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League Two

Bristol Rovers manager John Ward praises Kaid Mohamed

25 January 2014

John Ward is predicting a bright Bristol Rovers future for loan recruit Kaid Mohamed after the striker's scoring debut in a windswept Severnside derby victory over Newport County.

The 28-year-old Port Vale player broke the deadlock in first half injury-time with a smart shot on the turn after Ollie Clarke's effort was deflected towards him.

Mohamed had already squandered a clearer chance to put Rovers ahead and Ward is expecting him to cause plenty of problems for League Two defences.

The manager said: "Kaid did exactly what I signed him for. He is strong and quick and relishes taking on defenders.

"The weather conditions made that difficult for all the players but he will gain confidence from his goal and I expect him to be a real asset between now and the end of the season."

Ward revealed that referee Jeremy Simpson had given the teams the option of leaving the field during a fierce first-half hailstorm.

"Both teams were consulted," he said. "But credit the players for wanting to get on with the game. They all deserve praise for producing a decent spectacle in such weather.

"We passed the ball well when we could and it was an important result ahead of another home game with Accrington Stanley on Tuesday."

Eliot Richards doubled Rovers' lead after 48 minutes, sidestepping a challenge from Andy Sandell before arrowing a low shot inside the far post from 20 yards.

Rene Howe reduced the arrears for Newport with a first-time shot from Ryan Burge's pass just before the hour mark and Lee Minshull hit a post for the visitors.

But John-Joe O'Toole settled the outcome with a 90th-minute strike from outside the box.

Newport boss Justin Edinburgh felt his side were undone by a sudden change in the weather after battling against the strong wind for the entire first half.

"We deserved a clean sheet at the break because we had put bodies on the line, so to concede just before half-time was very disappointing," he said.

"When we came out after the break I thought we were in a different country. Not much went for us on the day."

Edinburgh revealed that he will seek an immediate replacement for Conor Washington when the striker completes his imminent move to Peterborough United.

The Newport boss admitted the deal was "close to being done" and added: "I have a busy few days ahead because we are a bit light on numbers already and if Conor leaves we need to get in a replacement without delay."

Having revealed during the week that he had been subject of an unofficial approach from Northampton, Edinburgh insisted the matter was closed.

He added: "There is nothing more to say. I am Newport manager to stay and there is still a big job to be done at the club on and off the pitch."

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