Institute come from behind to secure late win at Ballyclare Comrades

Ballyclare Comrades 1, Institute 2

By Kevin McLaughlin
Saturday, 15th January 2022, 5:17 pm
Brian Donaghey was pleased by Institute's victory at Dixon Park.
Brian Donaghey was pleased by Institute's victory at Dixon Park.

Super sub Mark McFadden was Institute's hero as the youngster scored a stoppage time winner, at Dixon Park.

After having to defend for long periods in the opening 45 minutes, Brian Donaghey's men upped their performance in the second half and had Brendan McLaughlin and McFadden to thank for their deserved come from behind victory.

The deadlock was broken on 10 minutes as Ian Fletcher's right wing cross was only headed up in the air by Shaun Leppard and the alert Liam Hassin nodded the loose ball over Stute keeper John Connolly from close range.

Sign up to our daily Derry Journal Today newsletter

Connolly was called into action again on 30 minutes as the keeper got down low to his right to hold onto Caiolan Brennan's clever strike, after the young winger had done well to get away from Patrick McLaughlin, before getting his strike away.

More good play by Brennan minutes later ended with the left winger's cut-back finding Michael Smith, but the striker blazed over from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

The visitors started to get more into the game in the closing stages of the first half with Jake Morrow's curling free-kick saved by Comrades keeper Jack Ferguson, while on 40 minutes Brendan McLaughlin's strike was held by Ferguson.

Caiolan Brennan's corner just after the hour mark found Ryan Arthur at the near post, but the defender failed to hit the target and headed wide.

Stute went close to levelling things on 64 minutes but Brendan McLaughlin's well hit effort from the left hand side of the box, was parried around the post by Ferguson.

The Drumahoe men had strong claims for a penalty soon after but referee Peter McGrath waved away their protests after Jamie Dunne seemed to be brought down inside the box.

With their tails up Stute were unlucky not to equalise as Shaun Leppard, up from the back, saw his powerful header kept out Ferguson, the Comrades keeper booting the effort away.

Stute deservedly drew level on 75 minutes as Brendan McLaughlin's super header clipped the post on it's way past Ferguson, after McFadden's centre had picked out the front man at the near post.

Connolly had to make a strange save five minutes later as he chested away Brennan's dipping 20 yard free-kick and from Fletcher's resulting corner Ramsey headed wide

Institute won the encounter as substitute McFadden fired home with the virtually the last kick of the game, slotting the ball home from close range, after he showed some neat skill to create the opening.

Ballyclare Comrades: Jack Ferguson, Lee McCune, Owen McKeown, Ryan Arthur, Christopher Ramsey, Liam Hassin, Michael Smith (Andrew Mooney 85), Rom Mathieson (Ciaran Dobbin 62), Caiolan Brennan (Adam Gray 85), Ian Fletcher, Eoghan Devine (Jason Johnston 70).

Institute: John Connolly, Patrick McLaughlin (Mark McFadden 62), Rhys McDermott, Shaun Leppard, Conor Quigley; Aidan McCauley, Shaun Doherty, Jake Morrow (Joshua Busteed 85); Brendan McLaughlin, Gareth Brown, Caolan McLaughlin (Jamie Dunne 62).

Referee: Mr Peter McGrath