Higgins eyes FAI Cup glory with Derry after booking place in Aviva Stadium showpiece with semi-final win over Treaty United

Derry City Jamie McGonigle fires home the first goal against Treaty United in the FAI Cup semi final match at Brandywell on Sunday. Picture: Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus Crudden

FAI Cup semi-final: Derry City 2 Treaty United 1

DERRY City manager Ruaidhri Higgins admits winning the FAI Cup Final 'would be the proudest day of his life'.

His side deservedly saw off First Division side Treaty United, in front of a sold out Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium and Higgins feels the Candystripes will bring a massive following to the Aviva Stadium next month.

"I'm delighted but I would have liked it to be a bit more straightforward," he added.

"The first 20 minutes we were exceptional and got ourselves two in front, but just for a few minutes we got a wee bit sloppy and they got a penalty and then there's always an opportunity of them maybe breaking on us, but on chances created we should have won the game a lot more comfortably.

"However in saying that semi-finals are about winning and getting to the final, we'll be taking a huge crowd to Dublin in a few weeks time and it's something we're all really proud of.

"When you get there you want to go a step further and lift a trophy and that's what we'll be aiming to do.

"Our goal from the outside was to get to the final, where there now. I've been involved in three cup finals as a player and it will be my first as a manager and it will be an extremely proud moment.

"The hairs are standing on the back of neck thinking about it, so I think if we could get this over the line then it would be the produest day of my life."

The Brandywell observed a minute's silence after a wreath laying ceremony in memory of the victims of the Creeslough tragedy.

City took the lead on eight minutes as Jamie McGonigle calmly side footed home, after Patrick McEleney's tremendous run saw him skip away from a few challenges before cutting the ball back to the City striker to make no mistake from close range.

With their tails up Derry went close twice in quick succession to extend their lead, but Brandon Kavanagh's dipping shot sailed just over and McGonigle's left footed strike whistled inches wide.

Derry deservedly doubled their lead on 16 minutes as Cameron McJannet's teasing left wing cross found Kavanagh right in the centre of the goal and his powerful header gave United keeper Jack Brady.

The visitors on a rare attack were awarded a penalty on 29 minutes after Dummigan brought down Jack Lynch inside the box and Enda Curran, made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick.

Derry should have regained their two goal advantage moments later as Dummigan's right wing cross found McGonigle, but the striker couldn't keep his close range header down.

On 55 minutes a super flowing move by Derry ended with Kavanagh feeding McGonigle down the left, his cut-back found Declan Glass, but with the goal at his mercy the Scotsman's side footed strike was deflected wide by Sean Guerins.

Derry again had two quick fire chances on the hour mark by McJannet's shot was kept out by Brady and McGonigle's header, which had the keeper beaten, landed on top of the net.

In the closing stages William Armshaw showed great pace to break clear down the right, but from a tight angle, his well hit strike flashed just past the left hand post.

Derry went close to adding a third on 90 minutes but Duffy's strike from the right hand angle of the six yard box, hit the side netting.

Derry City: Maher, Dummigan, S McEleney, Connolly, McJannet; Diallo, P McEleney; B Kavanagh (Thomson 81); Duffy, Glass (Graydon 58); McGonigle (C Kavanagh 69).

Treaty United: Brady, Ludden, Guerins, McNamara, Christopher, (Doherty 86) Devitt, Armshaw, Curran, O'Riordan, Walsh, Lynch (Keane 75).

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).