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  • Writer's pictureMichael Barritt

Institute 2 Ards 0 – Match Report

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

NIFL Championship – 15/10/22

By Phillip Bartlett

‘BrandyHell’ for Ards on their travels…

A long trip on the road this weekend as focus was back on Championship action after switching attention to the CAS midweek quarter final when Glentoran were in town. Institute are today's opponents and for the most part our visits to their temporary home have been disappointing affairs. Institute have lost their last two while Ards are currently on a 3-game winning run so current form suggests Ards will extend that run to 4, but this league seldom runs to form and tends to throw up regular surprises so there should be no complacency in preparing for this one.

After making significant changes to the line-up for the CAS quarter final Ards reverted to type in the league competition, fielding the same starting 11 for the 4th consecutive league game. Some good reading for the travelling RABA when the team news was released seeing DeeDee McAllister getting a spot on the bench after his recent absence due to injury. Hopefully the pacey front man can get back to his best and get a regular run of games. It would make a big difference for this Ards team to have him back on form.

Ards team observing a minute's silence before today's game in memory those who lost their lives in the Creeslough disaster

Ards’ winning run came to a crashing halt as Institute struck with a goal either side of the half time break. A disappointing day out and a particularly disappointing result as both goals could easily have been avoided with a bit more concentration. First half was another turgid affair as both teams really struggled with the conditions, misplacing passes and struggling to put any real consistent play together. While both teams had chances throughout, neither keeper was really put under much pressure. Ards were punished very very late in the first half as they switched off allowing Institute to get the opening goal of the game, a lead neither team really deserved. A quick start to the second half from ‘Stute’ seen Ards under more pressure, the second goal coming after a scramble in the box following an initial mistake from Moore in the Ards goal. 2-0 the final score with both goals coming during a 4-minute period spanning the half time break.

A poor first half with little cohesive football on show from either side but going by the chance index one Institute slightly edged. It looked to all concerned that we would go into the interval goalless despite both teams having excellent chances to break the dead lock throughout the half. Both sides traded early chances that went well over the bar, Eamon Scannell trying his luck for Ards and Jamie Dunne for the hosts, before Ards had the ball in the back of the net on 14’. Ethan Taggart had bundled the ball into the net, but it was chalked off as the ref deemed it an illegal challenge on Doherty awarding a freekick to the hosts.

Ethan Taggart putting pressure on the Institute Keeper

Just 1 minute after Ards had the ball in the back of the net Institute should have had the ball in the Ards net but somehow the goal didn’t come despite two bites at it. On 15’ Shaun Leppard met a cross into the box with a well-directed header that crashed back off the cross bar having beaten Moore in the Ards goal. The second ball dropped perfectly for Cathair Friel standing just 4 or 5 yards out from goal and with just Moore to beat he somehow managed to blast it high over the cross bar. Ards getting away with one there.

Ards hit back 29’ with a double goalscoring chance of their own, the Institute defenders and goalkeeper really earning their money keeping the score 0-0. Cricky Crane sent in a brilliant ball from the left towards the back post looking for Adam Salley but a great last-ditch header from Walker took it away from him sending it out for a corner. Cafolla and Scannell worked this one between them, Scannell eventually putting the ball into the box from the edge of the. It was met by Murray who headed it back across goal where Salley was able to control and swing his boot at it sending it towards goal. Doherty had followed the flight of the ball and covered the ground to make a great save at the near post.

Institute increased the pressure in the last few minutes of the half with chances for Dunne and McFadden before Friel struck deep into time added on at the end of the half. With the half seemingly coming to a close at 0-0 Ards seemed to switch off at the back allowing the ball to be sent in from the Institute left, the cross was not defended allowing Friel to meet it with his head and beat Moore in the Ards goal. A disappointing end to the half and a goal that could have easily been avoided and the ref blew up shortly after the restart.

There were no changes made for either side at the break with Ards getting us back under way after the interval.

Ards' Cricky Crane keeping close tabs on the Stute attacker

Institute started the second half on the front foot, confidence high after taking that late lead at the end of the first half earning themselves a corner on 48’. The ball was swung in to a crowded 6-yard box, Moore came to collect but dropped it while under pressure. There was a scramble in the box with both sides trying to get a telling touch before it was forced into the Ards goal. Hard to say who got the final touch from where I was, but it was eventually awarded to Jamie Dunne and Institute extend their lead to 2-0. There were protests after the award of the goal, Moore claiming he had been obstructed when coming to claim the initial cross and Kyle Calderwood was adamant that it was a handball for the final touch. Disappointing for Ards that any infraction was not spotted by the officials.

Ards were looking to hit back and had a great chance on 55’ to get back into the game through Ross Hunter. A Cafolla corner from the left missed everyone in the box before reaching Hunter just beyond the far post. After a touch to control he fired a well-placed shot towards the near post but Doherty had done well to make up his ground across goal and make a great save. Ards frustrated again missing out on a great chance to hit back quickly. Making no in roads Ards turned to the bench and made a double substitution on 65’; Taggart and Hunter were withdrawn, replaced by Salou Jallow and DeeDee McAllister, a welcome return to action for DeeDee after another spell on the side-lines through injury. There wasn’t a huge travelling Ards crowd for this one but those that were there really appreciated seeing DeeDee get back out there, hoping to see more of his trademark attacking play we’ve been missing out on.

Eamon Scannell takes aim from distance

Ards kept pressing trying to get themselves back into the game, the best of our chances falling to Scannell on 85’. With his current goalscoring record it seemed inevitable that he would pop up with one when we needed it, but it was not to be today. Cafolla took another corner from the left, Doherty tried to get it to safety, but it fell into the box where Calderwood tried to connect, her missed the ball but it fell perfectly for Scannell. He had time and tried to find the corner of the net but put it just wide and the chance was gone. Ards were struggling to build any real momentum and Institute were using every trick in the book to break up the play, interrupt the flow of the game and run down the clock at every opportunity. Running with a 2-0 lead, understandable, but still frustrating as the officials really should have clamped down on it earlier in the piece.

The last action of the game saw the prevention of a 3rd Institute goal as Greg Hall made a fantastic goal line clearance with Moore beaten. Bit of a mix up at the back and the ball wasn’t cleared, the ‘Stute’ man cut back in and tried to find the corner of the goal, Hall had read it well and dropped back to make the clearance. Ards cleared from the resulting corner and the referee brought the game to an end following 5 minutes of time added on, the game ending 2-0 to the hosts.

After 3 wins in a row with the same starting 11, it just didn’t happen for us today. Misplaced passes, poor delivery and a general wastefulness in attack made for another disappointing and long journey home. There was a silver lining for Ards today with DeeDee getting some much-needed minutes under his belt after some time on the side-lines. While we remain in the top half of the table the gap to those at the top is ever increasing and it doesn’t get easier for us with second placed side Annagh United up next at Clandeboye Park. Having grabbed a late late winner in the return fixture at the BMG Arena, Ards will be looking to get back on track but understanding that it will be a stern test.

Starting Line-up:

Moore, Crane, Taylor, Hall, Calderwood, Scannell, Murray, Cafolla, Taggart, Hunter, Salley


Craughwell, Arthurs, Jallow, McAllister, McVeigh, Young, Reynolds

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