Institute seal hard fought win over Dundela
Institute 2 Dundela 1
Institute made it two victories on the bounce, following a battling performance to see off bottom side Dundela.
Goals from Liam Walsh and Brendan McLaughlin sealed the points, as Brian Donaghey started his term in the 'Stute hot-seat with a win, but the pleasing thing for the newly appointed head coach will be the grit and determination his young side produced throughout the 90 minutes.
While Colin Nixon's men had a host of chances and caused 'Stute problems all day from set-pieces, young defenders Shaun Leppard and Joel Bradley Walsh along with goalkeeper Dylan Doherty, kept them at bay.
The home side had Leppard to thank for keeping the score-line blank on six minutes when he somehow cleared the ball off the line after William Faulkner's close range deflected effort, which had goalkeeper Doherty beaten, had goal written all over it before the big centre-back slide back to clear the ball away.
Dundela had another good chance on 24 minutes when Tony Kane's left wing corner was lifted into the back post, but Kyle Owens' close range downward header flashed just wide.
'Stute took the lead as there passing was finally rewarded on 31 minutes; McLaughlin's inch perfect long range pass released right-back Rhys McDermott, who was brought down inside the box, referee Peter McGrath rightfully pointed to the spot and although Walsh's resulting spot-kick was well saved by goalkeeper Marc Matthews, the winger coolly side footed home the rebound.
The Belfast men started the second half on the front foot and really should have levelled things on 51 minutes but Guillaume Keke saw his close range shot somehow kept out by a diving Leppard, the big centre-back threw himself in front of the shot, after the striker had controlled the ball and fired towards goal from point-blank range.
From Kane's resulting corner Johnny Taylor headed over and moments later Michael Smyth should have done better when he was well placed inside the 'Stute penalty box, but he completely missed his kick.
Doherty had to make a top drawer save just after the hour mark to keep his clean-sheet intact when he somehow managed to parry away Taylor's close range effort and Taylor went close from Kane's resulting corner, but his header was cleared off the line by McDermott, as the visitors continued to push forward for an equaliser.
A quick counter attack by the Drumahoe men nearly resulted in a second goal on 80 minutes when Conor Quigley burst out of defence to latch onto Aaron McGurk's pass, the left-back found McLaughlin, who skipped inside away from a few challenges, before his weaker right footed strike was superbly turned over by Matthews.
The woodwork came to 'Stute's rescue minutes later as Jay Magee's powerful header at the back, which had Doherty beaten, came crashing back off the crossbar.
Institute sealed the points on 89 minutes when Walsh's teasing left wing cross found substitute Jamie Dunne unmarked at the back post and just as he was about to mark his debut with a goal, McLaughlin nipped in and fired the ball over the line.
In the closing stages, Owens pulled a goal back on 93 minutes, as the big skipper headed home from close range, as the visitors finally and deservedly got on the score-sheet.
Institute: Dylan Doherty, Rhys McDermott, Shaun Leppard, Joel Bradley Walsh, Conor Quigley; Oran Brogan (Jamie Dunne 76), Aidan McCauley (Joshua Busteed 90), Shaun Doherty, Liam Walsh; Brendan McLaughlin; Aaron McGurk (Joel Gorman 86).
Dundela: Marc Matthews, Ben Browne (Jordan Hughes 68), Tony Kane, Jonny Taylor, Kyle Owens, Jay Magee, Eddie Shaw (David McMaster 78), Owain Beggs, Guillaume Keke (Thomas Robinson 78), Michael Smith, William Faulkner.
Referee: Peter McGrath.