A youthful Institute Reserves had to dig deep to hold on for this 2-1 victory at Warrenpoint Town Reserves, on Saturday.
First half goals from teeenager Cathal Connolly and Jamie Dunne put the visitors in a commanding position at the break but Warrenpoint scored early after the break and thereafter made life difficult for the Drumahoe side.
Stute began the brighter and created a number of good chances.
Jordan Thompson had two decent efforts in the opening ten minutes, his first blazing over after latching on to Mark Scoltock’s long pass, the second producing a fine save as his curling effort looked destined for the top corner.
At the other end Scoltock’s perfectly timed tackle prevented an opponent from getting his shot away after bursting into the box.
The visitors took a deserved lead on 16 minutes when 17-year-old Connolly headed home at the back post from a Jamie McIntyre corner.
Ten minutes from the break striker Thompson sustained a nasty facial injury which would eventually bring his afternoon to an end.
Despite his obvious discomfort he gamely tried to play on and indeed he was instrumental in the visitors’ second goal.
A quick break saw Thompson release strike partner Dunne who outpaced the defence and whilst his initial effort was well saved he showed composure to tuck away the rebound.
Without Thompson’s endeavour up front in the second half the Waterside men struggled as a spirited Warrenpoint threw everything at them.
Within five minutes they pulled one goal back when an excellent right-wing cross was turned home.
Wave after wave of attack saw the Drumahoe side having to defend stoutly but a defensive line that included 16-year-old debutant Dylan King and experienced first teamer Scoltock stuck to their task to such an extent that keeper Mulcahy remained largely untroubled.
In the dying minutes, and as the home side ran out of steam, Stute indeed could have added to their scoreline but had to settle for the narrowest of winning margins.
Later check revealed that Thompson had suffered a broken cheekbone which will require surgery. Everyone at the club would like to wish Jordan a speedy recovery.
Institute Reserves: Kealan Mulcahy, Dylan King, Mark Scoltock, Graeme Taylor, Jamie McIntyre, Cathal Connolly, Ethan Sweeney, Ronan Doherty, Darren Logue, Jordan Thompson, Jamie Dunne.
Meanwhile two own goals gave Stute U17’s, who dominated the game, the win and sees them progress to the next round of the knock out cup.
Tyler Deighan’s goal wasn’t enough for the U16 side, which lost 2-1 to Cookstown Youth U16, while Josh Wilson’s strike was a consolation goal as the U15’s were heavily defeated 5-1 by Ballinamallard Youth U15.