Olivia Askam said having the opportunity to represent Preston North End Women at Deepdale was ‘what dreams are made of’ as she scored twice in a 3-0 win against Hindley Juniors.
Askam, an attacking midfielder who has been a frequent scorer for the side this term, gave North End a start they would have wished for when she scored after just 23 seconds at Deepdale, finishing first time from Lucy Swift’s clever flick.
Speaking to PNE.Com, Askam reflected on her deadlock-breaking strike with pride.
She said: “Swifty got the ball down the left, I just thought I could see, if she played it back to me, the goal was on.
“And she did, it was a great touch from her, I just put my foot through it and hoped for the best and it went in. I was buzzing to get that goal. It meant we could settle down a bit, there were a lot of nerves going into the game, so it was good to get that goal and settle us down and allow us to start playing.
“I just wanted to play my game and play the game for the team. To score is a bonus. I thought the girls were class and to help the team out, it’s the icing on the cake.”
The Lilywhites had to wait until the latter end of the contest when Askam netted again with the help of a slight deflection before Georgia Parkinson made sure of the win inside the final ten minutes.
Askam was pleased to have had that competitive element to the game.
She continued: “Hindley are a good team, they finished in a similar position [to PNE] in a similar league. We knew it was going to be competitive and it was. I think the girls knew what the task at hand was.
“We knew it was a good pitch, a much better pitch than we’re used to playing on, so we knew if we got it on the floor and passed it, we’re a good passing team and we knew that that would probably be the way we were going to win and it turned out to be [the case].”
Overall, the 24-year-old said the experience of playing at Deepdale would be a memorable one for her and her team-mates, many of whom – Askam included – are PNE fans themselves.
“It was amazing. A lot of us are PNE fans including myself. It’s really what dreams are made of. It felt amazing to have family and friends come and support us.
“I think there were over 300 people, which for me is the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of and it probably is for a lot of the girls, so it probably gave us that extra boost. To walk onto the pitch was amazing and to get the win just topped it off.”
There were plenty of the PNE Women’s Junior squad in attendance at the game too, among the crowd of 390.
Askam added: “A lot of us have come through PNE girls, including myself. We didn’t really have those role models to look up to. We have the Women’s Super League players but it maybe wasn’t as relatable in terms of the level that we were playing at.
“To have that ability to show girls that they can play, whatever level they want to play at or can play at was amazing and hopefully it shows them that they have got a pathway to come and play for Preston North End and that it is a good pathway as well.”
Find all the reaction from the game by following @PNE_WFC on Twitter.