Irish Premiership: Ards 0-0 Ballymena Utd

Ards player Ryan Henderson

Ards were denied a vital victory after the Premiership basement boys were held by Ballymena at Clandeboye Park.

Yohann Lacroix was impressive on his United debut, starting with an early save from Ryan Henderson's volley.

Ards dominated and Andy Hunter headed over before David Armstong saw his header hit the woodwork and Lacroix kept out Neil Dougan's effort.

Johnny Taylor wasted Ballymena's best chance by heading wide while Ards had a late penalty shout turned down.

Lacroix, signed on loan from Crusaders, became an instant Sky Blues hero just hours after the club announced that keeper Dwayne Nelson would be sidelined for up to a year because of a knee injury.

The French stopper also kept out a Hunter free-kick early in the game while at the other Mark Surgenor blasted over before Alan Blayney saved a Gary Thompson shot.

Armstrong came closest to breaking the deadlock, his header from a corner striking the base of a post.

Lacroix spilled an Andy Mitchell shot but the keeper reacted quickly to deny Dougan after he pounced on the loose ball.

Taylor was presented with a free header but failed to find the target while Thompson fired over.

Ards lost out in a controversial penalty decision five minutes from time and Niall Currie's side had to settle for a draw, which leaves them five points adrift at the bottom.

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