Institute 1, Warrenpoint Town 2
It proved to be a family affair for Warrenpoint as goals either side of half-time from the Hughes brothers sent the Milltown club through to the JBE League Cup semi-finals at the expense of a battling Championship One side, Institute at a blustery Riverside Stadium.
It certainly wasn’t plain sailing for the Premier Division side, however as they were made to come from behind to secure their passage into the last four after Gareth Brown gave Institute the lead on 28 minutes with a superb strike.
However, Warrenpoint defender, Mark Hughes linked up with his brother Daniel before slotting the ball past the helpless Michael Lynch six minutes before the break.
And on 63 minutes Graham Crown conceded a penalty kick and Daniel Hughes stepped up to convert confidently into the bottom corner.
It had all started so well for the home side who were playing against a strong wind in the opening half, however they made a promising start and Mark Scoltock probably should have done better on eight minutes when he rose highest at the back post to meet a corner kick.
However, the defender headed straight at Warrenpoint keeper, Aaron Shanahan who spilled the ball before the danger was eventually cleared.
And just before the half hour mark ‘Stute broke the deadlock when Brown latched onto Ciaron Harkin’s throughball and the striker ran at the opposition defence and sent a clinical left footed strike into the far corner of the net.
It was no more than they deserved but the ‘Stute defence were caught napping five minutes later following a flick-on in the home side’s final third and Mark McCabe beat Scoltock for pace but his tame, side-footed effort was gathered cleanly by Michael Lynch.
Lynch again saved confidently on 35 minutes to deny Mark Hughes from a well struck free-kick from 25 yards but he could do nothing to stop the same player from finding the back of the net four minutes later.
Hughes beat his man on the edge of the ‘Stute penalty area before playing a neat one-two with Daniel Hughes which sent him clean through on goal and he calmly side-stepped the ‘Stute keeper before slotting into an empty net from five yards.
It was a scrappy start to the second from both sides but Warrenpoint began to control proceedings and they were awarded a penalty kick when Roy Kierans was clumsily brought down inside the area by Graham Crown. Up stepped striker Daniel Hughes and he slotted his spot-kick beautifully into the bottom corner of the net to send the visitors in front on 63 minutes.
The lively Jamie Dunn was causing problems down the Warrenpoint right flank and he did well to weave his way into the penalty area before unleashing a shot from the outside of his left boot which was parried clear by Shanahan.
‘Stute were pressing for the equaliser and Aaron Harkin came so close to finding the net with 12 minutes to go from a free-kick wide on the left flank but his curling strike was punched clear on the line by Shanahan.
Conor McDonald could have sealed the win for Warrenpoint on 83 minutes but his low strike from 10 yards was turned behind superbly by Lynch.
‘Stute huffed and puffed for the remainder of the game but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Warrenpoint defence as their cup journey ended.
Institute: Michael Lynch: Ryan Morrow, Mark Scoltock, Graham Crown (Declan McKeever 67), Dean Curry; Aidan McCauley (Jordan Armstrong 56), Aaron Harkin, Ciaron Harkin, Jamie Dunn (Robbie Hume 67); Shane McGinty, Gareth Brown; Subs Not Used - Martin Gallagher, Sean Roddy.
Warrenpoint Town: Aaron Shanahan; Darren King (Stephen Moan 74), John Boyle, Jordan Dale, Mark Hughes; Sean Donnelly (Stephen Hughes 74), Liam Bagnall, Conor McDonald, Roy Kierans; Mark McCabe, Daniel Hughes; Subs Not Used - Mark Clarke, Dermot McVeigh, Stephen Murray.
Referee: Ian McNabb.