Institute suffer another defeat on the road

​Striker Sean McCarron came off the bench to score Institute’s late consolation goal, at Milltown, on Saturday.​Striker Sean McCarron came off the bench to score Institute’s late consolation goal, at Milltown, on Saturday.
​Striker Sean McCarron came off the bench to score Institute’s late consolation goal, at Milltown, on Saturday.
Institute’s terrible away form continued at title chasing Warrenpoint Town on Saturday.​

​Brian Donaghey’s side have won just twice on the road this season and this latest defeat, combined with Dergview’s shock win at leaders Loughgall, means ’Stute have slipped into 10th spot in the Lough 41 Championship, just a point above Newington, who currently sit in the relegation/promotion play-off place.

The ’Stute boss described his side’s form away from the Brandywell as ‘ridiculously poor’ and admits they need to address it quickly or they could be in serious relegation bother.

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Steven Ball fired Barry Gray’s side in front on 37 minutes with a drilled effort and that lead was held until three minutes into added time when Adam Carroll seemingly made sure of the win with a brilliant strike. However, ’Stute hit back almost immediately through a Sean McCarron free-kick but it wasn’t enough.

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"Our away record is ridiculously poor, but I think bar maybe two or three games we've done well,” insisted Donaghey, "All season we've been well in all games but that's now nine defeats by a one goal margin which isn't good. It’s something we’re going to have to sort before the end of the season or we’re going to be in trouble.”

The former Cliftonville coach said that while he was disappointed with the result, he was taking positives from the Milltown encounter.

"Result wise, it's obviously disappointing but there was nothing in the game in the first half,” he added, "Their first goal came after a slip by Ronan McAleer and then we had a few other chances to clear but we didn't and probably their best player, Ball, scores at the back post.

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"To be honest in the second half we had a good 25 minute spell when we were really pushing. Their keeper (Conor Mitchell) has made a couple of big saves. We had a couple cleared off the line and we were posing a lot of problems and because we were pushing so hard for an equaliser, we let a second goal slip right at the very end. We’ve scored right after that but it just wasn't enough. However, it was a tight game and I was pleased after the match.

"I was pleased with our performance on a really bad pitch in horrendous conditions and having had to travel for three plus hours there and back so, look, I couldn't have asked for anything more from them.

"I came away from the game thinking there were a lot of positives I could take. We were playing against probably the in-form team in the league so to match them over 90 minutes was pleasing.

"They’ve got players who are in a completely different league to us and finance wise they’re on a different level from us. It was always going to be a tough ask and I probably would’ve taken a point before the game and we were very, very close to getting that.

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"The effort, commitment, everything we asked from them we got, but it wasn’t enough against a top side. I’ve probably come away from Warrenpoint more pleased than I have done from a lot of our games this year.”