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Sheppard 'gutted' by Greeks

SHAMROCK ROVERS star Karl Sheppard admits that the Hoops were floored by last night's 2-1 Europa League defeat to a classy PAOK side in Thessalonika.

Rovers are now one of only four teams in the Europa League group stages to have no points after three games, Michael O'Neill's side putting up a brave fight in front of a passionate crowd of 15,000 last night but still losing 2-1.

Sheppard was the man on target for Rovers in the second half, the first goal conceded at home by PAOK all season.

And the tragedy for Rovers is that that came close to earning a draw - and with it a UEFA payment of €70,000 for a point in the group stages.

Sheppard's 48th minute goal saw Rovers draw level, only to lose out to a 63rd minute strike from the impressive Vierinha.

"We're all gutted. We really thought that after we scored so early in the first half that we'd get at least a draw out of it.

"To us it had the same feeling as the Belgrade game, where we came from a goal down to get the result we needed," Sheppard told the Herald.

"There were no celebrations after the game, we were all very unhappy leaving that stadium last night.

"We know that we put in a good performance and a good effort but to us that's not good enough, at this stage of the competition."