Dubious calls ruined Stute's chances of an upset: Deery
Institute 0 Linfield 2
Institute manager Kevin Deery felt referee Ian McNabb cost his side the chance of a huge Irish Cup upset when Linfield visited on Saturday.
Strikes from Cameron Stewart and Andy Waterworth saw the Blues through to a quarter-final date with Crusaders, but Deery felt the denial of an early penalty award combined with a disallowed goal in the second half contributed to the 10-man hosts' downfall.
Jamie McIntyre was booked after taking a tumble under a challenge from Chris Casement while, shortly after Stewart had bundled the Blues ahead, Mark Scoltock saw a thumping header ruled out when ref McNabb whistled for a foul in the build-up.
To make matters worse for Stute, Aaron Harkin's protests against that decision earned him a second yellow card and an early departure.
"I certainly thought that there were two major decisions in the game which cost us an upset here," said Deery.
"There was a stonewall penalty and then we scored a good goal and he sent Aaron Harkin off for contesting his decision. There were three mad decisions there.
"Jamie McIntyre doesn't dive; I've watched him now for 80 games in charge of Stute and I've never seen the young fella dive. It's a stonewall penalty as well. I don't know how it wasn't given - and to then book him was crazy.
"Unfortunately, our experience in the cup has been ruined by officiating."
The deadlock was broken early in the second half when Stewart saw the ball over the line after Niall Quinn's cross had taken a looping deflection off defender Stephen O'Donnell.
Institute thought they'd levelled when Scoltock rose highest to nod Harkin's free-kick delivery beyond Roy Carroll but, having spotted an infringement in a crowded penalty area, ref McNabb disallowed the goal and awarded Linfield a free-kick - a decision which sparked anger among the hosts, who saw Harkin booked for a second time.
Waterworth put the seal on things 12 minutes from time when he raced through to get the better of impressive Stute stopper Marty Gallagher.
Blues boss David Healy said: "It was important we got through to the next round, that was the most important thing.
"We knew it was going to be a difficult game, but we were professional and thankfully we got the job done. Whether it was a penalty and whatever else, look, decisions happen, but we were thoroughly professional and did our own job."
INSTITUTE: Gallagher, O'Donnell, R Morrow (Jarvis, 84 mins), McDermott, Scoltock, Harkin, McIntyre, Foy (Brown, 55 mins), S Morrow (Curry, 61 mins), Grace, McCrudden. Unused subs: Devlin, Muldoon.
LINFIELD: Carroll, Stewart (Ward, 78 mins), Haughey, Callacher (Stafford, 66 mins), Waterworth, Lowry, Casement, Fallon (Millar, 63 mins), Mulgrew, Carson, Quinn. Unused subs: Deane, Strain.
Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)
Man of the match: Marty Gallagher
Match rating: 6/10