Sutton struck in the 65th minute at Goodison Park after the boys had fallen behind in the first half to two late Everton goals.
But the boys dug in during the second period and Sutton provided the reward that sees the return at the Lane tonight perfectly poised.
"I think the goal by John was a lifeline," stated Pat. "It was a smashing individual goal by him when we needed it.
"I was looking at the game and wondering where we were going to get a goal from. It was an individual goal, there was no team play to it at all - it was just good skill.
"So that has given us a good chance. But in saying that, I think you've got to respect Everton and I think on the night they deserved it.
"We had a look at the video Everton kindly sent down and watched 30 minutes on Tuesday. It's interesting to see their movement, the front two are lively, so we've got to be on our guard.
"We also had two good opportunities in the first half, so chances will be presented for us to stick the ball in the back of the net."
While a deficit is there to be made up, Pat insists the scoreline does not call for a gung-ho approach to the game - especially with the pace of Everton's front men.
"No, and that's another thing you just hope that they can take on board. It's 90 minutes, and what we can't afford to do is give away an early simple goal, which would make the task quite difficult.
"We've got to consolidate and let the game take shape. Hopefully within that 20-odd minute period we'll get a goal and then it's all to play for."
The Youth Cup semi-final, second leg takes place at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening, kick-off 7pm. Admission is £3 adults, £1 concessions.
Pat Holland described John Sutton's speculative first leg effort as a 'lifeline' as he prepares his team for the FA Youth Cup semi-final return against Everton at the Lane tonight.