Goals from Joe Anyinsah and Matt Lund won it for Rovers, who had to survive a scare when Conor Hourihane scored and then hit the post.
Ward said: "I asked the players to go out and perform as if they were supporters given the chance to wear the shirt.
"That meant chasing every ball and giving 100 per cent. They couldn't guarantee me a win, but they could pledge to give it everything.
"That's what happened. We started by pressing in every area of the pitch and got the fans behind us.
"That set the tone and, although Plymouth played well and pulled a goal back, we defended solidly and allowed them few chances."
- Sports & Recreation
- Joe Anyinsah
- Conor Hourihane