Stevenage’s Conference winners 10 years on: Byrom relives the goal that secured the title

PUBLISHED: 11:38 17 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:38 17 April 2020

Goalscorer Joel Byrom and skipper Mark Roberts enjoy the celebrations

Goalscorer Joel Byrom and skipper Mark Roberts enjoy the celebrations

Matt Ranson

To celebrate 10 years since Stevenage won the Conference title and earned promotion to the Football League for the first time, CometSport spoke to Joel Byrom to get his memories on the campaign. In the third and final part, he relives his goal that secured promotion.

Robbo lifts the BSP trophyRobbo lifts the BSP trophy

After 11 wins from 12 games, Boro travelled to Kidderminster Harriers knowing another victory would secure them the title.

With just three games left, Byrom remembers the team were keen to get promotion wrapped up.

“I think it was just all about having the chance to get it done. If we hadn’t got it done that day, the pressure would have built,” he said.

“We needed to get it done as soon as possible and we scored really early through an indirect free kick.”

Joel Byrom and David Bridges get their hands on the trophyJoel Byrom and David Bridges get their hands on the trophy

Charlie Griffin scored after just 70 seconds and then just after the hour mark Byrom’s moment arrived.

But, he revealed how it almost never happened, adding: “I was close to coming off because Graham was going to make a change and it would have been me.”

Remembering his goal, Byrom continued: “When I’ve seen the goal back, I’m thinking ‘why am I out on the left wing anyway?’

“I cut in onto my bad foot and again I’m thinking ‘why am I shooting?’

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“It was a bit of an out-of-body experience, but it curled into the corner. It was just meant to be, I think.

“I don’t remember any of the game after that, it was just a brilliant feeling. It was an unbelievable feeling.

“It was right in front of the Stevenage fans and it was the goal that got us into the Football League. It was the most important goal I’ll ever score.”

The 2-0 win secured Boro promotion, and despite a game against Gateshead just three days later, Byrom revealed that most of the team missed the game as they stayed in Newcastle and ‘celebrated from Saturday to Wednesday’.

Stevenage got to lift the trophy at the Lamex after a final-day win over York City and the celebrations continued.

The open-top bus parade was a bit blurry, though, with Byrom saying: “A few lads were a bit worse for wear. The party had gone long into the early hours and we had to be up early for the parade.

“I think a few even got off for more drinks during the parade. I wasn’t in a good state. I think the bus journey finished at Chris Day’s pub as well.”

As for what that season means to Byrom, he added: “The club had had all the history of trying to get into the Football League and they’d been waiting for so long.

“That season was one of my best seasons in football. It was an amazing feeling, especially with that group of lads.

“We were like a band of brothers really. There were so many bonds made and still to this day you have those memories of playing together and winning things.”

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