Walsh goes from hero to zero as Institute blow big chance against Crusaders

Crusaders' Colin Coates and Institute's Paul McVeigh
Crusaders' Colin Coates and Institute's Paul McVeigh


Aaron Walsh turned from hero to villain at the Riverside Stadium as Institute ended a run of four straight league defeats when holding high flying Crusaders to a share of the spoils at the Riverside Stadium.

It was a day of mixed emotions for Stute midfielder Walsh who gave the home lot a first half lead from the penalty spot.

However, Walsh then turned Craig McClean’s free-kick into his own net on 57 minutes as Crusaders deservedly got back on level terms.

And the midfielder then missed a glorious chance to secure what would have been a huge scalp in second half stoppage time as he blasted high over the bar from another penalty.

The visitors were inviting pressure and when Colin Coates rashly brought McKeever crashing to the ground just inside the penalty area, referee Mervyn Smyth pointed immediately to the spot.

Midfielder Walsh, who was practising spot-kicks in the warm-up, sent Sean O’Neill the wrong way to put ‘Stute into an unlikely lead after 20 minutes.

Billy Joe Burns then hit the crossbar with a curling free-kick from the edge of the ‘Stute box on 36 minutes and Coates came close with a header from a corner kick as Crusaders began to turn the screw.

Finally Crusaders got back on level terms on 57 minutes as Walsh’s glancing header from Craig McClean’s free-kick found the bottom corner of the ‘Stute net.

In the dying moments of the game McVeigh’s shot was handled inside the area by Burns and the referee pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Walsh but he blasted high over the bar with the resultant penalty.

Institute: Gallagher, Crown, McLaughlin, Curry, McKeever, Young, McVeigh, Walsh, Curry, Hume (O’Flynn 77).

Subs Not Used: Ferry, Scoltock, Toland, Forker.

Crusaders: O’Neill, Burns, Coates, Magowan, McClean, Whyte (Snoddy 73), Anderson, Clarke, Heatley, Owens, O’Carroll (Hanley 62)

Subs Not Used: McCutcheon, Cockcroft, Friars.

Referee: Mervyn Smyth.