IT MAY well be a long way away, but come the end of the season victories such as this could have a major bearing on Institute’s promotion aspirations.
‘Stute boss, Paul Kee envisages another tightly contested race for Irish Championship honours this year and he believes goal difference will prove a significant factor in the destination of the trophy.
It was vital that the Drumahoe club registered its first win on Saturday and while a victory over a Coagh side, which conceded six goals the previous weekend,was to be expected, the manner of the win sent a message of intent to Institute’s promotion rivals.
What was more pleasing for Kee was that the six goal haul was shared between five different scorers on the day.
“It was a comfortable win in the end,” said a delighted Kee afterwards. “But we need to get the balance right between our defending and our attacking.
“We conceded two goals late on last week and conceded another two soft goals again in this game, but I can’t fault the team’s offensive play.
“As a team we looked really good going forward and to have two or three different players on the scoresheet was pleasing.
“The goal difference could very well prove to be the difference at the end of the season,” he predicted.
“We’ve played two games and have four goals against but we’ve scored eight goals, so from an offensive point of view it’s pleasing.
“You might say, ‘okay it’s Coagh and it’s to be expected,’ but you still have to beat what’s in front of you.”
Indeed, Institute couldn’t have asked for a better start having been gifted a two goal lead during a bizarre six minutes spell.
Coagh United centre-half, David Calderwood brought Darren McFadden crashing to the ground with a rash challenge on eight minutes and referee, Stephen Wallace immediately pointed to the spot.
Up stood McCrudden who confidently placed the ball into the corner of the net low to the keeper’s right hand side.
‘Stute doubled their advantage after an identical series of incidents as Calderwood again lunged into the back of McFadden inside the area.
When the referee once again pointed to the spot, McCrudden placed the ball into the same corner of the net.
One got the impression that it was going to be a long afternoon for the visitors but they did show some promise.
The visitors rallied after the break and stunned the attendance when reducing the deficit two minutes after the re-start.
Stephen Lamont’s close range shot was deflected towards goal by Michael Doherty and Graham Crown was forced to clear off the goal line, however, his hurried clearance fell kindly to Elder who blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
Institute soon got back in control and Ciaran McKeever’s excellent left footed cross into the six yards area was met by the head of Paddy McLaughlin as the ball nestled into the net.
And the two goal cushion was restored on 74 minutes when Darren McCauley’s cross fell to Robbie Hume at the back post and he made no mistake.
Three minutes later McFadden raced onto Parkhouse’s ball over the top and he guided the ball past the advancing goalkeeper to make it 5-1.
Coagh striker, Elder netted his second of the game when his long range strike somehow found its way into the top right hand corner with seven minutes to go.
But ‘Stute reinforced their dominance three minutes later after McCauley steered his first time shot into the bottom corner after a deft flick from McFadden.
Institute - Michael Doherty; Andy Devlin (Sean Reilly 83mins), Graham Crown (Stephen O’Donnell 82mins), Paddy McLaughlin, Ciaran McKeever; Darren McCauley, Aaron Walsh, Gary Henderson, Michael McCrudden (Stephen Parkhouse 65mins); Robbie Hume, Darren McFadden; Subs Not Used - Ryan Varma, Martin Gallagher.
Coagh Utd - William Hassan; Scott McGeown, David Calderwood, James Ferguson, Barry Anderson; Jamie Tomelty (Mathew Kompton 72mins), Scott McCordell, Colin Donaldson, Stephen Lamont (Mathew Young 81mins); Tommy Elder, Jason Gillespie; Subs Not Used - Jamie Holmes, Marcus Dallas.
Referee - Stephen Wallace (Derry).