Institute showed a super fighting spirit to deservedly secure a 2-0 win at high-flying Ards,
The visitors rolled their sleeves up and put in a battling performance in the rain at Bangor Fuels Arena.
The result and display is exactly what boss Kevin Deery has been crying out for all season, every player to a man battled hard and their celebrations at the end showed the tremendous team-spirit which is at the club.
The Drumahoe side started the better and they were inches away from taking the lead on 10 minutes in bizarre circumstances.
Shane McGinty’s right wing centre was turned over his own crossbar by Ards defender Greg Hall.
Moments later some neat control by Ross Arthurs ended with the striker’s 20 yard dipping shot on the half volley, superbly kept out by Stute goalkeeper Michael Lynch.
Just after the half hour mark a neat passing move by the visitors ended with lone striker Gareth Brown getting away from his marker, but his shot from the left hand side of the box hit the side netting.
Institute deservedly broke the deadlock on 34 minutes when a slick passing move ended with McGinty’s 20 yard strike taking a big deflection off Denver Gage before looping over Ards keeper Ryan Brown.
In an action packed second half it was the home side who went close to levelling when Eamon McAllister’s shot from the left hand side of the box hit the post, before Stute cleared their lines.
Both sides had chances in the early stages of the second half with Ards having the upper hand after the break, but Stute were always looking dangerous froms set-pieces.
Institute were reduced to ten men on 74 minutes when centre-back Stephen O’Donnell was sent-off after he fouled Arthurs and picked up his second bookable offence.
Although Ards started to thump big high balls into the Stute area, centre-back Mark Scoltock was immense, winning everything and he talked to his fellow defenders in those final few minutes.
Institute sealed the points in stoppage time when on the counter-attack subtitute Jordan Armstrong broke clear down the right before cutting the ball back to Aaron Harkin, he coolly side stepped his marker inside the box, before stroking the ball home.
Ards: Brown, Hall, Gage, Cully, Lambe; E McAllister, Browne (McKee 64), Templeton (D McAllister 74), McDonnell (Boyd 28), Baker; Arthurs.
Institute: Lynch, Crown, Scoltock, O’Donnell, Curry; McCauley (McKeever 87), McGinty, C Harkin, A Harkin, Dunne (McDermott 75); Brown.
Referee: Ken Gibbons