Warrenpoint Town 2-1 Institute
A defensive mistake by Dean Curry unfortunately cost Institute dear, as they suffered an opening day defeat, at Warrenpoint Town.
After taking the lead just after the half-hour mark thanks to Sean McCarron’s goal, the wheels came off the Waterside men as they conceded to Conor McMenamin right on the stroke of half-time, before Curry’s mistake on 71 minutes resulted in Tiernan Mulvenna winning the game for the home side.
To make matters worse, both defender Ryan Morrow and boss Kevin Deery were sent-off in the second half.
Stute had half a chance on two minutes but McCarron’s effort from a tight angle, which had keeper Johnny Parr beaten, hit the side netting.
Warrenpoint were denied a certain goal on 10 minutes when McMenamin got in behind the Stute defence, but his shot from the left hand side of the box was superbly kept out by Marty Gallagher.
Stute were caught out again on 24 minutes as a long ball caused problems for Darryl McDermott, his back header to Gallagher fell short and McMenamin nipped in rounded the keeper, but his shot towards goal was cleared off the line by the fortunate back tracking centre-back.
A minute later a clever through ball by Aaron Harkin picked up Niall Grace, but the midfielder’s touch let him down at the crucial moment and keeper Parr gathered the loose ball.
Institute took the lead on 33 minutes after some great work by Grace ended with his pass slipping in McCarron, who gleefully blasted home past Parr from a the right hand side of the box.
Minutes later the visitors should have been awarded a penalty after Stephen O’Donnell was clearly barged to the ground by Liam McKenna, but referee Keith Kennedy and his assistant, let the game continue; much to the annoyance of the Stute bench.
The home side levelled things right on the stroke of half-time after a quickly taken free-kick, which Institute complained that the ball was rolling, ended with Aaron Traynor’s cross being tucked home by an unmarked McMenamin.
Early in the second half Institute failed to deal with another high ball but after a scramble McKenna’s close range effort, sailed just wide.
Neither side had really created much in the second half with the home side having a few penalty appeals turned down, before a lapse in concentration resulted in Town taking the points.
Initially McDermott’s missed clearance should have easily been dealt with by Curry, but the left back took a touch inside his six yard box and the alert Mulvenna, picked his pocket and made no mistake from close range.
To make matters worse moments later both manager’s Barry Gray and Deery were sent to the stands by referee Kennedy, after the pair got into a heated argument on the half-way line.
Institute’s miserable day continued as defender Morrow was sent-off for picking up his second booking when he needlessly pulled back Mulvenna just inside Stute’s half.
In the dying minutes as the ten men were pushing forward in search of an equaliser, it was Town who missed a glorious chance to add a third in stoppage time when substitute Stephen Murray blasted over from 10 yards.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Murphy (Lynch 61), McVeigh, McGuigan, Traynor, McMenamin, Mulvana, Dane, Moan, McKenna (McKenna 65), Haughey.
Institute: Gallagher, Morrow, O’Donnell, McDermott, D Curry (McFadden 72); A Harkin, C Harkin, Grace; McCrudden (Armstrong 72) , McCarron (Dunne 63), S Curry.
Referee: Keith Kennedy (Belfast).