Proud Derry City midfielder Joe Thomson celebrates birth of baby boy

JOE THOMSON marked the imminent arrival of his second child by performing a ‘baby’ goal celebration against Waterford on Friday night before flying back home to Glasgow for the birth.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 5:39 pm
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 5:40 pm
Derry midfielder Joe Thomson celebrates his second goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Waterford on Friday night. Photograph by Kevin Moore.
Derry midfielder Joe Thomson celebrates his second goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Waterford on Friday night. Photograph by Kevin Moore.

The Scottish midfielder netted his second goal of the season and Derry’s second of the night eight minutes into the second half as he side-stepped a defender before firing clinically into the top corner of the net with his left foot.

Initially he raced towards the fans in the Southend Park stand before returning to the net to grab the match ball and stick it up his Candystripes shirt, paying homage to his pregnant partner, Francesca, who later gave birth to the couple’s second boy, Sonny Alexander Thomson on Sunday evening.

Derry boss Ruaidhri Higgins gave the former Celtic man his blessings to return home for the birth and it was the perfect way to celebrate, signing off with a terrific strike against the Blues.

Thomson was on the scoresheet the last time Derry won at home back on October 23rd last year in a 2-0 win over Shelbourne and he was delighted his strike effectively sealed a win at Brandywell that was a long time coming.

“I saw where the defender was and knew he needed to slide if he wanted to block the shot so I thought I would cut in and give myself a better angle on my left foot,” explained the Scotsman. “It was exactly where I wanted it to go and thankfully it went in and made it a lot more comfortable in the second half.

“We were disappointed last week when our unbeaten run went but we knew we needed to bounce back. It was a game most people expected us to win so it was a different kind of challenge coming into a game where you’re expected to have most of the ball, create chances and score. I thought we took that on, did well and dominated for most of the match.”

As for the home record, Thomson was delighted to finally get that particular monkey off their backs.

“There were a few performances at home where we felt we should’ve won at home but we knew we needed to win tonight coming off the back of a defeat and against a team we were expected to beat so it was a good performance and a good three points,” he added.

The central midfielder, who has taken over set-piece duties in the absence of Will Patching, believes he should be adding more goals to his game and admits it’s something he wants to work on.

“It’s something I need to add to my game,” he agreed. “I feel I’m a goalscoring midfielder so I’ll be looking for a few more. That’s something to build on and I’ll keep going and strive to get better and put more away.”

The win over Waterford, coupled with Dundalk’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers, lifted Derry back into sixth and Thomson believes the addition of new signings Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Jamie McGonigle - who both featured in the victory - has given the players a much needed injection as they strive to climb the table.

“Our aim is to push up the table. We’ve got good players here and there are not many teams in the league that can bring on that much quality off the bench. It’s good to have that competition for places, it’s needed to push us on and can bring out the best in you. The new signings have given the team a lift,” he added, “Junior started tonight and Jamie came on and both did really well.

“It’s exciting times because we needed that bit of spark in the final third. Most of our goals have come from set plays so it was nice to get a couple from open play.”

Thomson was also delighted for fellow goalscorer and debutante Evan McLaughlin who made it a night to remember with his first half finish.

“Evan was getting into brilliant areas. It’s stuff we worked on and he obviously took it all on board and got his reward. It was a good finish. If you get into those areas a few times you’re bound to put one away so I’m delighted for him. The fans also make a big difference. It gives you that extra push when you hear them cheering.

"Even just having a shot and getting them off their feet. I felt we got them off their feet a good bit so hopefully they enjoyed it. They’ve not been in for a while and hopefully we put a smile on their faces.”