New Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey guided his side to a scoreless draw at Seaview (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

JEFFREY STEADIES SKY BLUE SHIP

New Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey guided his charges to a scoreless draw on this visit to Seaview.

The Crues created the first effort of note after 12 minutes when Gavin Whyte attempted to make the most of a poor clearance only to fire wide.

At the other end Sean O'Neill had to be alert to turn away Gary Thompson's effort and Allan Jenkins' subsequent follow-up.

The best chance of the scoreless first half came on 18 minutes when David Cushley's snapshot from a Darren Henderson lay off was well turned behind by O'Neill.

Jordan Owens might have opened the scoring a few minutes into the second half when he got on the end of a Paul Heatley cross but the ball was a little too high and he could only turn it onto the bar.

Declan Caddell then came close on two occasions, one effort was saved by Alan Blayney before Gary Thompson cleared the follow up off the line.

United substitute Eoin Kane tested O'Neill with a snapshot not long after coming on before Cushley had the Crues 'keeper scrambling to meet a curling effort which ultimately dropped wide of the target.

The final chance fell to Crusaders substitute Jordan Forsythe with a low shot after cutting inside a defender but Blayney proved equal to the challenge.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Coates, Robinson, Caddell, McClean, Owens, Snoddy, Heatley, Carvill, Whyte subs Magowan (not used), O'Carroll (replaced Carvill 72), Forsythe (replaced Whyte 59), Clarke (not used), Mitchell (not used)

Ballymena United: Blayney, T. Kane, McBride, Taylor, Thompson, Taggart, Henderson, Jenkins, Cushley, Ervin, McVey subs Nelson (not used), McNally (not used), Faulkner (not used), E. Kane (replaced Taggart 61), Frazer (replaced Henderson 74)

Referee: Arnold Hunter

Attendance: 1239

Tags:  Ballymena United  Crusaders