DCSIMG

’Stute fail to close the gap on leaders

Institute striker Ricky Lee Dougherty tussles with Ards defender Kris Pike for the ball at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. INLS4812-104KM

Institute striker Ricky Lee Dougherty tussles with Ards defender Kris Pike for the ball at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. INLS4812-104KM

IT’S as you were at the top of the Championship after the top two Institute and Ards played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, at Drumahoe, on Saturday

The result definitely suits Niall Currie’s side, but it also suits Belfast men Dundela, who now join ’Stute in second spot but they have played two games less.

Paul Kee’s side like virtually every game this season were poor early on and they went a goal behind on 17 minutes when Andy Smith’s free-kick found James Cully and he turned the ball home past Marty Gallagher.

Somewhat against the run of the play ’Stute levelled things on 30 minutes when Neil Harkin’s pin-point centre found Stephen Parkhouse and he made no mistake placing the ball past Ards keeper Graham McKibbon.

Incredibly the visitors went straight up the other end and should have regained the lead when firstly Gallagher kept out Ross Arthurs effort and Ryan Moffat somehow failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy.

Ards continued to pile forward in search of a second goal and that man Arthurs broke clear of the ’Stute defence, but with only Gallagher to beat, he fired over.

Just before the break Parkhouse had a super chance to score, but McKibbon saved after poor control by the front-man, while Dean Jarvis did well to clear off the line to deny Ards’ Davy McAlinden.

Paul Kee’s side took the lead for the first time early in the second half following a fantastic flowing move, when Graeme Taylor made no mistake driving the ball home from close range, after Ricky Lee Dougherty’s low cross had found the defender inside the box.

Just after the hour mark the league leaders levelled things when ’Stute’s experienced midfielder Joe Gray lost possession to Greg McMillan, he broke clear before passing to Neil Dougan, who calmly slotted the ball past Gallagher.

On 80 minutes substitute Dean Carlyle found Parkhouse, but after getting away from his marker he somehow failed to trouble Ards keeper McKibbon.

Right at the death the woodwork came to the home side’s rescue when Dougan’s drive, which had Gallagher beaten, came back off the post.

Institute: Gallagher, Crown, Curran, Jarvis, Taylor; Gray, Harkin, McCauley; Dougherty, Parkhouse, Hegarty. Subs: Roddy for Crown (50); McKeever & Carlyle for Dougherty & McCauley (74); McCready & Semple (not used).

Ards: McKibbon, Hall, Pike, Spence, McAlinden, Cully, Moffatt, McMillan, Smith, Arthurs, Dougan. Subs: Nixon for McAlinden (61); Brown for Moffatt (71); Stephen Doyle, Jimmy McIlwagga & Paul Dickson (not used).

Referee: John Deighan.

 
 
 

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