Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner hailed Paul Mullin’s 95th-minute leveller at Cheltenham Town as the most important goal he has netted for the club.
Leading scorer Mullin was bloodied late in the first half after an accidental collision with Charlie Raglan just before Ben Tozer put the home side in front.
But he was bandaged up and had the final say at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium as both teams stayed in the automatic promotion places following a 1-1 draw.
“He (Mullin) had stitches in his head at half-time, wiped the blood off his face and did it for us,” Bonner said.
“He should have scored when he was one-on-one with the keeper, but he’ll be delighted with that. I told him that’s probably the most important goal he’s scored for us.
“We felt we deserved something. We felt hard done by with the goal we conceded, but we conceded a late goal in our last game so we know it can go to the wire.
“It was on a knife edge all night and was a good game with two good teams going toe-to-toe. The lads found that physically tough.
“I’m really pleased with the lads. I love this team. They always respond in games and between games as well.
“We’re not getting carried away, things can change quickly, but we’re pleased with the way things are going.”
Mullin raced on to a clearance from goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov in the 25th minute and found himself through on goal, but Josh Griffiths made an excellent save.
At the other end Chris Hussey’s corner was headed into the side netting by Andy Williams.
With only one added minute scheduled at the end of the first half, Mullin suffered his facial injury near the halfway line.
And in the extra stoppage time, Mitov could only parry Hussey’s curling free-kick and Tozer followed up to score his second in four days from close range.
Mullin had the ball in the net for Cambridge early in the second half after a ball in from Harrison Dunk, but he was offside.
Luke Hannant smashed a low shot just wide in the 53rd minute as Cambridge threatened, before Liam Sercombe finished off a Hussey corner with a neat finish, but referee Craig Hicks had spotted a foul.
Mitov turned over a shot from Hussey and Will Boyle’s header was cleared from inside the six yard box before the late drama.
Kyle Knoyle’s low ball after a throw-in on the right was slammed home by Mullin for his 13th of the campaign.
Cheltenham boss Michael Duff said he was pleased with his side’s performance, but disappointed with their lack of concentration at the finish.
“Obviously I am disappointed to concede in the 95th minute,” he said.
“The way they got in was not like us, but overall I was pleased. I thought we were the better team and second half I thought we were the much better team.
“One frustration is that one of the slides we put up from the presentation before the game said ‘concentration’, because these types of games are often won and lost that way and we just switched off for those last few seconds.”