Institute 2-1 Warrenpoint Town
THIS poor encounter in the sunshine never really came to life until the closing stages, as Institute deservedly secured the win.
Kevin Doherty's side, who took the lead thanks to Paul Smith's second half strike, showed good determination to seal the three points after Joe McCready's 87th minute winner cancelled out Lee Duffy's late equaliser.
'Stute's interim gaffer Doherty was pleased with his side's never say die attitude.
“Delighted with the scoreline,” he stated. “It wasn’t a brilliant performance, especially first half and we told the boys that, but I was delighted with the response at the start of the second half, I wasn’t delighted with the equaliser, but the response from that to go and get the winner was great.
“We are making a habit of late goals I think and long may that continue.”
For Town boss Stephen McDonnell he was fuming with his side's terrible display, at a sun-soaked Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
“We were crap – that’s it," he insisted.
"Institute were the better team and we were atrocious. It’s the worst performance that we’ve put in in my three years involved with the club in total.
“We had one good player on the pitch in James Magowan at 18 years of age, the rest of them were non-existent.
“A few of them have thrown the towel in. There will be a few of them moving on and a few of them staying, but if I was an opposition manager sitting in the stand and trying to pick a player to sign from us, I wouldn’t take any of them."
The visitors had an early chance but 'Stute defender Colm McLaughlin did well to slide in and divert Philip Donnelly's close range shot wide.
'Stute had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Shane Andrews, when Joe McCready fell under the challenge of Hernany Macedo Marques.
Town were nearly gifted a goal on 15 minutes as Marty Gallagher dropped Eamon Scannell's cross, but fortunately for the 'Stute keeper he managed to keep out Anton Reilly's follow-up shot.
Soon after Smith broke the Town offside trap, but from a tight angle he blazed over with the goal at his mercy. The woodwork denied the striker on 23 minutes, as his free-kick, which had keeper Mark Byrne beaten, rattled the crossbar.
On 32 minutes a Francis McCaffrey in swinging corner from the left picked out an unmarked Conall McGrandless, but the substitute headed over with the goal at his mercy.
Moments later a clever chip pass by Smith found McCready, but his glancing header from six yards was straight at the fortunate Byrne.
The Byrne versus McCready battle continued soon after, as the keeper got down well to push the striker's shot around his right hand post.
Institute certainly began the second half on the front foot and they should have taken the lead on 50 minutes as Ronan Wilson burst into the Town box, his side footed strike flew just wide.
The home side deservedly took the lead eight minutes later as a fantastic through ball by Jake Morrow, released Smith, who coolly rounded Byrne, before side footing home into the empty net.
Town levelled things on 85 minutes as substitute Duffy saw his close range strike take a big deflection off McCready, on it’s way into the net.
'Stute scored the winner two minutes later when substitute Eamon McLaughlin with his first touch released McCready, who broke the offside trap, controlled the pass, before side footing home past Byrne.
Institute: Gallagher, Jarvis, C McLaughlin, Curry, Dunne; McBride, Wilson, Morrow (E McLaughlin 87); Smith (Brown 69), McCready, McIntyre (Moorehead 76).
Warrenpoint Town: Byrne, Foster, Reilly, McCaffrey, Lynch (McGrandles 20), Scannell (Duffy 65), O’Connor, Wallace, Donnelly, Marques (Hughes HT), Magowan.
Referee: Shane Andrews (Comber).