Peter Cairns’ Ballymoney United made the trip to Trojans on Saturday, and it was a close affair with both sides claiming a point in the 0-0 draw.
Ballymoney started well but they found it tough against the Trojans well-stocked midfield.
The first chance of the game fell to McLaughlin who let fly with a long range effort well saved by McCrudden in the home goal on seven minutes.
Smith for Trojans went on a jinking run, evading tackles and getting a good shot on target well saved by Coyle in the Ballymoney goal on nine minutes.
Ballymoney should have taken the lead in the tenth minute, when a brilliant corner from McLaughlin was met by McClelland inside the 6 yard box. He
headed just over with the goal beckoning.
The game settled into a game of attack and counterattack with Ballymoney again coming close on 28 minutes when Gerald Gillan and Steven Lyons combined to put the latter in on goal, his calmly executed chip nearly caught out McCrudden. However the home keeper pulled off a great save to prevent the goal.
Trojans had a good effort from McCready strike the post with Coyle scrambling across goal to reclaim the loose ball.
With half time approaching Smith hit a cracking free kick which was foiled with an amazing fingertip save by Coyle.
The game continued as the first half finished with both teams testing each other out.
Ballymoney came close from a Gerald Gillan shot on 47 minutes, this was eventually cleared after a goalmouth scramble. McElhinney should have scored for Trojans but rushed his shot shooting wide on the hour. A McLaughlin corner on 65 minutes was headed just over by Gault in a spell of Ballymoney pressure.
Mark Dempsey had a good drive well saved by McCrudden on 72 minutes, before Trojans midfielder McCready burst through and unleashed a fierce drive only to see his effort pushed on to the crossbar by Coyle and scrambled clear by the resilient visitors defence on 82 minutes in what was the last effort of the game.
This Saturday, Ballymoney welcome Ardstraw to the Showgrounds, the game has a 2pm kick off.
*Ballymoney United are deeply saddened by the loss of Vincent McLaughlin a club member and long-time supporter.
The club send their condolences to the McLaughlin and Dunlop families.