INSTITUTE boss, Paul Kee has billed tomorrow’s top of the table meeting with Dundela as the club’s ‘biggest match of the season’.
Therefore, the Drumahoe man will be thankful to have experienced hitman, Stephen O’Flynn, available for selection for this crunch clash which could have major implications in relation to the destination of the league title.
The Cork man has been an integral cog in the wheel as the ‘Stute title tilt swiftly gathered momentum in recent weeks.
Scoring a total of nine goals in five games since his January Transfer Window arrival, he’s enjoyed a significant presence in the Riverside Stadium dressing room.
The return to full fitness of Darren McCauley - who has racked up a total of 10 goals in all competitions himself - adds another string to the bow of the Drumahoe club’s attacking options tomorrow and that’s not to mention the in-form Michael McCrudden’s influence in the final third.
So Kee’s troops are well equipped for the arrival of one of their main rivals for the Championship One crown. (Kick-off 3.00 p.m.)
Institute lead the Irish Championship table on goal difference, level on points with Carrick Rangers with a game in hand. Kee’s men are one point ahead of Dundela who have two games in hand, therefore victory tomorrow is vital.
“It’s not possibly our biggest game of the season - it is our biggest game,” declared Kee. “The games are coming thick and fast now but we’ve got a massive opportunity to consolidate our place at the top of the table,” he added. “I’m sure Dundela are thinking the same way. It’s a massive incentive for Dundela and for us.
“And while we can’t lose the league on Saturday, we can go a long way to winning it if we get the three points.”
Kee was critical of his offensive line in the Intermediate Cup win over Coagh United last Saturday as they missed numerous chances to put the tie to bed before the dreaded penalty shootout from which they emerged victorious by the skin of their teeth.
However, Kee has full confidence in Stephen Parkhouse and Darren McFadden and with the expected return of O’Flynn, he is happy with his options.
The ‘Stute boss won’t risk the Co. Corkman, however, if he doesn’t declare himself 100 per cent fit.
“We’ve got momentum in the league and with Stephen and Darren McCauley back we have a number of options which is great.
“Graham Crown had a bit of a knee injury and Paddy McLaughlin had a groin injury so we rested a few players last weekend and it has worked out well for us.
“O’Flynn trained hard last week but we don’t want to rush him back. If we’re going to play him on Saturday he will have to be 100 per cent. We don’t want him to do more damage so we’re hoping he will be involved at some stage but, hopefully, he’ll be starting,” concluded Kee.