Institute battled back to deservedly secure their first point of the season after drawing 1-1 with Larne.
The Drumahoe men, who went into the game off the back off a convincing 5-2 win over Sport & Leisure in JBE League Cup, had to come
from behind to claim a share of the spoils, after substitute Jamie Dunne cancelled out Paul Maguire’s first half header.
The home support must have feared the worst when Larne took the lead midway through the first half, but Stute’s response thereafter was
hugely impressive as they earned a well deserved point - in a performance that could, perhaps even should have resulted in victory.
Paul Smith would turn out to be a constant threat for Stute, and he showed neat footwork inside the penalty area early on, being before
seeing his shot kept out by Larne goalkeeper Patrick Flood.
Kevin Deery’s side came close once again when former Derry City man Ciaron Harkin fired well over after Garbhan Friel’s super run and cross had created the chance.
But just like other league outings this season those missed chances came back to haunt the Waterside men as Larne took the lead on 22
Right back Thomas Robinson skipped away from Friel before seeing his super cross find an unmarked Maguire and he gleefully made no mistake
powerfully heading home from close range.
Just after the half hour mark a run and cross by Gareth Brown found an unmarked Smith, but his tame header was easily gathered by Flood.
Minutes later the final chance of the half came and went as far as the home side were concerned as Jordan Armstrong found some space in the Larne box but his shot was kept out by Flood.
Flood was called into action again early in the second half when once again he denied Smith.
Stute boss Kevin Deery brought on Shane McGinty and Jamie Dunne as he looked to get that all important equaliser.
Institute probably for the first time this season got a bit of luck in front of goal when on 70 minutes Flood dropped the ball while under pressure from Friel and the alert Dunne was on hand to turn home the loose ball.
The home side pushed forward for the winner and in the closing stages Dean Curry went close, but his shot flashed just wide.
Institute: Michael Lynch, Graeme Crown, Dean Curry, Stephen O’Donnell, Daryl McDermott, Ciaron Harkin, Jordan Armstrong, Aaron Harkin, Paul Smith, Garbhan Friel, Gareth Brown.
Larne: Patrick Flood, Michael Smith, Michael McClean, Christopher Rodgers, Stuart McMullan, Scott Irvine, Paul Maguire, Guillaume Keke, Thomas Robinson, Conall McCandless, Anthony McConnell.
Referee: John Deighan (Limavady).