Institute staring at relegation following Warrenpoint defeat

Warrenpoint Town's Stephen Hughes with Institute's Corey Wilson
Warrenpoint Town's Stephen Hughes with Institute's Corey Wilson

While not openly admitting that his side are all but relegated after Saturday’s heavy defeat away to Warrenpoint, there was a sense of resignation in the air from Institute assistant manager John Cunningham after the match.

Having just seen Stute hammered 5-1, Cunningham said after the match that the club hadn’t replaced big players such as Stephen O’Flynn and Michael Doherty that they lost in the January transfer window.

“We just have to take stock. It was poor performance and whatever could have gone wrong, went wrong with penalties and a sending off,” he said.

“We just had a really bad day at the office. Warrenpoint thoroughly deserved it. We can’t take anything away from them. On the day in a big game, they’ve come up trumps. We just have to keep working at it.

“The problem that we’ve had this year is that we’ve lost certain players and we haven’t replaced them. We done quite well in a lot of games and they have been close margins bar maybe three or four games this season. It’s a big learning curve for everybody. We have to lick our wounds and go again.”

Daniel Hughes got the first of his hat-trick when he converted a twelfth minute penalty after Mark Hughes had been brought down by Aaron Walsh.

‘Dingo’ then cracked home a stunning volley four minutes before the break to double the home side’s lead before rounding off his treble with his second penalty early in the second half.

Davitt Walsh did pull one back on 66 minutes but any hope of a comeback was extinguished when Point sub Darren Forsyth bundled home the fourth for the hosts before Stephen Hughes slotted home late on.

“We have Ballymena on Tuesday and if we beat them, we’ll see what happens in the other results and that’s just the way we have to look at it,” said ‘Point boss Barry Gray.