Institute assistant manager Paddy McLaughlin admitted he couldn’t believe they lost Saturday’s opening league game of the season at Harland & Wolff Welders
McLaughlin, who was stand-in gaffer for the day as new boss Kevin Deery was away on holidays, felt Stute did more enough to at least get a share of the spoils from Tillysburn Park and certainly didn’t deserve to lose 3-1.
“For the first 45 minutes we had total control of the game,” he said.
“The boys were really pumped up for it and they were aggressive all over the pitch; they were keeping the ball well and winning the ball back as soon as it broke down.
“They were controlling things and even in the first ten or fifteen minutes of the second half they were on top.
“Until we conceded, we were in control of the game and really on top, but a soft penalty cost us. They then scored two goals in two minutes and from controlling the game we were two down.”
McLaughlin felt the two goals in as many minutes really was a kick in the teeth.
“It was two minutes of madness which cost us the match from our point of view,” he added.
“I’m really, really disappointed because they did so well but it’s a harsh lesson for them; if you’re on top you have to take your chances and if you go behind you have to roll your sleeves up and weather the storm, which we didn’t do.”
Unfortunately things didn’t go well off the pitch last week as Shane McGinty, Garbhan Friel and Michael Lynch were just a few players who weren’t registered in time of the opening game, much to McLaughlin’s frustration.
“We had five players who weren’t registered to play and then Dean Curry couldn’t get away from work so we were six players down before I could even put a name down on the squad list,” he added.
“The boys who did play deserve nothing but credit because they were fantastic. If they work as hard as that in the next game then there shouldn’t be a problem. They live and learn. They’re a young side and they will learn.
“Going to Belfast I would have taken a point but after an hour I was sitting there thinking we can win this here. So to come away with nothing is a bit of a sickener but if they learn from it, it’s a good thing.”