Exclusive Billy Bodin Preston North End column: Great to score alongside pal Josh Harrop
I did hear the sound of our fans screaming at me inside Deepdale to shoot first time on Wednesday night against Stoke City.
After Declan Rudd’s long punt downfield, Tom Barkhuizen made himself a nuisance with his pace forcing their goalkeeper Jack Butland to come out and punch.
He did not get the best connection and the ball landed at my feet just outside the area.
With Jack back-peddling, I had it in my mind to hit a volley over the top, but I just thought that there were that many bodies that I should take a touch and hit it as hard as I could.
But I ended up not hitting the shot that well but it still ended up going in the back of the net, slipping under Jack’s body. Having watched it back on television, I probably should have tried knocking it back over his head.
It is fair to say, I probably got a little bit lucky but I will take it all the same.
That goal put us 2-0 up – my goal coming after Daniel Johnson had given us the lead after seven minutes.
In the second half, we withstood a bit of Stoke pressure and made the game safe when Josh Harrop scored our third with just over 20 minutes left. It was great to see Josh score – especially after we have both come back from serious knee injuries over the past year.
I injured my knee in the final game of pre-season last summer, while Josh did his a month or so later.
We were out for the rest of the season so it’s great to be back fit, in the team and to get a goal as well.
That was Josh’s first start since coming back and it was fitting for him to score. We have both been in the same boat and it’s just good to see us both starting in the same team and contributing to a great win.
I think myself and Josh are a good example to Louis Moult, who has suffered a similar fate this week when he was stretchered off at the weekend against Swansea.
I have spoken to Louis and it’s probably good for him to speak to somebody who has been in a similar position.
When you suffer that kind of injury, at first your head is all over the place – I know Louis is gutted. To be fair, for myself and Josh, our recovery did go fairly quick.
Don’t get me wrong, it is hard. You get changed with the rest of the lads , but then they go out on to the grass and you have to go in the gym.
It’s not nice, but in a way it kind of pushes you on even more and makes you want to be out there with them as quickly as you can.
You have just got to come in every day with a smile on your face and before you know it you’re back on the pitch.
I ruptured by anterior cruciate ligament and when you first do it, it feels like somebody has shot you.
But afterwards, I felt okay – I walked off the pitch.
It is a strange feeling. You get home and wake up the next morning almost feeling like you can go for a jog, but in actual fact if you did that, you would probably fall over or it would just collapse.
To hear the news that you’re going to be out for a year is devastating. I think mentally it’s more difficult than anything.
But once you have the operation, it’s time to be positive and kick on with your recovery.
One person who helped me keep positive during my injury was my dad Paul. For those of you with a slightly longer memory, my dad was a professional player.
He had a great career, playing for a number of clubs most notably Swindon Town.
I am too young to remember his winning goal in the 1993 play-off final at Wembley when Swindon were promoted to the Premier League.
I think I was only about one -year-old when he scored the penalty which helped the Robins defeat Leicester City 4-3.
My dad was a left-back who also played for Cardiff City and Crystal Palace and also had a loan spells with Newcastle United.
He was capped 23 times by Wales.
I can’t remember much of his career when he was in his prime but I do remember when he signed for Reading later on.
I grew up around the game, getting up on a Saturday morning and going to watch him play.
He was actually my first ever football coach when I was seven and he’s gone to be a pretty decent coach.
I suppose I was always going to follow him into the game. My mum Jan says I always had a ball at my feet from the age of two.
I am hoping to have the ball at my feet plenty this weekend when we host Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale this weekend.
Hopefully we can make it three home wins on the spin.