Jamie Collins scored a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game to earn Sutton United a vital 3-2 victory at relegation-threatened Torquay on Tuesday night.

With both sides desperate for the points for very different reasons, the match was drifting towards a 2-2 draw when Sutton defender Louis John was brought down in the penalty area by Liam Davis and the referee awarded United a dramatic spot-kick.

Captain Collins kept his cool to score in the third minute of injury time to send Sutton’s 71 travelling fans into raptures.

The first half was explosive with Sutton taking a sixth-minute lead through Byron Harrison who slotted home after a poor clearance fell invitingly into his path.

Torquay levelled in the 12th minute through their captain Sean McGinty, but the goal incensed the Sutton bench who thought there was a clear offside and a foul on goalkeeper Jamie Butler.

Just before half-time Torquay took the lead when Brett Williams fired home from 10 yards but the U’s showed great resilience to restore parity before the break.

Having scored the equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Wrexham, Simon Walton was at it again when his header looped into the far corner of the net to ensure the sides went in level at 2-2 at the interval.

The second half failed to live up to the intensity of the first as both sides traded wayward efforts on goal before the game took a dramatic twist.

Aaron Barnes wasted a golden opportunity to win it for the hosts in the last minute but lifted his shot over Butler and agonisingly over the crossbar.

The U’s made Torquay pay deep into injury time when Collins sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to clinch the points.

The result elevates the U’s into second place in the Vanarama National League table, five points behind leaders Macclesfield Town, and extends their unbeaten league run to seven matches.

United host bottom-placed Guiseley on Saturday (February 24, 3pm). Ticket details at suttonunited.net