Mon | Nov 20, 2017

Lincoln shock Burnley to reach FA Cup last eight

Published:Sunday | February 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Lincoln City's Sean Raggett (top, centre) scores against Burnley during the English FA Cup, fifth round football match at Turf Moor, Burnley, England yesterday. Lincoln won 1-0.

BURNLEY, England (AP):

The players and coaches of non-league team Lincoln wandered the field, some singing and celebrating among themselves, some on their phones with family and friends, others just in shock at the size of their achievement.

Behind one of the goals, the club's jubilant supporters belted out as one: "We're going to Wembley."

Lincoln had just become the first team from outside of England's top-four leagues to advance to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in more than a century. And it had been achieved in dramatic style, with an 89th-minute goal - agonisingly requiring the approval of goal-line technology - seeing off Premier League side Burnley 1-0 away on Saturday.

"It's unheard of in modern-day football," goalscorer Sean Raggett said of Lincoln's feat. "Crazy! Unbelievable!"

The last non-league team to reach the last eight was Queens Park Rangers in 1914. Lincoln were playing in the last 16 for the first time in 130 years.

Lincoln's FA Cup run started in October when the team needed a replay to get past Guiseley, a rival in the country's fifth-tier National League. Since the turn of the year, Lincoln - a sleepy cathedral city in the East Midlands - has had cup fever, with Cowley's men eliminating second-tier League Championship teams Ipswich and Brighton.

Burnley were another proposition entirely. This was a team with the third-best home record in the Premier League, a team that held runaway leaders Chelsea to a draw in its last match, a team that made some changes to its team, but still retained most of its key players with the quarter-finals in sight.

 

ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE

 

Lincoln, though, rose to the challenge.

Matt Rhead, a giant throwback of a striker who was working in a factory four years ago, caused problems with his height and presence. Nathan Arnold, a winger who has worked as a hairdresser in his spare time, was a constant threat down the right with his pace.

In the end, the key moment came when a deep corner was headed back across goal and Raggett rose above a crowd of Burnley defenders at the far post to nod goalwards. The ball just about crossed the line before Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton clawed it away.

Results: Burnley 0 Lincoln City 1; Huddersfield 0 Manchester City 0; Middlesbrough 3 Oxford Utd 2; Millwall 1 Leicester 0; Wolves 0 Chelsea 2.