Sutton United 2

Barrow AFC 2

To state the obvious, goals change games and there's no doubt that Barrow AFC's match at Sutton United was transformed by the hosts pulling one back right on the stroke of half-time.

Prior to Harry Beautyman halving the U's deficit, the Bluebirds had been imperious at Gander Green Lane and for a few minutes after Scott Quigley had put them 2-0 in front, it had appeared to be a case of 'how many?'

It was a different match in the second half, however, as Sutton attacked AFC with a pace that they struggled to live with and they came away from South London accepting this was a good point, having largely been on the back foot after the break.

Sutton's situation sums up the nature of the National League; only three points above the relegation zone, yet they've now only lost once in their last 13 games.

While they struggle to pull away from danger despite their good form, Barrow's situation with two months of the season left is so much rosier, even if the gap at the top of the table is now a bit narrower.

In front of the BT Sport cameras, they showed just why promotion to the Football League is regarded as theirs to lose, as they dominated the U's on their 'strange and different' (the words of manager Ian Evatt) artificial pitch for the first 45 minutes.

It's overstating things to say this was 'redemption' for Quigley after his struggles in front of goal in the recent double header against Dover - he'd actually played very well in the win over the Whites the previous Tuesday.

Nonetheless, the brace that took the National League's top scorer to 20 goals in his first season at Holker Street will have felt good, and both came off the back of silky smooth moves.

After the Bluebirds had had a Dior Angus header wrongly ruled out for offside, they got the lead they deserved after 28 minutes.

Starting in their own half, Dan Jones swapped passes with Tom White before playing a lovely pass for Quigley, who laid the ball off for Angus before running on to the return ball and calmly finding the bottom corner.

When the same man tapped in Patrick Brough's superb low cross from the left, which in itself followed some terrific footwork from Josh Kay, the match appeared to be going only one way.

The mood at half-time was changed, however, when Beautyman left Matt Platt for dead after receiving Ben Wyatt's pass and slammed the ball past Joel Dixon in the last of three added minutes.

Beautyman went on to have a big influence in the second half, but it was the speed of winger David Ajiboye and striker Issac Olaofe that wreaked havoc on the visitors' defence and it was the latter's persistence that led to the U's equaliser.

Olaofe, who was making his debut on loan from Millwall, needed some luck after Brough's tackle rebounded his way, but it was his trickery that led to Jason Taylor bringing him down for a penalty, which Beautyman tucked away.

As a result of this draw, Harrogate have closed to five points behind AFC, who are now entering into what could be a pivotal period of three home games on the spin. Win those, and they'll take some catching.

Sutton United (4-4-2): Tzanev, Barden, Goodliffe, John, Wyatt, Ajiboye, Davis (Milsom 36), Beautyman, Randall, Bugiel (Dundas 78) Olaofe (Kealy 81).

Subs not used: Rowe, Reid.

Barrow AFC (3-4-1-2): Dixon, Hird, Platt, Jones, Kay (Brown 74), Taylor, White (Hardcastle 63), Brough, Rooney, Angus (Soule 77), Quigley.

Subs not used: Dyson, Harrison.

Referee: Sam Barrott

Attendance: 1,871

Bluebirds star man: Scott Quigley