Lincoln, Millwall claim famous FA Cup upsets


London (AFP) – Non-league Lincoln City and third-tier Millwall struck late, late winners as Burnley and Premier League champions Leicester City were humbled on a historic day in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Sean Raggett scored an 89th-minute header as Lincoln, who reside in the fifth-tier National League, stunned Burnley 1-0 in the fifth round in one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history.

Ten-man Millwall, seventh in League One, claimed a third top-flight scalp in this season’s competition by dramatically sinking ailing Leicester 1-0 via a 90th-minute goal by Shaun Cummings.

“I’m lost for words. It’s mad. I can’t believe it!” Lincoln’s match-winner Raggett, 23, told BT Sport. “Crazy. A non-league side in the quarter-finals, in modern football. It’s unheard of.”

Eighty-one places below Burnley in the English football pyramid, Lincoln prevailed when centre-back Raggett squeezed a header over the line following a late corner at Turf Moor.

Lincoln become the first non-league team to reach the FA Cup’s last eight since Queens Park Rangers in 1914.

They are the eighth side from below England’s four fully professional divisions to have beaten top-flight opposition since World War II and only the second to have done so since 1989.

“We said it was a one-in-a-100 chance and thankfully we got that opportunity,” said Lincoln manager Danny Cowley.

“The last eight of the FA Cup sounds pretty good. We work hard on our corners and our free-kicks and we are mightily proud of the players.”

Burnley drew 1-1 at home to runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea last weekend and have beaten Liverpool and champions Leicester City on home turf this season.

Lincoln join Hereford United, who toppled Newcastle United in 1972, and Sutton United, conquerors of Coventry City in 1989, among the ranks of the FA Cup’s non-league giant-killers.

Sutton, also of the National League, will hope to pull off another upset when they host Arsenal on Monday.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche made six changes and it was quickly clear that his side were in for a scrap as Lincoln’s Nathan Arnold squared for Jack Muldoon to sweep a first-time shot over the bar.

– Man City held –

There was an early setback for Burnley when Johann Berg Gudmundsson was forced off in the 20th minute after a foul by Alan Power, with George Boyd coming on.

Burnley were unable to convert the handful of chances they created, Lincoln goalkeeper Paul Farman saving from Andre Gray and Joey Barton, while Scott Arfield and Gray shot off-target.

Burnley’s frustrations manifested themselves in some antagonistic behaviour by renowned brawler Barton during the second half.

He escaped censure for stamping on Matt Rhead’s foot and then pretending to have been struck by the strapping Lincoln striker and was later booked for slapping Terry Hawkridge.

With a replay beckoning, Sam Habergham’s corner from the right was headed back across goal by Lincoln captain Luke Waterfall and Raggett met it with a header that Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton could not keep out.

“They used everything they needed to use,” Dyche told the BBC.

“You have to work, be diligent and believe you will get another chance. I think they only had one chance — credit to them. My team were nowhere near the level they can show.”

Millwall followed Lincoln’s lead by overcoming the 52nd-minute dismissal of Jake Cooper to sink a Leicester team showing 10 changes thanks to defender Cummings’s last-gasp strike.

Beaten finalists in 2004, Millwall have also accounted for Bournemouth and Watford.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City face an unwanted replay after drawing 0-0 at Championship high-fliers Huddersfield Town, three days out from their Champions League last 16 showdown with Monaco.

Middlesbrough needed an 86th-minute Cristhian Stuani goal to secure a 3-2 win over third-tier Oxford United, who had hit back from 2-0 down to level through Chris Maguire and Antonio Martinez.

Premier League leaders Chelsea visit second-tier Wolverhampton Wanderers, conquerors of Liverpool in the previous round, in Saturday’s late game.

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One Response

  1. Harry February 18, 2017

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