Institute 1-2 Coleraine
IT was a case of what might have been for Institute, as two wind assisted goals from Darren McCauley combined with the woodwork denying them twice, resulting in Coleraine winning the points, at the Brandywell.
Paddy McLaughlin’s side had chances after the break, but in truth for long periods they lacked that killer instinct in the final third.
The Bannsiders scored right at the start and the end of the first half, while at the back they seemed to cope with windy conditions a lot easier.
Coleraine took the lead on 10 minutes as McCauley’s wind assisted inswinging corner from the left caught out Institute keeper Marty Gallagher and the ball flew into the net, much to boss McLaughlin’s frustration.
Soon after another ’Stute old boy nearly came back to haunt his old club, but Ciaron Harkin’s side footed strike from 20 yards, which had Gallagher beaten, whistled wide.
Moments later the home side had their first real effort but Aaron Jarvis’ long range strike was well off target.
Just before the half-hour mark the ’Stute boss changed things around with Ronan Wilson dropping into right-back and Jarvis slotting into midfield, as the home side looked to get into the game.
Institute went close on 40 minutes as Michael McCrudden’s pass found Gareth Brown down the left, his low drive from the angle was pushed away by Coleraine keeper Chris Johns.
The visitors doubled their lead four minutes later thanks to that man McCauley.
The winger cut in from the left and his curling right footed strike from 20 yards found Gallagher’s bottom left hand corner.
Early in the second half and with the wind behind them Institute were unlucky to not pull a goal back, as Ronan Doherty’s left footed cross-cum-shot, from the right, which had Johns beaten, was headed off the line by Harkin.
Institute went even closer on 57 minutes as McCrudden’s 20 yard snap-shot, which had Johns beaten, smacked the crossbar.
Incredibly the crossbar saved Coleraine again as this time Doherty’s free-kick deflected off Stephen O’Donnell’s head and with Johns beaten, the ball rattled the crossbar.
Another neat passing move by the home side on 83 minutes ended with substitutes Darren Henderson and McCready linking up, with the latter seeing his close range shot well saved by an out-rushing Johns.
In the closing minutes a super pass by Dean Curry released substitute Callum Moorehead, who broke the offside trap and drew Johns from his goal-line, before squaring the ball to an unmarked McCready, who side footed home into the unguarded net, to score what turned out to be a consolation goal.
Institute: Gallagher, Jarvis, Bonner, D Curry, McLaughlin; Doherty, Harkin (Henderson 74), Wilson; McIntyre (Moorehead 61), McCrudden, Brown (McCready 66).
Coleraine: Johns, Canning, O’Donnell, Douglas, Mullan (Parkhill 73); Harkin, Lowry, Burns; McCauley, Bradley, Carson.
Referee: Shane Andrews (Belfast).