The 28-year-old England winger broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute of the Capital One Cup quarter-final at the Britannia Stadium when he rocketed in a shot from 20 yards for his first goal in over 19 months.
Young also teed up the second goal for Patrice Evra in a man-of-the-match performance which he hopes will help him win back a regular starting spot.
"As soon as I hit it, I felt like it was going in," Young told MUTV when asked about his goal.
"You could see from my celebration how much it meant to get on the scoresheet; it's been a little while! I was delighted to get the goal, but getting through was more important.
"It was scrappy in parts but I think we were always on top and likely to score, and our quality shone through.
"The boys were magnificent - we showed great spirit and character and hopefully we take that into this weekend's game against West Ham."
Young has been warned about his diving by David Moyes but the United boss was quick to praise his player after the win at Stoke.
"I have spoken to Ashley and I have said, make sure you do everything right. And he did," said Moyes.
"He got kicked a few times and he went down, but he got back up and got on with it.
"He has shown he can come in and make an impact. That is what I need.
"We have got a lot of competition in wide areas at Manchester United, and a lot of players we can select from.
"If you want to get regular outings you need to score and you need to play well."