A dreadful first half display by Institute meant Coagh United claimed a surprise 3-2 victory, at Drumahoe, on Saturday. The Waterside men conceded three goals in the opening 45 minutes and despite a spirited display after the break, their awful performance in the first half cost them.
The visitors got off to the perfect start when they were rightfully awarded a penalty incredibly after just 58 seconds.
Winger Steven Park ghosted into the ’Stute box past Graeme Taylor before John Curran brought him down leaving referee Raymond Hetherington with no option but to point to the spot and Jason Gillespie coolly slotted the ball into Martin Gallgher’s bottom right hand corner.
Coagh continued to push forward and they doubled their lead on 14 minutes when Glen Clarke’s initial drive from the right side of the box was parried by Gallagher and the alert Park was on hand to drill the ball low into the net with his weaker left foot.
Soon after the home side created their first chance of the game when Stephen Parkhouse’s knock down found Joe Gray inside the six yard box, but the midfielder’s left footed effort flew well over the bar.
’Stute were unlucky not to pull a goal back on 19 minutes when Michael McCrudden’s deep cross from the left found Paddy McLaughlin at the back post, his header back into the danger zone found Curran, but his diving header from eight yards was easily saved by Johnny Yorke.
Just after the half-hour mark Paul Kee’s side were forced into making a change when Aaron Walsh was replaced by James McClay after the midfielder was carried off with a suspected broken bone in his right foot.
A Graham Crown cross on 34 minutes found Parkhouse and his powerful header from the edge of the box was superbly tipped away by Yorke.
On 43 minutes another good knock down by Parkhouse, this time in the United six yard box, found Curran but his terrible left footed shot flew wide.
Right on the stroke of half-time Coagh added a third goal when Glen Clarke won possession from Joe Gray 25 yards from goal, the striker raced clear before calmly lifting the ball high into the net past Gallagher.
On 49 minutes the visitors had James Ferguson to thank when he got back on the goal-line to head clear Michael McCrudden’s super 30 yard attempted lob, after keeper Yorke was well out of his goal.
A minute later Yorke made a remarkable save this time diving low to somehow keep out McLaughlin’s close range downward header, after Dougherty had picked out the centre-back.
Institute did deservedly pull one back on 52 minutes when McCrudden’s left wing corner found Dougherty at the near post and he glanced home from close range.
The Waterside men pulled a second goal back on 82 minutes when substitute Sean Roddy’s right wing cross found Parkhouse at the back post and his powerful header flew past Yorke into the net.
Right at the death Dougherty had a good half chance but he failed to keep his left footed shot down.
Institute: Gallagher, Crown, McLaughlin, Curran, Taylor; Gray, Walsh, McKeever; McCrudden, Parkhouse, Dougherty. Subs: McClay for Walsh (32); Roddy for Crown (53); Coyle for McKeever (73); Carlyle & McFadden (not used).
Coagh United: Yorke, McGeown, Ferguson, Calderwood, Anderson, Beckett, Park, McCordick, Gillespie, Dallas, Clarke. Subs: Taylor for McGeown (60); Thornton for McCordick (73); Hunter for Clarke (87); Campbell (not used).
Referee: Mr Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon).
Cautioned: Gillespie (87).
Report by Sentinel Sports Editor Kevin McLaughlin