Dergview 1-2 Institute
A 25 yard wonder strike from Ryan Morrow ensured Paddy McLaughlin started his managerial career with a come-back win at Dergview.
Trailing 1-0 after just 55 seconds thanks to Ryan Campbell's pile driver, the Waterside men were harshly reduced to ten men just after the hour mark as Darryl McDermott was sent-off, before Aaron Harkin levelled things on 77 minutes and Morrow capped off a fine display, with the winning goal three minutes from time.
McLaughlin, who conceded that he needed to have some harsh words at half-time to spark his team into life, was delighted with their never say die attitude.
"It was a sweet victory in the end, but we had to work really hard and full credit to Dergview, they were excellent," he said.
"They worked their socks off to be fair to them, stopped us from playing and we found it really difficult in the first half, but we had a few choice words at half-time because I didn't think we were moving the ball quickly enough and getting it into our attacked minded players, but we did that in the second half and you seen what happened."
When asked what changed at half-time the 'Stute gaffer admitted he 'put on his Ugly face'.
"To be honest I took off my 'Mr Nice Guy face' and put on the 'Ugly Face' and I had a go at them because I know how good they are, I know how good we can play and how quick we can play on the break whenever we are at ourselves and I think they did that in the second half," he said.
"I feel we are a force whenever we are at ourselves and I just reminded the boys how good they were and I encouraged them to try and play to their potential rather than just waiting for something to happen."
McLaughlin was shocked and delighted with Morrow's 87th minute winner, which came courtesy of a left footed rasper.
"What a finish by the wee man, he doesn't score too many but whenever he does score he makes sure they are memorable," he added.
"That was a fantastic strike; left foot and all which was surprising, because he doesn't score too many with his right foot, so he definitely doesn't score too many with his left, but jokes aside, what a finish."
The home side got off to the perfect start when 'Stute old boy Campbell was afforded too much space on the edge of the box and he made no mistake firing past the fully stretched Marty Gallagher.
While neither side created much in the first half, the Drumahoe side started the second half with a purpose but they were reduced to ten men when McDermott brought down substitute Simon McGlynn and referee Jamie Robinson very harshly showed him a red card for the tackle, when a caution would have sufficed.
To their credit the ten men continued to play their football and continued to pile forward looking for an equaliser, which duly arrived on 77 minutes.
Substitute striker Alex Pomeroy was upended on the edge of the box and Harkin coolly stepped up to cleverly curl the ball low into Stefan McCusker's bottom right hand corner.
Within a minute Dergview were reduced to ten men themselves as McGlynn was red carded after a challenge on Harkin right in front of the 'Stute bench
With their tails up the visitors went in search of a winner but substitute Aaron Jarvis saw his well hit volley from 12 yards superbly saved by McCusker, but the winner came a minute later on 87 minutes as defender Morrow cut in from the right and with his weaker left foot unleashed an unstoppable effort past the Dergview keeper, to spark wild celebrations.
Dergview: McCusker, Wallace, Wray, Taylor, Falconer (McNulty HT), McManus, Buchanan, Callaghan, Campbell (McGlynn 70), Godfrey.
Institute: Gallagher, Morrow, McDermott, D Curry, Seydak; S Curry (Jarvis 85), Grace, Harkin, Dunne (Pomeroy 72); McCrudden, Friel-Curran (Brown 59).
Referee: Jamie Robinson (Portadown).