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League Two

Ward relief after late drama

6 February 2013

John Ward admitted managing Bristol Rovers could be bad for his heart after Oliver Norburn grabbed a sensational last-gasp equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw at Cheltenham.

The midfielder struck five minutes into stoppage time with a 35-yard thunderbolt to stretch Rovers' unbeaten run to four matches.

"What a fantastic goal to win the game," said Ward. "It's a goal that would have graced any level and if they had had two goalkeepers they wouldn't have kept it out. If it had been scored in the Premier League you would have seen it week in, week out."

He added: "We had tried to be positive and tried to take the game to a team that I'm pretty sure are going to get automatic promotion. They are very strong and recruited well in January so to come here and get a point in the way we did means I'm going to have to keep taking the heart tablets.

"We have a sign in the dressing room saying winners don't give in and we are trying to be winners - we haven't been in the past but we are trying to be now and we certainly don't give in.

"This was a big game here and it was a cracking game of football in terms of effort and attitude towards it. In my view a draw's a decent result. It was different to (beating) Barnet and the team has responded well - we had to switch around and do things a little differently."

Cheltenham looked to be heading to victory after Shaun Harrad had drilled his effort beyond visiting keeper Steve Mildenhall in first half injury time. Jermaine McGlashan almost added a second soon after the restart but the Rovers keeper denied him with a fine point-blank save.

And Norburn's dramatic winner left Robins boss Mark Yates shell-shocked. He said: "I feel for the boys and I feel for the supporters. 'm pretty devastated and a bit lost for words. Right now I must be the most dejected man in the world. I am probably hurting more than the players at the moment.

"They played really well and made it really tough for us. But it was poor defending from us for the goal. He has hit it from 35 yards and that is not good. We've had 11 men behind the ball in the 95th minute and he's rifled one into the top corner.

"We should have seen the game out but they made it tough for us. But that might be a good point. It would have been a good three points against a team in form, but we haven't done it."

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