Calvin McCallion scores debut goal but Institute held by Ards at Brandywell
CALVIN McCallion bagged a goal on his Institute debut but the club's long wait for a league victory goes on as they were pegged back by Ards who clinched a share of the spoils at Brandywell.
The striker joined from Dergview midweek and was on hand to fire home the opening goal after a mistake by the Ards keeper Alex Moore on 34 minutes.
It was a deserved lead for the home lot but it lasted just three minutes as Patrick Cafolla headed the visitors level.
Frustratingly for manager, Brian Donaghy that's now 18 points given away from winning positions this season and another opportunity to climb the table wasted.
However, 'Stute did keep intact an impressive unbeaten home record which stretched to seven games and they had goalkeeper Dylan Doherty to thank as he made a terrific save from Ethan Taggart at the start of the second half.
Goalscorer, McCallion was one of three new signings named in the matchday squad with Sean McCarron, also joining from Dergview, starting in an exciting-looking attack. Shaun McDermott, signed from Ballinamallard on Friday, started the game on the bench.
Both teams were desperate for points following a poor run of results with fifth placed Ards losing five out of their last six in all competitions and earning just one point from the last 12 available.
Stute meanwhile boasted that enviable home record - unbeaten in six and with just one lost in their last 10 fixtures. The Brandywell based club, however have managed just one draw and three defeats from their last four matches and were without a win in the Championship since they beat Harland and Wolff Welders on November 19th.
It was the visitors who created the first clear cut chance of the match n 19 minutes when Kyle Calderwood played a searching ball over the top of the Stute defence, Karl Hammil gave chase but, under pressure from Shaun Leppard, he somehow shot wide of the target from close range.
It was a let-off for Stute but they hit the front on 34 minutes as McCallion marked his debut with a goal.
A cross into the Ards box was headed into the air by Ethan Taggart and goalkeeper Alex Moore came to claim but spilled at the feet of McCallion who took a touch before gleefully firing into the net from six yards.
Three minutes later Ards were level after Adam Salley crossed first time onto the head of Cafolla who made no mistake with a free header from eight yards.
Two minutes into the second half 'Stute keeper Dylan Doherty came to the home side's rescue with a fantastic save to turn Eamon Scannel's goalbound effort past the post.
Neither team did enough to clinch three points and had to settled with a point but Stute will be looking nervously over their shoulders and must find that elusive win soon.
Institute: D. Doherty; Leppard, R. McDermott, McLaughlin, McFeely (McCormick 75), Whiteside (Devlin 82), Dunne, Burke (S. McDermott 82), McCallion, King, McCarron; Subs Not Used - Muldoon, Kelly, S. Doherty, P. McLaughlin.
Ards: Moore; Crane, Hall, Calderwood (Young 91), E. Scannell, Cafolla, Taggart, Murray, Steele (C. Scannell 82), Hamill, Salley; Subs Noty Used - Shields, Arthurs, Mullen, Hunter, McDonald ,C. Scannell.
Referee - Gareth Stewart.