McGonigle hoping to carry good form into Derry's FAI Cup semi-final with Treaty United

Derry City Jamie McGonigle celebrates after scoring against Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup quarter final match played at Brandywell. The Dungiven man is hoping to continue his recent scoring form as the Candystripes face Treaty United in Sunday's semi-final Picture: Margaret McLaughlin.
Seamus Crudden

FAI Cup semi-final: Derry City v Treaty United (tomorrrow, Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, 2pm, live on RTÉ2)

Striker Jamie McGonigle looks like he has got his mojo back ahead of Derry City's FAI Cup semi-final tie against Treaty United tomorrow, at a sold out Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

The former Crusaders man has scored two goals in the Candystripes last three games and he feels his header against Shamrock Rovers in the quarter-final gave him the confidence to score a sublime goal against Finn Harps last Friday evening.

"It was a header and I don't usually score too many headers, but I was delighted to see it going in, because I was in a bit of a dry spell," he insisted.

"I know I scored against Oliver Bond Celtic, but before that I think it was the end of May, so it was good for me and my confidence to get a goal against Rovers.

"Thankfully the goal against Rovers boosted my confidence and I think it probably showed in the goal I scored against Finn Harps, I just turned and hit it on the half-volley from outside the box and thankfully it went in as well, but the Rovers goal certainly got my confidence back."

The Brandywell men go into tomorrow afternoon's encounter as massive favourites, but McGonigle and co won't be taking the First Division men lightly and he expects them to have the same mindset as they had in previous rounds against Oliver Bond Celtic and Cork City.

"It's a massive game and it would be brilliant if we could get into a final, it has been eight years since Derry have been in the FAI Cup Final," explained the Dungiven man.

"It would be good for the fans as well if we got a day out, but it's important that we do the business on Sunday.

"There's no given games and just because you're favourite it doesn't really mean anything, we'll prepare the same as we did for any other game and make sure we go out with the right attitude.

"I think we've started to hit a bit of form recently and those games against Oliver Bond Celtic and Cork City were around the start of our run and it sounds cliche, but it's just important that we start like that again and make sure that we get out of the blocks well."

For the third home game running, the Brandywell is a sell-out and McGonigle concedes the home support has been magnificent this season and he hopes City use them right from the off, against the Limerick men.

"The fans have been brilliant, especially in the (Shamrock) Rovers game, they really got us over the line and helped us get those second and third goals," he insisted.

"It's up to us to get them going, we have to get out and start early, maybe get a shot away or win a corner early on, something like, but listen we'll just give everything we have and hopefully that's enough."

Derry go into the tie without midfielder Will Patching, who misses out through suspension, but could welcome back Patrick McEleney into their starting line-up, after the skipper was on the bench against Ollie Horgan's men last week because of a slight groin problem.

The other semi-final tomorrow evening sees another First versus Premier Division encounter with Waterford hosting Damien Duff's Shelbourne side (6.45pm), while also tomorrow night in the Premier Division is champions Rovers travel to Drogheda United, as they aim to move a step closer to retaining their title.