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Belfast Live
Steven Crawford

Joe Thomson says Larne will 'Treat' Ballymena United with respect they deserve

Joe Thomson has offered his Larne teammates a word of caution ahead of tonight's Irish Cup semi-final against Ballymena United.

The Scottish midfielder was part of the Derry City side which almost came unstuck against First Division Treaty United in the last four of the FAI Cup last October.

The Candystripes raced into a 2-0 lead at the Brandywell before their Limerick opponents set the nerves jangling as they reduced the arrears with a penalty on the half hour.

Read more: Coleraine FC issue statement following Jamie Glackin appeal outcome

Derry did manage to hold on for the win before lifting the trophy with victory over Shelbourne in the final, but Thomson insists the Invermen will not be taking things lightly against the Sky Blues at Seaview.

"Semi-finals are never straightforward," said the 26-year-old.

"We were 2-0 up against Treaty within half an hour and for about 50 minutes after that they were the better team before it finished 2-1.

"That shows what can happen in the semi-finals and Ballymena are a good side.

"It's going to be a hard game, we've played them a couple of times over the last month or two.

"I thought we were good in the first half in the last game we played them a couple of Friday night's ago.

"The second half was a lot more even though.

"We are fully expecting a tough game and we will need to be at the top of our game to go through.

"It's just about getting into the final and hopefully we can do it and in the style we want to play.

"The aim is obviously to get some silverware at the end of the season.

"It's not going to be easy. We've got six hard games left to play, but hopefully we can make it seven.

"We just have to take one game at a time."

Joe Thomson celebrates Derry City's FAI Cup win with his family (INPHO/Lorcan Doherty)

Thomson has yet to taste defeat since switching Derry for Larne in January.

He has helped his new side push on all fronts as they bid to add the League and Irish Cup to the Co Antrim Shield they won earlier this season.

"It's been seamless since coming in during the January window," said the former Dunfermline man.

"Personally I still think there's more to come from me once I get a pre-season under me to get that sharpness and you're sometimes playing with injury.

"It's been good though, and we've not been beat since we came in so we'll be looking to keep that going from now until the end of the season.

"I'm enjoying it here, we're playing some good stuff. I think we do try to play in the right manner.

"Unfortunately last week against Coleraine we couldn't get the goal, but we created plenty."


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