Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Paddy McLaughlin hails his Institute side for 23-pass wonder goal

By Adam McKendry

It featured 23 passes and nine of the side's ten outfield players to get the ball in the net.

With some silky passing and wonderful off the ball movement, it sounds like a goal from La Liga, right?

Well, actually, that's what led to a goal for Institute against Glentoran at the weekend, with the north west club putting together some sumptuous football for their opening goal of the game.

It starts from the back and works its way forward, with 'Stute patient in their build-up and not flustered by the swarming Glens defence.

Then, when the space opens up, a lovely cross into the box from Ronan Wilson - the 23rd and final pass - sees the unfortunate Dylan Davidson stab the ball into his own net.

Check it out below!

It's a goal that wouldn't look out of place if it had been Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and co. pulling the strings in midfield, with some of the touches from the Institute players exceptional.

This game may have ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw but 'Stute have been picking up some big results this season, and with goals like this, there'll surely be more on the horizon.

"They could be saying a lot worse about us!" McLaughlin laughed when asked about the Barcelona comparison. "We'll not read too much into it, but if you do have something to say then fair play to you!

"It's nice to get a good comparison but we're just Institute so we'll keep working hard!"

Institute are eighth in the Danske Bank Premiership despite only being promoted this season, with McLaughlin's free-flowing style of football clearly paying dividends for the north west club.

"Our style of play is to try and keep the ball and keep it on the ground, and that goal on Saturday was the kind of thing we've been doing for the last couple of weeks," says the 'Stute boss.

"I'm not surprised we scored a goal like that because that's how we've been playing over the last couple of weeks and we've tried to do that all season because the surface at the Brandywell is ideal for playing football.

"The players have been fantastic, really top drawer. We try to play to their strengths - if we had a big 6ft battering ram up front then we probably wouldn't play like that, so we try to play to our strengths and that's keeping the ball as much as we can."

Looking ahead, Institute have games coming up against league leaders Ballymena United and then a meeting with Cliftonville, two very tough matches against title contenders.

"We know ourselves, any side that gets promoted up will always be underdogs and we've had that tag for a long time, even last season when we lost our ground," says McLaughlin.

"It hasn't done us any harm and we've relished having the underdog tag again - we always do well when teams write us off, we like to prove the doubters wrong and we intend to do that for the rest of the season.

"There's a lot of work to do, we know ourselves it's going to be a long, tough season for us, but as long as we're working hard then we'll get the rewards."

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