Institute made the trek to East Belfast on a miserable wet Saturday afternoon and were left bitterly disappointed not to have brought home at least a point from the game. The Drumahoe boys ultimately paid the price for a lacklustre opening 25 minutes in which they were second to every ball and careless in possession. Glentoran grew in momentum and were inspired enough to go on and record their first league win of the season.
The home side were on the front foot from the first whistle and Eoin Matthewson was forced into a number of fine saves. Institute did however take the lead with 6 minutes on the clock with their first attack of the game. Striker Alex Pomeroy’s blocked shot from an acute angle fell kindly for John Mallet who dispatched his shot into the top corner of the Glentoran net. The home side continued to look lively going forward and drew level within five minutes as Brent Ritchie broke clear on the left hand side before calmly slotting the ball past Matthewson. Soon afterwards, and against the run of play, Pomeroy threaded a delightful pass through for Shane Brennan who raced clear on goal. The attackers initial shot was well saved by Garland and Glentoran were lucky to scramble the rebound out for a corner. As the half wore on the visitors began to assert themselves and Conor McCourt had a shot blocked at the back post before Cathal Connolly forced a smart save with a strike from distance which saw Garland recover quickly to deny Pomeroy’s follow-up effort. Then, on the stroke of half time Glentoran snatched the lead in controversial circumstances. Institute players hesitated anticipating the referee’s whistle following a heavy challenge on McCourt midway inside his own half but with the official unmoved Jonny Dallas burst through to fire the home side into the lead.
Institute where convinced that they should have had a penalty within minutes of the restart when Mallett was sent tumbling just inside the box but again the officials decision did not go their way. Mallett did restore parity on 61 minutes, with his second of the afternoon, through a fine side-footed volley from 8 yards following Brennan’s pinpoint freekick but once again Stute conceded within a matter of minutes. This time Glentoran did get a favourable decision from the official who awarded a spot kick after Aaron Jarvis was rather harshly penalised. The Stute man couldn’t believe the decision when, after clearing the ball, it appeared more a case of a Glentoran attacker bundling into him rather than the other way around but the referee saw it differently and pointed to the spot where Mattewson was helpless to prevent Glentoran restoring their lead. The Drumahoe side continued to press and their opponents might have been reduced to ten men on two separate occasions following extremely rash challenges on both Pomeroy and Mallett before, against the run of play, Glentoran added a fourth following a swift counter attack with 14 minutes remaining. The Drumahoe side reduced the deficit 6 minutes later with substitute Ethan Curran firing home in spectacular fashion from Pomeroy’s cross but despite their best efforts they were unable to force an equaliser which their second half performance probably merited.
Institute continue their sequence of seven consecutive away fixtures with a trip to league leaders Linfield Rangers on 12th December before completing their pre-Christmas fixtures with a game against Dungannon Swifts Youth on 19th.
Institute Colts: Eoin Matthewson, Jamie McLaughlin, Cathal Connolly, Liam Clarke, Diarmuid McDermott, Caillin McLaughlin, John Mallett, Aaron Jarvis, Alex Pomeroy, Shane Brennan, Conor McCourt. Subs: Craig Holmes, Tommy McCorkell, Blaine Logue, Cory Hill, Ethan Curran.