INSTITUTE will feel it was a case of two points dropped rather than one gained, as the nine men of Dergview hung on for a 1-1 draw, on Thursday night.
Unfortunately referee Stephen Wallace became the centre of the attention right at the start and the end of the game.
The Londonderry official rightfully dismissed two Dergview players – Liam Burns and Johnny Lafferty – after just 13 minutes, then deep into stoppage time he surprisingly disallowed Declan McKeever’s late header.
’Stute as expected dominated possession after those two dismal’s, but once again they lacked penatration in the final third.
The home side were reduced to ten men on nine minutes when Burns terrible tackle on Aaron Walsh resulted in him getting a straight red card from referee Stephen Wallace.
Incredibly Dergview were reduced to nine men soon after when Lafferty was sent-off for kicking out at Neil Harkin.
The visitors took the lead on 24 minutes when Harkin’s long range drive was spilled into his own net by keeper Alan Buchanan.
Credit to the home side as they drew level on the half hour when Aaron Arkinson’s long range strike flew into Marty Gallagher’s bottom right hand corner.
Minutes later ’Stute went close to regaining the lead when Michael McCrudden got himself some space inside the box, but his low right footed shot was saved by Buchanan.
’Stute missed a glorious chance to regain the lead on 55 minutes when McKeever’s teasing left footed centre was cleared off the line by Liam McMenamin and Darren McCauley’s follow up effort from close range, was also stopped on the line, this time by John Carlin.
The Waterside men continued to pile the pressure on and they went close again but Michael Coyle’s snap-shot from inside the box was straight at Buchanan.
A well-worked Institute free-kick just before the hour mark saw McKeever’s 20 yard strike, well held by Buchanan.
On 68 minutes substitute Darren McFadden went close when McCrudden fed the big striker, but his sweetly struck drive from the left hand side of the box, was kept out by Buchanan.
On 88 minutes a McKeever in-swinging cross from the right found McFadden, but his header from 10 yards flew over the bar.
Right at the death the visitors thought they had won it when McKeever had headed home Sean Roddy’s deep cross, but referee Wallace awarded a free-kick and disallowed the effort, much to the visitor’s frustration.
Dergview: Buchanan, Porter, J Carlin, Gilloway, McMenamin, Burns, Arkinson, Leckey, C Carlin, McManus, Lafferty. Subs: Ferry for C Carlin (64).
Institute: Gallagher, Roddy, McLaughlin, Crown, Jarvis; McKeever, Harkin, Walsh; McCauley, Coyle, McCrudden. Subs: McCready & McFadden for Harkin & Coyle (65); Hegarty for McCauley (76).
Referee: Mr Stephen Wallace (Londonderry).
Cautioned: Harkin (28); Porter (56); McCready (68); McCrudden (90); McFadden (92).
Sent-off: Burns (9); Lafferty (13).
Report by Kevin McLaughlin, Londonderry Sentinel