Vanarama National League

IF Braintree do end up being relegated this is the sort of result that will haunt them.

Two up with 17 minutes to go, it was a game they should have seen out.

But they are where they are for a reason and frailties at the back cost them two points that could have been theirs.

With Dave Nieskens restored to the back line alongside Joe Ellul, Iron had been mostly dealing with any aerial threat posed by the visitors.

But there were early warning signs at set pieces when Sutton’s powerful centre backs entered the fray and twice required George Legg to go full length to keep out headers.

And it was their decision to send Charlie Clough up front that brought them back into the game when he rose above the defence to plant a left-wing cross beyond Legg.

The killer blow came with just four minutes of normal time left and this time it was the speed along the ground of the mercurial Brandon Thomas-Asante that pierced the line.

As he broke through Ellul nudged him from behind, referee Adrian Quelch pointed to the spot and Clough’s centre back partner Jamie Collins did the rest.

It was a cruel fate as up to that point, Iron had been well worth their lead.

With Billy Crook starting for the first time since September 25 and Kodi Lyons-Foster pushed forward to his more natural midfield position, they had been strong and purposeful in the centre and frequently worried their highly-placed visitors through their speed of movement, particularly from Justin Amaluzor.

They shrugged off the setback of an early injury to the luckless Jake Cass, restored to the starting XI for the first time since his debut but carried off after four minutes.

Amaluzor had shown intent early on when he sped down the right but was well policed by the defender and was unable to get in a meaningful shot.

He was more productive when he raced clear for a second time after an excellent intervention and through ball from Crook.

A shot looked on but Amaluzor had spotted the unmarked Marcel Barrington in the middle and slid the ball across for his team-mate to slide it into an empty net.

The second goal was almost a carbon copy.

Amaluzor again got clear and this time cut inside to shoot.

The ball was partly parried by former Iron keeper Jamie Butler but only as far as Crook who again had an empty net to aim at.

When Sutton manager Paul Doswell was sent to the dressing room for his remarks to the referee, it looked as if the visitors’ world might be falling apart.

Instead, they dusted themselves off, scored within a minute of losing their manager and came back to spoil Iron’s evening.

Braintree Town: George Legg; Jon Muleba, Joe Ellul, Dave Nieskens, Ricky Gabriel; Justin Amaluzor (Norman Wabo 82), Billy Crook (Ejiro Okosieme 90), Kodi Lyons-Foster, Courtney Richards, Marcel Barrington; Jake Cass (Christie Pattisson 4).