North West Cup final: Institute keen to end scoreless run and land trophy
Limavady Utd v Institute, North West Senior Cup final: Limavady Showgrounds, Tonight, 7.45pm
Institute boss Paddy McLaughlin is demanding his side return to the scoring trail in tonight's Eventsec North West Senior Cup final against Limavady United at the Showgrounds.
McLaughlin's men have had an impressive campaign and sit seventh in the league table but have failed to hit the net in any of their last three matches.
On Saturday Institute were hammered 4-0 at Warrenpoint Town. To make matters worse, without suspended captain and ace marksman Michael McCrudden they missed two penalties.
Institute host champions Crusaders on Saturday at the Brandywell and McLaughlin wants his players to gear up for that challenge by lifting a trophy against Limavady tonight.
"Our front play over the last couple of months has been top drawer so it is disappointing not to have scored in our last few games. We have to shake ourselves down and get back at it," said McLaughlin. "We have a Cup final and are determined to win. We have a good squad and I may decide to bring in a few players and hopefully they will produce good performances."
McLaughlin is close friends with the man in the opposing dug-out tonight - Sean Friars, who had a successful time in charge of the Institute reserve team before taking the reins at Limavady.
Championship outfit United had an important victory away to Knockbreda on Saturday in their bid to steer clear of relegation and will enter the final at the Limavady Showgrounds in confident mood.
"It's great to reach a final and a win in the Cup could help our league form and build momentum," said Friars. "The league is very tense and this Cup run has been a nice distraction. Institute have turned heads with their football so it will be good for our young team to test themselves."