IRISH LEAGUE: Gallagher is spot-on for Institute

Institute goalkeeper Martin Gallagher.
Institute goalkeeper Martin Gallagher.

Institute 1-0 Loughgall

Not for the first time this season Institute had goalkeeper Martin Gallagher to thank for a victory.

The net-minder's stoppage time penalty save, ensured the Drumahoe side moved into second spot in the Championship table, ahead of Ballyclare Comrades, on goal difference.

The luck certainly was with Kevin Deery's men, their winning goal came from a big deflection, while Ryan Morrow also made a tremendous last ditch block to deny Graeme Taylor an equaliser, seconds after Gallagher's penalty heroics.

But in truth they deserved it as they hit the woodwork twice and also were the side always pushing for the win.

The home side had a half chance on two minutes but after getting in behind the Loughgall defence, Stephen Curry was unable to get his shot on target,, while on the stretch.

Loughgall went close themselves on 13 minutes after Jordan Baker snap-shot from the right hand side of the box, flashed just wide.

Institute were inches away from breaking the deadlock on 36 minutes as Dean Curry's super ball out of defence found his brother Stephen, he controlled the ball on the edge of the box, but his low drive, which had Loughgall keeper Tyler Blair beaten, hit the post.

In the closing stages of the half, both McCrudden and Aaron Harkin went close for the home side as they started to up the ante.

Institute had a good chance to take the lead on 50 minutes when McCrudden's left wing cross found Kyle Friel Curran at the near post, but his goal bound strike was blocked by ex-'Stute man Taylor.

Soon after Baker had a super opportunity when Jamie Rea's left wing cross found the big striker inside the box, but his tame attempt was easily saved by Gallagher.

The home side hit the woodwork for a second time on 60 minutes as Stephen Curry got in behind the Loughgall defence, but his clipped effort over Blair, came back off the post and Gareth Brown's follow-up shot was blocked on the line by Mark Stewart.

Five minutes later the home side finally broke the deadlock in some what fortunate circumstances as substitute Jamie McIntyre saw his 20 yard drive take a massive deflection off Richard Copeland and with keeper Blair on the ground, the ball rolled into the empty net.

Gallagher had to make a top draw save on 84 minutes when Jamie Rea got in behind the 'Stute defence, but his low drive from the right hand side of the box was kept out superbly by the keeper.

In stoppage time the home side conceded a penalty when Niall Grace was adjudged to have brought down Mark Stewart inside the box, but Andrew Hoey's resulting spot-kick was superbly kept out by Gallagher, diving to his left he managed to claw the effort away.

Loughgall kept pushing forward for the equaliser in the closing stages and another Rea cross from the left found an unmarked Taylor, but his close range strike was outstandingly kept out by Morrow's last ditch block.

Institute: Gallagher, Roddy (Devlin 88), O'Donnell, D Curry, Morrow; S Curry (Foy 83), A Harkin, McCrudden; Curran (McIntyre 61), Grace, Brown.

Loughgall: Blair, McDonald, Taylor, Copeland, Stewart, Elliott, McCullough, McMaster, Baker; Hoey, Rea.

Referee: G Taylor