Institute deservedly booked their place in the JBE League Cup quarter-final following a hard fought 4-3 win at champions Crusaders.
Kevin Deery’s men showed tremendous heart to cause the cup shock and their fearless approach worked a treat as they lead four times at Seaview.
The Drumahoe club got off to the perfect start when they took the lead on three minutes after Dean Curry (picture) rose superbly to head Jamie Dunne’s right wing corner.
After that shock to their system the home side started to come more and more into the tie with Stute old boy Stephen O’Flynn having a half-chance, but he blasted over from 20 yards.
Stute on the counter attack had a half chance themselves on 18 minutes when a lung bursting run by Dunne ended with his left wing cross finding Garbhan Friel, but the striker’s shot from just inside the box was blocked by Crues defender David Magowan.
Stephen Baxter’s men did level things on 22 minutes when Richard Clarke’s free-kick found an unmarked O’Flynn and from 12 yards he powerfully headed past a fully stretched Stute goalkeeper Martin Gallagher.
Right on the stroke of half-time Stute regained the lead from the penalty spot after Dunne was pushed to the ground by Cameron Stewart and referee Stephen Taylor pointed to the spot, from which Garbhan Friel made no mistake, slotting home past keeper Graeme McKibbin.
The Shore Road men were inches away from levelling things on 48 minutes when a slick move ended with O’Flynn’s 20 yard strike being superbly tipped onto the bar by Gallagher.
Crusaders did level things from the penalty spot two minutes later after Friel’s rash challenge on Michael Carvill just inside the box meant Taylor rightfully pointed to the spot and Andy Mitchell coolly fired home from 12 yards.
Striker Diarmuid O’Carroll missed a glorious chance on 73 minutes when he fired wide from close range after a scramble inside the Stute box.
Institute for a third time took the lead on 84 minutes after a goalkeeping howler when young McKibbin dropped Robbie Hume’s in-swinging corner into his own net.
Gallagher was called into action two minutes from time when substitute Craig McClean saw his cross find fellow sub Jordan Owens, but his header was saved by the Stute keeper.
The Belfast men levelled for a third time on 91 minutes after substitute Ross Holden was brought down by Gallagher inside the box, referee Taylor for the third time pointed to the spot and Mitchell blasted home the resulting penalty, despite Gallagher getting a hand to the ball.
The woodwork came to Stute’s rescue twice in quick succession in the early stages of extra-time when firstly Carville’s close range strike came back off the bar and Gallagher’s resulting punch flew high up into the air and bounced off the bar, before Stute eventually cleared.
Incredibly it was Institute’s turn to be denied by the woodwork on 100 minutes when Hume’s right wing corner found Darryl McDermott, but his flick rattled the post.
The Drumahoe men took the lead for the fourth time on 117 minutes after substitute Gareth Brown headed home from close range, after Crues failed to deal with Aaron Harkin’s free-kick.
Crusaders: McKibbin, Mitchell, Stewart, Magowan, Vauls; Snoddy, Clarke, Molloy (Holden 80), O’Carroll; Carvill, O’Flynn (Owens 74).
Institute: Gallagher, Morrow (O’Donnell 58), Crown, McDermott, Curry; McIntyre (Hume 63), C Harkin, A Harkin, McGinty, Dunne (Brown 80); Friel.
Referee: Stephen Taylor