Institute finish season with home success over Knockbreda

Institute 2, Knockbreda 1

By Kevin McLaughlin
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 5:29 pm
Institute's Brian Donaghey watched his side secure their sixth win from their last seven games, after they seen off Knockbreda.
Institute's Brian Donaghey watched his side secure their sixth win from their last seven games, after they seen off Knockbreda.

Institute finished their Lough 41 Championship campaign with a hard fought victory over relegation threatened Knockbreda.

Brian Donaghey's men started the first half in superb fashion and in truth should have had more than Gareth Brown's goal at the break and while Stephen Garrett bizarre leveller on 90 minutes looked to have earned the visitors a point, Caolan Maguire McLaughlin bundled home the winner in stoppage time.

The home side should have taken the lead on 10 minutes as Brendan McLaughlin's tremendous cross field centre found Mark McFadden, he squared the ball back for Maguire McLaughlin, but with the goal at his mercy, the Derry City loanee failed to fire home from close range.

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Stute did deservedly take the lead three minutes later as Cormac Burke's left wing corner was floated to the back post and Brown was incredibly totally unmarked to head home from six yards, giving Knockbreda goalkeeper Lewis Deans no chance.

Just before the half-hour mark, Knockbreda created their first opportunity, but veteran striker Garrett headed wide at the back post, after Kyle McCauley's right wing cross had picked him out at the back post.

Knockbreda had a glorious chance to level things early in the second half as Connolly's punch fell perfectly for Garrett, but the ex-Cliftonville man blasted over from close range.

The visitors continued to press forward for an equaliser and they went close again on 56 minutes but Nathan Johnston's header, which had Connolly struggling, was deflected wide by Tiernan Brown's head.

On the hour mark the woodwork came to the Belfast men's rescue as the impressive Jamie Dunne saw his cross-cum-shot catch out Deane, but the effort clipped the crossbar and Brendan McLaughlin's follow-up goal bound strike was blocked by his team-mate Maguire McLaughlin.

Knockbreda were inches away from equalising on 70 minutes but after a goalmouth scramble, Connolly somehow diverted the ball around the post.

Deane was called into action moments later as the home side started to get a better foothold in the game, but Dunne's teasing 20 yard free-kick was comfortably gathered by the Breda keeper.

Soon Dunne's left wing centre was inches away from an unmarked McFadden, who if he was able to get his head onto the ball, would have had a certain chance on goal.

McFadden had a glorious chance to seal the points on 87 minutes as he nipped in to collect Craig Gardiner's back pass, but the Stute midfielder's attempted chip was easily gathered by Deane.

The visitors drew level on 90 minutes in comical fashion as Garrett's left wing in-swinging corner wasn't dealt with by Connolly and flew directly into the net.

Incredibly there was still time for the home side to score what turned out to be the winner on 93 minutes as Burke's right wing free-kick was floated into the six yard box and the alert Maguire McLaughlin was on hand to turn the ball home.

Institute: John Connolly, Tiernan Brown, Shaun Leppard, Rhys McDermott, Jamie Dunne; Shaun Doherty, Cormac Burke, Brendan McLaughlin; Mark McFadden, Caolan Maguire McLaughlin; Gareth Brown (Patrick McLaughlin 57).

Knockbreda: Lewis Deane, Kyle McCauley, Karl Hamill, Ross McCaughan, Peter McDermott, Cillin Gilmour, Stephen Garrett, Nathan Johnston (Ciaran Heggarty 58), Max Greer, Anthony Burns (Luke Harrison 75), Tomas Gilmour (Craig Gardiner 87).

Referee: Louise Thompson.