Hartlepool hit back from two goals down to draw with 10-man Sutton
Two stunning goals and a first-half red card helped Hartlepool’s relegation fight by earning a 2-2 draw with play-off hopefuls Sutton.
Pools, sitting just above the drop zone, reacted to Craig Eastmond’s dismissal eight minutes before half-time by coming from two goals down to claim a point.
David Ajiboye and Lee Angol had secured a two-goal cushion for the U’s inside 31 minutes.
But, after Eastmond’s second caution for a needless touchline lunge on Dan Kemp deep in the Hartlepool half, the hosts levelled through Kemp in the 43rd minute and Dan Dodds’ thunderbolt followed in first-half stoppage-time.
Kemp’s beautifully curled free-kick from 22 yards left goalkeeper Jack Rose with no chance and Dodds’ left-foot volley that curled inside the far corner was arguably even better.
Before that, Sutton – who lost ground on the play-off places – should have been out of sight.
Ajiboye’s 18th-minute volley from Sam Hart’s excellent cross put them ahead before the scorer laid on the second for Angol to chip goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk in the 31st minute.
Sutton midfielder Ali Smith had the best of the other chances. He hit a post and missed the rebound early on, while he was denied twice by Stolarczyk before the second goal.
After the restart, Connor Jennings, Kemp and Matty Dolan were denied by Rose after Stolarczyk denied Angol his second and a Sutton winner.