10 April 2023

Bristol Rovers fight back to hand Joey Barton win at former club Fleetwood

10 April 2023

Grant Ward’s winner gave Joey Barton a victorious return to Fleetwood as Bristol Rovers fought back from behind to earn a 2-1 success in League One.

Jayden Stockley had given Fleetwood a 22nd-minute lead, but Lewis Gibson equalised after 56 minutes.

And 10 minutes later Ward’s overhit cross deceived everyone and dipped underneath the crossbar to give Rovers the points.

Stockley had a sight of goal early on but sent his header from Phoenix Patterson’s corner clear of the crossbar.

Midway through the first half Stockley struck. An inswinging cross from Patterson was nodded back across goal by Shaun Rooney and the striker was on hand to head home.

Rovers rallied towards the end of the half with three headed chances in the final five minutes but John Marquis and Antony Evans were off-target and Aaron Collins’ finish was straight into the hands of goalkeeper Jay Lynch.

Barton’s side drew level 11 minutes into the second half. A low drive from Collins was spilled into a packed goalmouth by Lynch and a desperate scramble ended with Gibson forcing in at close range.

Ward’s cross from deep then bypassed everyone and somehow found the corner of the goal.

And although Fleetwood pushed hard in a bad-tempered second half they could not salvage a draw.

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