Crusaders proud of efforts in clash with Wolves

Crusaders' Philip Lowry and Wolves' Diogo Jota battle for the ball at the Molineux. Credit: PA
  • Wolves 2 - 0 Crusaders

Crusaders lost out in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round clash with Wolves, but held up well against their English Premier League opponents.

In fact, the hosts may have only been taking the narrowest of leads in the second leg in Belfast if Ruben Vinagre had not been handed a goal right at the death.

That added to Diogo Jota’s first half goal at the Molineux Stadium gave Wolves the 2-0 advantage ahead of their next meeting with Stephen Baxter’s side.

Wolves were always going to be a tough test for the Crues, especially as they looked to impress on their first return to European football in 39 years.

But conceding that second goal was still an unfortunate twist in the tale for the visitors, who had put in great performance to hold their own on Thursday night.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter consoles goalkeeper Sean O'Neill after the game. Credit: PA

Goalie Sean O’Neill’s 93rd minute blunder came after an otherwise impressive showing between the posts, but that momentary lapse proved costly.

However, Crusaders will still be hoping to put up another fight when Wolves travel to Seaview for the second leg next Thursday 1 August.

Crusaders fans at the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton for the Europa League qualifying clash with Wolves. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, Wolves have also paid tribute to former boss Sammy Chapman, who has passed away at the age of 81.

The Northern Ireland man spent two brief spells in charge of the club in the1980s.

A Wolves statement read: "The thoughts of everyone at Wolves are with Sammy's family and friends at this sad time."

A former Portsmouth and Mansfield winger, Chapman was also part of Northern Ireland's 1958 World Cup squad.