INSTITUTE: Stephen Mills books Intermediate Cup last four spot
It may not have been pretty but Institute defeated Newington 1-0 to book their place in the Intermediate Cup semi-final.
Stephen Mills’ header on 107 minutes ensured the Drumahoe side finally saw off the Belfast men, who had Conal Burns red carded just after the half-hour mark.
Although they weren’t at their best, Stute were always in control and their impressive recent run remains in intact despite producing a sluggish performance against the ten men.
Kevin Deery made five changes to his starting line-up and he was forced into another change just before kick-off as goalkeeper Marty Gallagher was injured in the warm-up and replaced by youngester Gareth Muldoon, who did very well throughout the 110 minutes.
Unfortunately for the home side those changes seemed to upset them as they never really got going.
Despite having most of the posession they very rarely threatened Newington keeper Dean Smyth.
The visitors were reduced to ten men on 34 minutes after midfielder Burns was shown a straight red card, following an incident with Shane McGinty.
The only real serious effort on target in the first half came moments later when the ten men went close but Padraig Scollay’s volley was easily gathered by Muldoon.
Institute’s first shot on target came on 52 minutes but Gareth Brown’s strike from 20 yards was straight at Smyth.
The home side made a double substitution on the hour mark with Sean Roddy and Jamie McIntyre replacing Aaron Jarvis and the disappointing Robbie Hume.
In stoppage time Stute could have won it but Jamie Dunne’s close range shot was deflected over the bar by Sean McAuley.
McGinty missed a great chance early in extra-time when from close range he headed over, after Roddy’s free-kick had picked him out.
Incredibly McGinty missed an even better chance on 96 minutes as again another Roddy’s free-kick from the right found the Donegal man, but despite being completely unmarked he somehow headed wide from six yards.
McGinty thought it was a case of third time lucky but his celebrations were cut short on 104 minutes when he fired home past Smyth, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
The pressure finally paid off for the Waterside men as they broke the deadlock on 107 minutes when Aaron Harkin’s in swinging left wing corner was powerfully headed home by Mills.
Institute: Muldoon, A Jarvis (Roddy 60), O’Donnell, McDermott, Dunne; Hume (McIntyre 60), C Harkin, McGinty; McMenamin, Brown (A Harkin 70), Mills. Newington: Smyth, Reid, S McAuley, McFall, Adams, P McAuley, Burns, O’Neill, Findlay (Agodio 74), Rafferty, Scollay (McErlean H-T).
Referee: Mr S Gregg