Institute manager Paul Kee admitted he was considering his future after Saturday’s 3-0 Danske Bank Premiership defeat at Ballymena United.
This game was over as a contest in the first half after Ballymena United showed Institute how to put the ball in the net.
Yes Paul Kee’s side started the game brightly and were on top, but during their domination in the opening quarter they never tested United’s goalkeeper Tim Allen, while some clinical finishing by the home side ensured they raced into an unassailable 3-0 lead after just 38 minutes.
The home side were awarded a penalty on 17 minutes in somewhat harsh circumstances after Gary Thompson seemed to just run into Stephen O’Donnell, but referee Damien Basketfield pointed to the spot and Gary McCutcheon made no mistake from 12 yards.
United caught the visitors napping on 26 minutes when Tony Kane’s quickly taken free-kick found Eamonn McAllister down the right and his cross coolly side footed home from close range by Allan Jenkins.
Soon after Jenkins should have added a third but he headed over with only Stute goalkeeper Marty Gallagher to beat.
Institute went close to pulling one back on 31 minutes when Declan McKeever’s left wing cross found Robbie Hume, but his header was tipped around the post by United goalkeeper Tim Allen.
Just after the half hour mark a blistering run by Tony Kane ended with his right wing cut-back finding Jenkins, his first time effort from 12 yards was parried by Gallagher and McAllister was on hand to head home the loose ball.
A Hume right wing in-swinging corner found Darren McFadden, but the big striker headed over from close range.
A tremendous 20 yard strike by Hume on 67 minutes saw a diving Allen tip the ball over the bar.
Soon after Institute had Gallagher to thank this time he got down well to keep out Johnny Taylor’s close range header.
Ten minutes from time McCrudden’s pass on the edge of the box found an unmarked McFadden, but his left footed strike failed to trouble Allen and flashed wide.
Ballymena United: Allen, Ervin, Munster, Taylor, McBride, McAllister (Gawley 69), Kane, Thompson, Cushley (Teggart 61), Jenkins, McCutcheon (Shelvin 77).
Institute: Gallagher, O’Donnell, McLaughlin, D Curry, McKeever (Bradley 75); S Curry, McManus (Forker 75), A Walsh, Hume (D Walsh 75); McCrudden; McFadden.
Referee: Mr Damien Basketfield (Banbridge).
* See Sentinel Sport website later for Paul Kee interview.