Byrom and Laird sink Rovers

STEVENAGE Borough boss Graham Westley insists Luton s failure to register three points at Tamworth on Saturday will not alter his side s incentive to win all of their remaining league games. The Blue Square Premier championship is now within touching dist

STEVENAGE Borough boss Graham Westley insists Luton's failure to register three points at Tamworth on Saturday will not alter his side's incentive to win all of their remaining league games.

The Blue Square Premier championship is now within touching distance after Joel Byrom and Scott Laird ensured a comfortable victory against Forest Green Rovers - but Westley has set his sights merely on gaining a maximum return from Altrincham on Wednesday night.

"We knew before the game that four wins would win us the championship, but all we're thinking about is winning our next game," said Westley.

"We did the job we had to do against Forest Green but it was never going to be easy because they've been on quite a good run of form.

"Credit must go to the ground staff because they put in a lot of work to make sure we had a surface we could play football on, but overall it was a hard earned win for us.

"We were without Yemi which meant we couldn't get in behind their defence very often but it was great to see Byrom get forward and score his goal.

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"We know what we have to do now to go to Altrincham and get the three points."

Stevenage started much the brighter team and would have been ahead inside the first minute only for the linesman to rule out Tim Sills' header for offside following Ronnie Henry's right-wing cross.

Boro did take the lead nine minutes later, though, after another controversial decision from the linesman after Jon Ashton's ball over the top appeared to catch both Sills and Chris Beardsley offside.

Players from both sides stopped play in anticipation of the linesman's flag - only for Sills to race clear of the defence before setting up Byrom for a tap-in.

Boro had a number of chances to extend the lead throughout the first half but struggled to find the finishing touch in front of goal.

The tempo dropped notably in the second half and chances were few and far between.

However, the lead was doubled just past the hour-mark when Laird scored his fifth goal of the season from the penalty spot after David Bridges, who had only been on the field for a matter of seconds, was hauled down in the area by Conal Platt.

Rovers midfielder Isaiah Rankin was then sent off on the advice of the fourth official after allegedly making a two-fingered gesture to Boro supporters from the dugout after being substituted.

Further chances to add gloss to the victory weren't taken by Boro, but the all-important three points had long since been assured.

Boro: Day 6, Laird 7, Ashton 7, Roberts 7, Henry 7, Long 6 (Bridges 6, 60), Bostwick 6, Drury 7, Byrom 7* (Griffin 75), Beardsley 6 (Wilson 7, 50), Sills 6.

Subs not used: Bayes, Vincenti.