Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Gutted Glentoran's costly European defeat

Europa victory would have netted £100k

Glentorans Jay Magee

Cash-strapped Glentoran have missed out on hitting a European jackpot.

The Glens were desperate to ease their financial woes with a priceless Europa League triumph but their hopes were crushed by KR Reykjavik at the Oval last night.

A victory would have seen the east Belfast giants pocket at least £100,000 including a glamour second qualifying round showdown with Belgium giants Standard Liege.

But the European dreams of Jay Magee  and co turned into a nightmare when KR secured a 3-0 win.

The hosts were hopeful of progressing in the tournament after a scoreless first leg but goals from Gary Martin (23) and a Jonas Saevarsson double (66 and 92) settled the contest.

The Glens have been haunted by cash-flow problems for several years but crisis point was reached last season when players refused to train on one occasion after several missed wage payments.

Patterson has seen experienced players such as Stephen Carson, Sean Ward, Andy Waterworth and Colin Nixon leave the Oval while budgets have been slashed.

Victory over the Icelandic league leaders would have been a huge cash boost but a downbeat Patterson said: "There were major lapses in concentration, and you cannot afford that at this level. We were focused on the job in hand, but ultimately silly mistakes costs us."

Meanwhile, Crusaders suffered a heavy 7-2 defeat at Rosenborg, losing 9-3 on aggregate.

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