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League Two

Ward hails assertive approach

13 January 2013

Bristol Rovers boss John Ward praised his side for taking the game to play-off chasing Fleetwood following a shock 3-0 victory for the League Two strugglers.

Danny Woodards, Eliot Richards and John-Joe O'Toole were on target for the Pirates as they cruised past a below-par Fleetwood.

Ward said: "We knew it was possible to win the game, we told the boys they could do that and they have.

"You never come to a place like this, against a team in the top six or seven and expect a comfortable afternoon. And it wasn't a comfortable afternoon, it was just good finishing and a lot of hard work. We had a lot of defending to do as well.

"The front players will get the credit but with 35 or 40 minutes to go the back four had to win the game for us and shut them out and they did. It was a result for front-foot football. If we had stayed off and let them play they are a good side. But we got amongst them and caused them trouble."

Rovers took the lead after just five minutes, Ellis Harrison with a low cross from the left which was emphatically finished by Woodards at the back post.

Richards doubled the visitors' advantage after 27 minutes. Fleetwood failed to deal with a simple throw down the right and Tom Hitchcock's pass picked out the striker, who skipped beyond Alan Goodall and slotted the ball low past Scott Davies.

The visitors grabbed a third five minutes after the break, O'Toole with an 18-yard screamer to dent hopes of a Town comeback.

Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander, who handed a debut to record signing Jamille Matt, was struggling to find positives to take from the defeat.

He said: "We just didn't get started, conceded and early goal, just didn't do the basics of any professional football game. Bristol Rovers came here, wanted it more than us and thoroughly deserved the three points."

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