This is why people love the FA Cup. Yes, you occasionally will see a Leicester or a Blackburn win the Premier League every 20 or so years but we all know the big boys will dominate and win. In the FA Cup, anyone in England can climb up the ladder, taking things one game at a time, and taste success.
This is what happened to fifth division, non-League Lincoln City. The team who is right now in a spot to promote to the Football League, defeated Premier League side Burnley 1-0 to advance to the Quarterfinal of the FA Cup for the first time ever. It is also the first time a non-league side advanced to the FA Cup Quarterfinal since 1914 and first time ever in the modern format (1924).
In a rough and tumble match that got everyone to hate Joey Barton once again, Lincoln City held strong. Yeah, Burnley won the stats and moved the ball better but Lincoln City knew that going in and made it tough for Burnley, hoping for that one moment to strike and advance. That or they get a 0-0 draw and play a replay at home.
Turned out, Lincoln City didn’t need the replay as in the 89th minute, Sean Raggett headed in a long headed cross that just got over the line and thanks to goal line technology, left it clear to the referee that the non-league side had scored.
After some desperate attacking by Burnley for the final five minutes, Lincoln City held on to take the 1-0 win and experience a new world, the FA Cup Quarterfinal. Sutton United could potentially join them as they play at home to Arsenal Monday but we are guaranteed one non-league side in the final eight.
It wouldn’t be out of the realm to see Lincoln City advance to the Semifinal and head to Wembley. Yes, it will be way tougher and they likely won’t win but now that the Quarterfinal doesn’t have a replay, Lincoln City would only need to at worst, survive 120 minutes and a penalty shootout. That’s much preferred than potentially 210 minutes and a penalty shootout. And you never know, maybe Lincoln City shocks everyone and their journey continues. They did it against Burnley, maybe they can do it again.