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League Two

Ward hails Harrison

17 March 2013

Bristol Rovers boss John Ward sang the praises of teenage winger Ellis Harrison after his two second-half goals sank Rochdale 2-1.

The 19-year-old broke the deadlock after 62 minutes with a stunning strike. Turning his marker on the left wing, Harrison raced forward and cut inside before drilling a 20-yard rocket past Josh Lillis.

After Rochdale substitute Michael Rose had equalised with a brilliant effort of his own from 25 yards, Harrison notched the winner from close range when Ryan Brunt's 84th-minute shot had been saved.

"There is a youthful enthusiasm about Ellis that you want to keep, while hoping he matures in other ways," said Ward.

"He is learning fast and has already shown he can bounce back from days when he is less effective.

"I had to ask my coaching staff the other day whether Ellis is left or right-footed because he strikes the ball so cleanly with both feet. He is a very exciting talent."

Dale boss Keith Hill fears right-back Rhys Bennett, replaced by Rose after only six minutes, may not play again this season.

"Rhys has damaged a knee and it doesn't look good," said Hill. "We will know more after a scan, but it could be a season-ending injury.

"We created some great opportunities, which I am pleased about, but failed to take them.

"George Donnelly could easily be going home with the match ball for a hat-trick. Instead we are reflecting on a game we should never have lost."

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