There’s no better feeling than seeing your team score a goal, right at the death, to either clinch victory or avoid a defeat.

That happened to Colchester United supporters at Rotherham’s impressive New York Stadium last Saturday, when striker Elliot Lee’s injury-time header clipped the underside of the bar and dropped over the line, to rescue a dramatic point.

West Ham loanee Lee’s first ever senior goal secured a 2-2 draw for Joe Dunne’s men, prompting joyous scenes at the final whistle from U’s players, fans and even their manager.

Dunne admitted that he felt like a player again, celebrating Lee’s 95th minute equaliser and the U’s unlikely point – they had been second best to Rotherham for virtually the whole of the afternoon.

Since the U’s regained their Football League status in 1992, there have been many such happy occasions of late goals sealing memorable U’s results. They might have caused me to re-write a few match reports, but they were all worth it. Below, I select 10 of the best:

1 DAVID GREGORY (at Wycombe, March 6, 1999)

Who said a game of football lasts for 90 minutes? The clock was showing precisely 97 minutes, at Adams Park, when David Gregory stroked home a penalty to secure a 2-2 draw against the U’s former Conference rivals. It preserved new manager Mick Wadsworth’s unbeaten record. There were already mutterings of discontent around the ground, amongst home fans, when the fourth official raised his board to display seven minutes of injury-time, and it was in that last minute when Neil Gregory was brought down by keeper Martin Taylor. Older brother David stepped up to send Taylor the wrong way with his spot kick. The celebrations were sweet!

2 JOE DUNNE (at Mansfield, April 1, 1996)

The U’s Nationwide Division Three play-off hopes were saved in dramatic fashion by right-back Joe Dunne (current boss). The Dubliner popped up in the third minute of injury-time to head home Adam Locke’s cross to seal a 2-1 win at Field Mill. Seconds later and referee Mick Fletcher blew his final whistle. Results elsewhere were also kind to Steve Wignall’s side, allowing the U’s to book their play-off berth the following weekend with a 1-0 win against Doncaster.

3 SIMON BETTS (at Torquay, January 1, 1996)

A brisk start, and a fine finish, enabled the U’s to kick off 1996 with a 3-2 victory at Plainmoor. Mark Kinsella (current assistant manager) broke the deadlock after just 15 seconds, on the English Riveria. But exactly 93 minutes later, the teams were all-square at 2-2 and heading for a point apiece. Cue for right-back Simon Betts to be crowned an unlikely hero, hooking home the winner from the narrowest of angles. 

4 BEN MAY (v West Brom, September 21, 2004)

The third tier U’s caused an upset in the second round of the Carling Cup. Craig Fagan’s early bullet was cancelled out by Geoff Horsfield’s 50th minute equaliser, and a penalty shoot-out beckoned until target man May, on loan from Millwall, was in the right place to bury the loose ball after Lloyd Dyer had blocked Richard Garcia’s initial shot on the goal-line. The winner came in the 118th minute.

5 JOE DUNNE (at Cardiff, November 20, 2001)

Current manager Dunne only scored nine league goals in his career, as a full-back, but he liked to make them pay. At Cardiff’s Ninian Park, on a midweek evening, he stunned the home faithful by volleying home an 86th minute equaliser to notch a highly satisfying 1-1 draw. It was a real smash-and-grab effort – Dunne’s thunderous volley, from Dean Morgan’s cross, was their only shot on target all night! By contrast, Cardiff blew numerous chances to build up a big lead. Manager Whitton admitted: "That’s the worst we have played on our travels all season."

6 ELLIOT LEE (at Rotherham, November 2, 2013)

The Millers were left kicking themselves last weekend. Having completely dominated the U’s, especially during a one-sided first-half, the U’s got out of jail with 18-year-old Lee’s 95th minute equaliser for a 2-2 draw. Lee’s rising header dropped into the net off the under-side of the bar, the ball just crossing the line – which only added to the U’s delight, and the Millers misery.

 7 KARL DUGUID (at Preston, March 7, 2000)

I have stated in previous articles, over the years, that this 3-2 win at Deepdale is my favourite away game as a U’s reporter. Playing against the league leaders, Steve Whitton’s side played out of their skins on a cold Tuesday night in Lancashire to build up a surprise 2-0 lead through Joe Keith and Lomana Lua Lua. But Preston substitute Brett Angell, a big old-fashioned centre-forward, then bundled home two late close-range goals. A draw would still have been a great result, but Duguid provided a real sting in the tail by smashing home a glorious winner in the 87th minute.

8 GREG HALFORD (at Blackpool, Octiober 9, 2005)

This last gasp winner was not really a case of poaching three points, but rather earning three deserved points. In their promotion-winning season, the U’s were well on top at Bloomfield Road. Halford had netted an early opener, and the Tangerines fans were booing long before home striker Tommy Wright netted a surprise 92nd minute equaliser. But frustration turned to delight when Halford drilled home a classy winner.

9 JAMIE CURETON (v Leeds, April 9, 2007)

In the U’s memorable first season in the Championship, once-mighty Leeds were on course to nick an away win through Eddie Lewis’ free-kick early in the second half. But Geraint Williams’ men were not to be denied. Chris Iwelumo nodded home an 82nd minute free-kick, and his strike-force partner Cureton completed the comeback by sweeping home a 90th minute winner from Hogan Ephraim’s through ball. Leeds’ woe was summed up by Jonathon Douglas being sent off for dissent before the final whistle.

10 LOMANA LUA LUA (v Bristol Rovers, January 8, 2000)

The U’s first home game of the new Millennium might never be eclipsed. Whitton’s men grabbed a memorable 5-4 victory, thanks to Lua Lua’s 89th minute winner. United had looked dead-and-buried at 3-1 down, but rallied via Steve McGavin and a Karl Duguid brace to make it 4-3. Jamie Cureton missed a penalty for Rovers, but they seemed to have rescued a point due to Nathan Ellington’s late equaliser, only for Lua Lua to come up with one last trick.