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League Two

Ward salutes Pirates spirit

27 December 2012

New Bristol Rovers boss John Ward felt his team showed a lot of fight after they twice came from behind at Aldershot to earn a 2-2 draw in his first game back in charge of the club.

David Clarkson, from the spot, and Eliot Richards, with a deflected effort in the 87th minute, grabbed Rovers' goals to cancel out Michael Hector's first-half strike and Craig Reid's penalty 14 minutes from time.

"I'm really pleased with that because we've gone behind twice and after the second we had a short space of time to get it back. We were chasing a goal and it's worked out nicely," Ward said.

"The reaction of the supporters at the end showed what the club's about. They want to see the team with their hearts on their sleeves, which they did. Between us we need to keep doing that and, even on the darker days when we can't do that, we need to keep that support and effort on the pitch.

"It's a good day because they recognise the team's had a really good go and has got something to show for it. There was a lot of wind on the pitch and a lot of rain throughout and it really was about attitude. Even your top Premier League players would have found it a difficult one to deal with.

"If we were to get something out of the game it wasn't going to be a pretty football match but I don't think our supporters are worried about that."

In comparison, Shots boss Dean Holdsworth cut a frustrated figure after his side threw away the chance of three welcome home points.

He said: "It was history repeating itself. We're disappointed with that because we've done well in the game but when they get a deflection like that there's nothing you can do about it.

"They were very, very difficult conditions and on another day we may have got another couple of goals. But we've got to be positive, that's six goals in two games here now and you can't do anything about a deflection like that.

"You've seen six goals in the last two games from us and that's encouraging, we've got a good partnership with the fans and we'll go through it again. We'll pick ourselves up from it, it's a disappointment but we've got to look to Saturday."

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