FOOTBALL: 'Stute come from behind to win
Institute 2-1 Harland & Wolff Welders.
Institute marked their first game at their new home - Wilton Park - with an impressive win over Harland & Wolff Welders.
Paddy McLaughlin’s side, who were playing their second home game of the season, had to come from behind to see off the battling Belfast men.
The deserved victory moves ’Stute to just a point behind leaders Ballyclare Comrades, having played a game less.
Welders started on the front foot and they took the lead on five minutes after Chris Middleton’s right wing cross was only half cleared straight to Brandon Nelson, who with his left foot made no mistake blasting home from the edge of the box.
After that early set-back, the home side took a while to get into the game but they won the bruising encounter with two first half goals in the space of just four minutes and their leveller on 23 minutes came in super fashion.
Gareth Brown’s clever clipped cross found Niall Grace, who chested the ball down before firing home past Welders keepers Robert Robinson from 10 yards.
The Waterside men took the lead minutes later as Ryan Morrow netted his second outstanding pile driver of the season, as he blasted home from 25 yards, low into Robinson’s bottom right hand corner.
Early in the second half ’Stute went close to adding a third on 50 minutes but Michael McCrudden’s clever chip, which had Robinson beaten, sailed just over the bar.
Welders had massive claims for a penalty just after the hour mark as Middleton seemed to be brought down inside the box by Caoimhin McCallion, but referee Diarmuid Harrigan waved play on.
On 79 minutes McLaughlin’s side should have netted a third after Mark Scoltock’s knock down fell to fellow centre-back Caoimhin Bonner, but the defender failed to trouble Robinson and blasted wide from close range.
In the closing stages Gary Smyth’s side piled on the pressure with high balls into the ’Stute box, but they failed to really test keeper Marty Gallagher, as trio Scoltock, Bonner and substitute Dean Curry headed everything clear.
Institute: Gallagher, Morrow, Scoltock, Bonner, Seydak; Wilson (S Curry 58 & D Curry 85), McCallion (Jarvis 75), Harkin, McCrudden; Grace, Brown.
H&W Welders: Robinson, Middleton, Armstrong, McMullan, McMurray, Harris, Deans, Nelson (Bonnes 61), Malone (Spence 61), Arthurs, Rainey (Withers 70).
Referee: Mr Diarmuid Harrigan.