Institute claimed a draw against Warrenpoint at the Riverside Stadium after Robbie Hume’s opener was ruled out by Stephen Hughes on 37 minutes.
Barry Gray’s Warrenpoint travelled to Drumahoe this afternoon, taking on Institute in the Boxing Day showdown at a frosty Riverside Stadium.
This match saw changes to Paul Kee’s line-up, Eugene Ferry returned in goals, while Mark Scoltock replaced the suspended Stephen O’Donnell.
As the game began the Points instantly piled on pressure, but the defensive trio of Dean Curry, Paddy McLaughlin and Scoltock held out well.
Things livened when goalkeeper Jonathan Parr was accused of handling outside the area as ‘Stute attacked, but the referee dismissed the claims.
The first goal came when Robbie Hume latched onto a cross from Declan McKeever down the left flank, Hume heading low into the net past Parr.
After a while the Points threatened, Stephen Hughes played through Darren King who struck the post in a one-on-one with Ferry on 35 minutes.
Two minutes later Stephen Hughes capitalised on sloppy defending from ‘Stute with his shot crossing the line after bouncing down off the bar.
The scoreline remained locked at 1-1 going into the break, and it seemed evident that each team would return to the field eager for the win.
HT: Institute 1-1 W’Point
The second half began with each side rejuvenated after the team talks were shared, and the final 45 minutes would decide this “six pointer.”
Aaron Walsh created the first chance when he launched into the box, but Parr pushed it toward Cormac Burke who couldn’t make contact with it.
Burke was involved in the next chance on 55 minutes when he crossed a free-kick into the box, and Dean Curry headed it against the woodwork.
Then came another attempt by Dean Curry as he side-footed at the keeper, but despite shouts that it had crossed the line, no goal was given.
After 57 minutes ‘Stute continued to dominate and Hume made a good run, slotting Stephen Curry in against Parr but his tame strike was saved.
Warrenpoint attacked well when Stephen Hughes fired towards Ferry’s back post, but Mark Hughes missed a great chance to finish via his pass.
Substitute Paul McVeigh made a good run in the box and found McKeever with a pass in space, but unbalanced McKeever misfired his shot wide.
In the closing stages the Sky Blues continued to work hard, and on 81 minutes McVeigh curled a shot narrowly wide of the back post from range.
The last chance fell to ‘Stute on 87 minutes when the ball fell out to Stephen Curry outside the box but he volleyed just wide from 20 yards.
FT: Institute 1-1 W’Point
After the match, manager Paul Kee said:
“The work ethic was good, we kept going right up until the very end and we didn’t give up so that’s a positive to take from today’s performance.
“We’re playing again on New Year’s Day and we have to stay confident for that match but the truth is that we haven’t won in ten now so it’ll be difficult.
“We have no players coming in at the minute other than Darren McFadden who was at the club before, but if viable options come available then we’ll pursue new signings.”
Institute: Eugene Ferry, Paddy McLaughlin, Mark Scoltock, Dean Curry; Stephen Curry, Graham Crown, Aaron Walsh, Mark Forker (77′), Declan McKeever; Robbie Hume, Cormac Burke (72′).
Subs: Marty Gallagher, Paul McVeigh (72′), Ben Doherty, Ronan Doherty (77′), Matty Young.
W’Point Town: Jonathan Parr, Darren King (58′), Jonathan Cowan, Dermott McVeigh, Stephen Hughes, Daniel Hughes, Liam Bagnall, Mark Hughes, Stephen Moan (65′), Ciaran O’Connor (85′), John Boyle.
Subs: Stephen McCabe, Padraig Smith (65′), Ruairi Devlin (58′), Timothy Grant (85′).
Referee: John Deighan (Limavady United).
This article is sponsored by McBride Racing Bookmakers, Derry/Londonderry and Co. Donegal.
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