Paddy McLaughlin’s Institute strolled to a deserved victory over fellow promoted side Newry City at The Showgrounds last night.
Goals in the first half from Gareth Brown and Joe McCready saw visitors ease to the three points as City’s winless run continued.
The visitors began much the better of the two sides against a nervous looking Newry side who failed to threaten Martin Gallagher’s goal in the early exchanges.
However, despite Paddy McLaughlin’s side having the bulk of the possession, the only effort they had in the opening quarter an hour was a 20-yard strike from Aaron Jarvis that flew well wide of Andy Coleman’s goal.
Newry gradually began to work their way into the tie and had a good opportunity on 20 minutes when Thomas McCann’s through ball set Declan Carville clear down the left, but his right footed shot was weak and straight at Gallagher.
After Joe McCready had volleyed over for Stute 11 minutes before half-time, the visitors went in front nine minutes later when Aaron Harkin’s dangerous cross from the right saw the City defence go to sleep and Gareth Brown stole in at the back post in front of Kevin McArdle to direct the ball goalwards, and although Coleman got a hand to it, Brown was on hand to tap the rebound over the line.
Things got even better for Stute just before the break and showcased why City are currently the most out of form side in the Premiership as the away side doubled their lead on 44 minutes.
Once again it was Harkin with the delivery, this time from a free-kick, and once again Newry failed to deal with it and McCready was able to get some form of contact on the ball to loop it past Coleman and make it 2-0 at the interval.
Newry needed to show much more life about them in the second period if they had any hope of taking something from the game and Mark Hughes was first to threaten six minutes after the restart when the City captain drove his low shot from 18 yards just wide of the left-hand post.
They went even closer on the hour mark when Carville steered his header from Keith Johnston’s corner goalwards but, in his attempt to flick it home, Mark McCabe only succeeded in glancing the ball over the crossbar from a couple of yards out.
Institute almost made it three nine minutes from time when sub Callum Moorehead made space down the right before crashing in a shot that Coleman superbly pushed over the bar.
Newry City AFC: Coleman, McArdle (Mullen 58), M Hughes, King, Boyle, McCann, Carville, S Hughes, Teggart (Delaney 66), McCabe, Johnston (Lavery 66)
Subs not used: Maguire, Walker, Healy, Durnin
Institute: Gallagher, McLaughlin, Bonner, D Curry, Doherty, Harkin, McCrudden, Jarvis, Brown (Moorehead 74), Wilson, McCready (S Curry 85)
Subs not used: R Morrow, Scoltock, Dunne, J Morrow, Henderson
Referee: Philip Farrugia (Malta)