It’s sound like a broken record, but not for the first time in Institute’s terrible league run, they deserved much from Saturday’s encounter at Loughgall.
The Waterside men missed a host of chances with Garbhan Friel unfortunately their main culprit missing two sitters, while the
Villagers goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan also made a few top drawer saves when the game was scoreless.
Kevin Deery’s young side need to learn and learn fast that when on top you need to take your clear cut chances.
The visitors went close after just five minutes when Dean Curry’s left wing cross picked out Aidan McCauley, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his close range header down.
Soon after Stute missed an even better chance this time Paul Smith chased down a lost cause down the left, before picking out fellow striker Friel, but with the goal at his mercy the ex-Finn Harps man side footed wide of the post.
A super last ditch sliding tackle by Darryl McDermott denied Stute old boy Warren Mullen, as the home side slowly started to get a foot hold on the game.
Just after the half-hour mark the Waterside men missed another super chance this time Gareth Brown’s close range strike was straight at Loughgall keeper Buchanan.
Right on the stroke of half-time the home side had their first real chance when Mullen’s cushioned lay-off found Steven Ferguson, but the skipper saw his stinging drive from 20 yards, superbly tipped over by a fully stretched Michael Lynch.
Institute started the second half on the front foot and Friel had two chances right at the start of the half, but he headed over with the first chance and Buchanan saved his second effort.
A fantastic save by Buchanan on 55 minutes saw the keeper superbly keep out Aaron Harkin’s long range curling effort.
Three minutes later Friel missed the best chance of the match when a slick passing move ended with Harkin’s teasing centre finding the striker, but just like the first half the big striker with the goal at his mercy somehow headed over from close range.
Just after the hour mark McCauley went close again but this time his well-placed effort from Smith’s clever set-up, was tipped over by Buchanan.
With their second effort at goal Loughgall scored what turned out to be the winner on 67 minutes.
McCauley lost possession to Marcus Dallas some 30 yards from goal and the midfielder drove at the Stute defence, before his low drive somehow went past a disappointing Lynch.
As Stute pushed forward for an equaliser the home side went close to doubling their lead on 88 minutes when substitute Wesley Boyle fed Jamie Rea but his clever chip over a stranded Lynch, came back off the crossbar.
Institute’s day was summed up in stoppage time when Stephen O’Donnell, who was cautioned in the first half, was sent-off for a second bookable offence when he handled the ball.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Taveres, Copeland, Hudson, Mallen; Henderson (Boyle 59), Ferguson, Dallas, McMahon; Mullen (Uprichard 78), Rea.
Institute: Lynch, Crown (Morrow 80), McDermott, O’Donnell, Curry; Dunne (Armstrong 59), McCauley, Harkin, Brown (Varma 72); Smith,
Referee: Mr Lee Tavinder (Dungannon).