Paul Lowry woke up yesterday morning heralded as Institute’s new goal-scoring hero after his last gasp strike against Linfield —and the striker should also have been heavier in his pockets for his efforts.
The 20-year old was given an incentive by his boss, John Gregg, just seconds before coming on as a second-half substitute at Windsor Park.
Gregg knew the impish Lowry’s lightning pace would cause the Blues problems but challenged his starlet £100 that he would’t score.
Queue a dramatic equaliser with five minutes to go and the Jordanstown student could have bagged a winner just moments later.
But is he counting his winnings?
“After the match I mentioned it to him but he claims my shot took enough of a deflection to become an own goal and that he wasn’t going to pay up!
“I’ll keep on at him until he does the decent thing though.
“When the ball hit the net I haven’t a clue what was going through my head though. I ended up diving in front of the dug-outs.
“It was a great feeling but I ended up getting booked for putting my shirt over my head. It was an important goal, though, so it was a worthwhile booking.”
Lowry, who has played only twice for the first team this season, was a late addition to the ‘Stute squad for Tuesday night’s match.
With the wide open spaces on Windsor Park, Gregg planned to use the talented hitman as an impact substitute and his plan worked a treat.
Lowry admits he barely got a wink of sleep such was his excitement at securing what could prove to be a vital point come the end of the season but he couldn’t help being a little disappointed not adding to his tally.
“I actually thought I was going to be playing Linfield Swifts with our reserves on Tuesday until I got a phone call at 3.30pm to say I was going with the first-team,” he added.
“It was a real surprise; I’ve only came off the bench twice this season, against Ballymena United and Dungannon Swifts.
“Obviously I was buzzing to be involved though and I’m just happy we managed to get the draw in the end.
“I actually thought I could have won it for us. I got round Stuart Addis a few minutes after I scored but the ball trickled towards the net before being cleared.
“I think that was a better chance than the one I scored. I know it took a deflection but, like any striker, I will be claiming it.”
The level-headed baby-faced assassin knows his side have to reproduce their performance from here on however.
He added: “We showed what we could do on Tuesday but that will mean nothing if we don’t kick on from there.
“That is the standard we are capable of, now we have to show it.”