Institute threw away a 2-0 lead and were dumped out of the Tennents Irish Cup losing 3-2 after extra-time at Sport & Leisure Swifts, on Saturday.
The Waterside men had duo Garbhan Friel and Ciaron Harkin sent-off, while Gavin Johnston was red carded for the Swifts and referee Ross Dunlop, who along with his assistants had a poor game, pointed to the penalty spot four times in the tie, which was played on a terrible Glen Road Heights pitch.
Stute scored twice and missed one from 12 yards before Kevin Lynch won it for the home side from the spot in extra-time.
Paddy McAllister’s side who dumped fellow Championship One side Dergview out in the previous round should have fallen a goal behind early on when after beating his marker Gareth Brown failed to trouble Swifts keeper Michael Magill and dragged his shot wide when well placed.
Institute did take the lead on 25 minutes from the penalty spot after Gary Largey had adjudged to handle the ball inside the box and Friel made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick.
Friel was in the thick of things minutes later and was rightfully shown a straight red card after he over stretched trying to win the ball back, but only ended up taking out Swifts left-back Declan Moore, leaving referee Dunlop with no option but to sent-off the striker.
Despite being down to ten men Institute had a super chance to increase their lead on 40 minutes but Swifts keeper Magill made two great saves in quick succession to deny Shane McGinty on both occasions.
The Drumahoe men did score a second just before the interval when Brown was pulled down inside the box by Michael McMullan; Harkin seen his initial penalty kept out by Magill before he slotted home the rebound.
Swifts never gave up and they pulled one back in the early stages of the second half when Conor Glenhomes made no mistake side footing home from close range.
Just as everyone was thinking the tie was over and the ten men were going to hang on to their 2-1 advantage, Swifts equalised in controverisal fashion when Darren Gallagher, who looked to be in an offside position, blasted home from 12 yards.
Incredibly the visitor’s were awarded a third penalty after Harkin was brought down inside the box Dunlop pointed to the spot, much to the fury of the home side.
In fact they took their protest too far and after all the arguments had finally been settled both Harkin and Johnston were shown straight red cards.
As the dust settled substitute Robbie Hume stepped up to take the penalty, but his left-footed strike failed to trouble Magill and flew well wide.
Now it was a nine men versus 10 men tie and the home side were then awarded a harsh penalty on 109 minutes after Hume, who was playing in an unfamiliar left back position, was adjudged to have fouled Gallagher inside the box; Kevin Lynch made no mistake with the resulting effort.
To their credit the nine men kept pushing for an equaliser and they thought they had but striker Stephen Mills was denied a goal on his debut a few minutes later.
The ex-Derry City youngster was alert enough to side foot home from close range, after Hume’s clever chip, which had Magill beaten, came back off the crossbar; but Mills’ celebrations were cut short with the assistant’s flag.
Deep into the second half of extra-time Magill made a remarkable save to keep out Stephen O’Donnell’s close range header, as the home side held on for a famous victory.