Joe McCready seals Institute's semi-final spot

Institute's Joe McCready scored the only goal at The Showgrounds, last night.
Institute's Joe McCready scored the only goal at The Showgrounds, last night.

Newry City AFC 0, Institute 1

An early Joe McCready strike proved enough for Institute to book their place in the last four of the Bet McLean League Cup as they saw off an extremely lacklustre Newry City side at The Showgrounds.

The Premiership side hardly had to get out of second gear to see of Darren Mullen’s Championship outfit who desperately missed the creativity of suspended captain Mark Hughes and the guile of young striker John McGovern, who missed out through injury.

But the Derry men had plenty in their locker to maintain that early lead and they comfortably keep out what little City had to throw at them in a game of little excitement.

Stute had the first shot in anger in the third minute when a long clearance by goalkeeper Paul Wells was flicked on by Aaron McGurk to Aidan McCauley, but the midfielder's effort from the right, was well wide.

They went much closer five minutes later when Shane McNamee found himself with time and space to fire in a shot that was just about pushed out by City goalkeeper Andy Coleman. However, the respite for the home side was short lived as Sean Connor’s side went in front second later.

Newry failed to deal with the corner and Jamie McIntyre’s scuffed shot from 18 yards was helped goalward by the unmarked McCready, wrongfooting Coleman and bouncing into the net.

In a flat first period, Newry gradually began to come into the game, but all they had to show for their efforts was a tame Adam Foley shot from the left that was straight at Wells. Stute were then dealt a blow in first half stoppage time when centre-back Caomhin Bonner to what looked like a serious ankle injury.

City could have drawn level midway through the second period when Kevin McArdle’s right-sided corner was met by the head of Stefan Lavery, but the substitute could only guide his header wide of the near post despite being in acres of space.

They went even closer 13 minutes from time when Foley burst down the left-hand side before cutting into the box, only for his low effort to hit the base of the post from a tight angle and rebound into Wells’ arms.

At the other end, Gareth Brown saw his low drive held by Coleman as Stute did more than enough to warrant their place in the semi-final.

Newry City: Coleman, McArdle, King, McKeown (Mullen 84), Boyle, Moller-Nielsen (M McCavitt 56), Montgomery, Healy, Foley, McCabe, Moody (Lavery 56).

Institute: Wells, Morrow, Bonner (Leppard 45+1), Curry, Tourish, McIntyre (McLaughlin 75), McCready (G Brown 57), McCauley, Crown, McNamee, McGurk.

Referee: Andrew Davey