After another devastating week, in what has been a turbulent season for the club off the pitch, ‘Stute manager Paddy McLaughlin was keen for his side to show the consistency that has been critical in the home team battling at the top of the championship. The home side took on Loughgall today, with many questions surrounding the future of the club.
The first half burst into life, after ‘Stute captain Michael McCrudden coolly slotted home an early penalty. ‘Stute continued with their usual attack minded play, and pressed Loughgall high up the pitch. ‘Stute created several well worked opportunities however, no second goal came. Gareth Brown, looked particularity threatening playing on the shoulder of the Loughgall defence, and showed two brilliant moments of improvisation with long range chips threatening the cool. However, despite causing no threat in the opening thirty five minutes, Loughgall ended the first half on the front foot. With the final exchanges of the half they forced ‘Stute goalkeeper Gallagher into a smart save, and swiftly followed this by hitting the crossbar, with the last kick of the half.
The second half started as the first had with ‘Stute on top. The home side handling the tricky decisions much better than there opponents. Yet again ‘Stute scored an early goal from a familiar source, Niall Grace blasting the ball home following a corner. ‘Stute continued to manage the away sides direct style of play, with the away side offering little in the second going forward; with ‘Stute’s defence yet again, holding strong and offering very little opportunities for their opponents to attack. ‘Stute scored a third from talisman Niall Grace, with his second effort of the match, finishing the game as a competition. ‘Stute manager Paddy McLaughlin made several very effective substitutions, ensuring that ‘Stute were able to keep their clean sheet and continue to be on the front foot.
Full-time: Institute 3 vs. Loughgall 0
Report by Dylan Harvey