Institute 0, Portadown 4
INSTITUTE boss, Paul Kee will be keen to put this heavy defeat quickly behind him as his side ended the first round of Irish Premiership fixtures on a sour note against a rampant Portadown at the Riverside Stadium.
It was the Drumahoe club’s heaviest loss of the season and a third home defeat as Portadown ran riot, particularly in the first half when Tim Mouncey strike and a Peter McMahon double provided the Ports with a well deserved lead.
And when the second half resumed, Portadown striker Gary Twigg got his name on the scoresheet for the second successive game when he nipped in at the near post before steering the ball past Eugene Ferry.
‘Stute were riding their luck during the opening three minutes and the hosts survived a penalty claim on two minutes when Mark McAllister went down under the challenge of Mark Scoltock just inside the ‘Stute area but referee, Raymond Crangle waved play on.
Graham Crown then made a last ditch sliding tackle to clear Mouncey’s low, goalbound strike.
But from the resultant corner kick, Gary Breen’s header was hooked onto the post by McKeever and Mouncey was on hand to bundle in the rebound with just four minutes on the clock.
It was to get worse for ‘Stute following another corner kick four minutes later as McKeever headed Ross Redman’s cross towards the edge of the box and McMahon rifled his 20 yard shot into the bottom corner on the half volley.
And McMahon doubled his tally on 17 minutes when he got in behind Paddy McLaughlin and latched onto Sean Mackle’s throughball before finding the near corner of the net.
‘Stute’s only chance of note was when McKeever found O’Flynn at the back post but the striker’s looping header was headed clear by Keith O’Hara five minutes before the break.
Kee’s troops just couldn’t match the intensity of the Ports throughout 45 minutes totally dominated by the visiting side.
Two minutes after the interval and Portadown struck again. This time Twigg got in on the act as he reacted quickest to meet Casement’s cross at the front post and steered his shot beyond Eugene Ferry.
It was a much improved second half performance from ‘Stute but they just couldn’t break down a resolute Portadown defence as they suffered their fifth league defeat of the season.
Institute: Eugene Ferry: Graham Crown, Paddy McLaughlin, Mark Scoltock (Stephen O’Donnell 70); Stephen Curry, Aaron Walsh, Thomas McBride (Cormac Burke 61), Dwayne McManus, Declan McKeever; Stephen O’Flynn, Robbie Hume (Jordan Armstrong 61); Subs Not Used - Rory Kelly, Mark Forker.
Portadown: David Miskelly; Chris Casement, Keith O’Hara, Gary Breen (Chris Ramsey 32), Ross Breen; Peter McMartin, Michael Gault, Sean Mackle, Tim Mouncey; Gary Twigg (Shea Conaty 77), Mark McAllister (Darren Murray 72); Subs Not Used - Billy Brennan, Mathew McMahon.
Referee: R. Crangle.