Harrison has the magic touch

Striker delighted to get off the mark for new club

As first touches go, it wasn’t half bad.

Striker Byron Harrison opened his account for Boro with his first kick of the ball two minutes after coming on as an 83rd minute substitute in Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Rotherham United.

And he was clearly delighted after the match as the 23-year-old couldn’t wait to get hold of the match DVD to take home and watch his first professional goal all over again. And again and again, most likely.

“It was great to get my first goal for Stevenage,” a beaming Harrison told The Comet.

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“When you come on as a sub you just want to make any sort of impact you can and it was nice to score in front of the home fans. You want to get off the mark as quickly as possible and I’ve been wanting to get on the pitch and get the first goal out the way so hopefully that will be the first of many.”

Harrison scored 12 goals in 30 appearances for Isthmian Premier League side Carshalton Athletic before moving to the Lamex Stadium but says he was aware of Boro’s interest in him for over a year before eventually signing for the club on a six-month deal on New Year’s Day.

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He admits his move into league football is a big step up from what he was used to in the past but the Londoner is confident he has what it takes to score goals in this division.

“I knew Stevenage had known about me for over a year and the interest picked up towards Christmas time and it moved along quite quickly and before I knew it I was starting against Gillingham,” he added.

“I’m coming from a level two or three below League 2 so Graham (Westley) wants to get me up top speed with the rest of the players who are fit and strong. He wants to give me every chance to do what I’ve been doing at a lower level but he knows it’s going to take time.

“The intensity of the game is different and you’ve got make your moves quicker because the players are fitter and stronger. They are better athletes but Stevenage have got very good athletes in this team as well – guys that work hard all week so they can do their stuff on a Saturday.

“This is the perfect place for me and if I’m going to push on I’m definitely with the right people. The manager has got a lot of faith in me and I want to repay that faith.

“He has given me a chance to prove to him what I can do. He believes in me but he wants me to work hard and show everyone here I can score enough goals at this level to earn another contract.”

Despite being cup-tied for Boro’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Reading, the young striker is still relishing the buzz in and around the club and hopes his teammates can upset the odds once again and make club history by making it through to the fifth round come 5pm on Saturday evening.

He added: “I knew before I came here that I’d be cup tied for the FA Cup but it’s always nice to still be in and around games like Newcastle and again on Saturday against Reading where hopefully we’ll get the same outcome.”

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