INSTITUTE will feel this scoreless draw was a case of two points dropped rather than one gained, against fellow title contenders Dundela, on Saturday.
The disappointing affair coupled by leaders Ards’ victory over Tobermore United, means they move seven points behind the table toppers.
Paul Kee’s out-fit were left frustrated as the Belfast men battled hard for a share of the spoils and the home side were disappointed after John Curran’s close range strike was chalked off after the referee’s assistant had his flag up for offside.
In truth the home side rarely threatened Paul Hughes’ goal but they did create the first chance when Sean Roddy’s centre found Stephen Parkhouse but his header was straight at the Dundela keeper.
Dundela themselves had a great chance when David Wright ghosted in behind the home side’s defence, but his close range effort was saved by Marty Gallagher.
Then the controversial moment of the game came on the half-hour mark when Roddy’s free-kick was flicked goal wards by Parkhouse, Hughes did well to keep the striker’s effort out and although Curran fired home the rebound, his celebrations were cut short as the flag was up.
Soon after the lively Gary Irwin watched his effort beat Gallagher, but come back off the post.
Just after the hour mark Joe Gray latched onto Darren McCauley’s pass, but his low drive was saved by Hughes’ legs.
On 75 minutes a Ben Roy free-kick caused problems for ’Stute, but fortunately for them Jamie Jackson’s goal bound shot was blocked by McCauley.
In what was a disappointing second half, it was McCauley who himself went close to winning the game, but his miss hit shot failed to trouble Hughes, while at the other end Roy also failed to hit the target.
Institute: Gallagher, Roddy, Curran, McLaughlin, Jarvis; Gray, Walsh, McCauley; McFadden, Parkhouse, McCrudden. Subs: Mullan for Parkhouse (54); Hume for McFadden (78); McKeever for Walsh (81); Hegarty (not used).
Dundela: Hughes, Collins, Davidson, Faulkner, Owens, Hume, Irwin, McCann, Wright, Roy, Jackson. Subs: McClelland for Wright (66); Gilliland for Irwin (78); McCullough, Cherry & Murphy (not used).
Referee: John Deighan (Limavady).