Jayden Stockley said it was a ‘great feeling’ to score the match-winning goal as Preston North End overcame Luton Town with a 2-1 victory at Deepdale.
The Lilywhites No.20 came off the bench with just 14 minutes remaining, but within ten minutes, he had prodded home from close range to ensure a second consecutive home win for Alex Neil’s side.
Speaking to iFollow PNE after the game, the 26-year-old told of the importance to build on the midweek triumph against Fulham by putting three points on the board for a second game in succession.
“It was great and it was so important just to build on that performance in midweek against Fulham,” said the striker.
“To get back-to-back victories in any league is so important and we’re a team that thrives on momentum and we’ve managed to put back-to-back wins together again after that disappointing period.”
The win was sealed thanks to Stockley’s close range strike six minutes from time as the forward gave his thoughts on the goal, which resulted from a goalmouth scramble in the box.
“It [time] just stopped still,” he added. “Do you know what? I felt like I was out on the training ground, but I always thought the ball was coming to me.
“When [Josh] Harrop had it, I was like, ‘For some reason, I just think the ball is coming to me.’ I took a touch without even thinking, I think I didn’t want to hit the ball because it was spinning and I wanted to give myself a little bit of time.
“But I think was everyone was thinking, ‘What are you doing there?’ But I was in total control – honest! – and it’s a great feeling getting a winner like that in a very big game.”
As important as Stockley’s goal proved, Declan Rudd pull off an equally vital save at the other end to deny Harry Cornick, just minutes before that all-important, decisive goal.
“I went straight up to him [Rudd], it’s so important, it’s an unbelievable save, I think a few heads were in hands when he went through.
“That’s a match-winning save, a lot of people have got to give him credit there because one-on-one, the favour is with the striker.
“He spread himself big and I was right behind him, I was praying, right behind it and thinking ‘Oh no’. His legs got there and it was an unbelievable save.”
North End had taken the lead early on through Paul Gallagher’s penalty, but the visitors equalised through a spot kick of their own – converted by James Collins – just before half-time, and Stockley admitted it was a game which wasn’t always easy on the eye.
“It was scrappy, I think they were waiting for us to up the tempo in the game and in the second half we made a few changes, changed the dynamic a little bit and forced the issues in the latter stages of the game.
“It wasn’t a penalty that Hunts gave away, he was very unlucky there I thought, sometimes when a penalty goes against you the second one’s normally a bit weaker.
“But it was great character from the boys just to get the three points and get the job done going into these next set of games.”
The Lilywhites are next in action with the trip to Cardiff City next weekend and Stockley is hoping North End can make it three wins on the bounce in South Wales.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a ground I’ve never played at – like most grounds in this league – and it will be a great experience going there.
“We’re looking to continue this momentum that we’ve built again, two wins on the bounce, and if we can make it three that would be fantastic week for us.”
Watch more from Jayden now by clicking the video above.