David Munster repeated his midweek goalscoring heroics as Ballymena United claimed an important league victory at Drumahoe.
The veteran defender, whose late midweek strike secured United’s place in the League Cup final, was again on target as the Sky Blues arrested a poor recent run of form in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Munster’s effort cancelled out Robbie Hume’s early opener for struggling Stute, with Alan Teggart scoring what proved to be the winner from the penalty spot, with all the goals coming in the opening half.
The home side went in front after just four minutes when Lee Toland’s left wing corner low into the near post found Hume and his deflected shot from just inside the box found the back of the net.
United pushed forward in search of an equaliser and they were denied minutes later when Darren Boyce’s powerful close range header was superbly kept out by Institute goalkeeper Martin Gallagher.
On 14 minutes some last ditch defending by Paddy McLaughlin denied Boyce an equaliser when he got back to head the striker’s shot off the line.
Gallagher was called in action again soon after when he did well to keep out David Munster’s header, after the home side failed to clear their lines properly.
United were awarded a penalty on 30 minutes when Johnny Taylor was pulled to the ground by McLaughlin, referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot and Alan Teggart made no mistake from 12 yards.
The woodwork came to the home side’s rescue when Teggart’s left footed strike, which had Gallagher beaten, came back off the post and the ’Stute goalkeeper grabbed the loose ball.
Institute were forced into a change at the break with Eugene Ferry replacing Gallagher, as the net-minder went into the game struggling.
United had a super chance to go further ahead on 63 minutes but Neal Gawley fired wide from 20 yards, after Teggart had set him up.
Soon after Ferry was called into action when Allan Jenkins got in behind the Stute back-line, but his well hit shot was saved by the substitute.
Institute: Gallagher (sub Ferry 46, McLaughlin (sub Doherty 60), O’Donnell, D Curry; S Curry, Walsh, Crown, Burke, Toland; Hume (sub McIntyre 74), McVeigh.
Ballymena United: Addis, T Kane, Munster, Taylor, McBride, Gawley, Surgenor, Jenkins, Teggart (sub E Kane 90), Boyce (sub McCullagh 87), Tipton (sub Ferguson 67).
Referee: Mr Keith Kennedy (Lisburn).