremendous close control to jink his way in to the penalty area and slot the ball past Bouzanis.
Sutton made a triple switch of their own to try and grab the equaliser, and N'Guessan had a late shot deflected wide, but one last chance came when Cameron McGeehan's wild challenge on Kizzi earned him a booking and gave N'Guessan one more opportunity to float in a free kick. The ball carried to beyond the far post, Smith showed fine control to get to the by line and cut back a low cross, and Sowunmi hammered a shot high in to the net to earn U's a thoroughly well deserved point.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, J Kizzi, O Sowunmi, D Gape(sub L Angol 84), L John, J Coley(sub D Pereira 83) C N'Guessan, H Smith, H Beautyman, A O'Brien(sub O Patrick 84). Subs n/u J Rose, C Dundas, T Fadahunsi, R Milsom. Booked: Kizzi, Smith, Beautyman, John.
Colchester: O Goodman, W Greenidge(sub F Kelleher 89), M Egbo, C McGeehan, Z Mitchell, T Dallison, J Fevrier, A Read, S Tovide(sub T Hopper 70), N Chilvers(sub C Cooper 70), J Taylor(sub B Ihionvien 70). Subs S Hornby, J Mingi, F Terry. Booked: Dallison, Read, McGeehan
Referee: Peter Wright
Attendance: 3,732 (228 away)