The young midfielder suffered the agony of a broken leg in an Academy match at Norwich on November 29, 2014.
A year and a day later, Joe returned to action for our Under-21s at Middlesbrough.
On Monday, he came off the bench for his second appearance this season and scored with his first touch, planting home a header from Andros Townsend’s cross to give the team hope of a late recovery against Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village.
Joe’s goal made it 2-1 with 13 minutes remaining but on a disappointing night, an equaliser didn’t materialise and United caught us on the break in injury time to wrap up a 3-1 win.
Below: United U21 3-1 Spurs - highlights
It was the 19-year-old’s first Under-21 goal in sixth substitute appearances spread over the last three seasons and step by step, he’s determined to push on further this season.
“I’ve been out of the game for a while so to score and get my name back in people’s minds was good for me and hopefully I can push on from here,” said Joe.
“I wanted to make an impact but unfortunately it wasn’t to be for us on the night.
“It’s been a very long road but I feel I’m getting back into it now. I’m thinking a lot more positively and obviously coming off the bench and scoring gives me confidence.
“Physically I feel good and the next step is to play more games and more minutes on the pitch.
“As I said, it’s a long road and I’ve got to stay on the journey, work hard every day, keep pushing and then I’ll hopefully reap the rewards.”