Brian Donaghey watched his team fall to defeat.
Institute fell to only their second defeat in eight games as they were frustrated by Knockbreda at the Brandywell.
Brian Donaghey’s team have been superb of late, and they came into this game hoping to make it seven wins in eight games, but they were undone by two first half goals from the visitors.
‘Stute should have been ahead in the opening stages. Jack Millar found himself one on one with Lewis Deane, but the goalkeeper saved his effort, and moments later the young winger sent in a cross which was perfect for an unmarked Benny McLaughlin, but ‘Stute’s top scorer got his angles all wrong and missed the target completely.
That was the beginning of a dominant spell for ‘Stute, who pushed their opponents back, and had several efforts at goal, all without really testing Deane again.
That all looked wasted when ‘Stute conceded the first goal just past the half hour. It was a goal completely against the run of play as a long ball forward found winger Lee Rea in space and Shaun Leppard’s attempts to cut out his cross only set up Lee McCreevy perfectly, who simply had to place the ball beyond John Connolly to give the visitors the lead.
It got even worse for ‘Stute as half time approached as Knockbreda doubled their lead. It was entirely avoidable from the hosts’ point of view as Lee Rea’s cross sailed over three ‘Stute defenders, none of whom made a move towards the ball, and Knockbreda captain Ross McCaughan simply had to slide in and convert at the back post for 2-0.
‘Stute tried and tried in the second half but they never looked like scoring, and their misery was complete when Knockbreda broke forward, with Ethan Devine shrugging off two challenges on his way into the area, before a simple pass across goal gave McCreevy a tap in for his second goal.
‘Stute deserve credit for not letting their heads drop, and they pulled a goal back on 85 minutes when Oran Brogan was allowed to come in from the wing, all the way into the area, before his shot was charged down into the path of Benny McLaughlin who headed in from close range.
INSTITUTE: John Connolly, Rhys McDermott, Conor Quigley, Shaun Leppard, Joel Bradley Walsh, Aidan McCauley (Caolan McBrearty 67’), Shaun Doherty, Brendan McLaughlin, Liam Walsh, Jack Millar (Gabriel Aduaka 67’), Jamie Dunne (Oran Brogan 45’).
KNOCKBREDA: Lewis Deane, Kyle McCauley, Karl Hamill, Ross McCaughan, Peter McDermott, Colin Gilmour, Ethan Devine, Stephen Garrett, Conor Curran, Lee Rea, Lee McGreevy.
REFEREE: Louise Thompson.
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