Imps stun Clarets in historic cup tie

Sean Dyche tries to get his message across
Sean Dyche tries to get his message across

The last time a non-league team knocked a Premier League team out of the FA Cup, Andre Gray's Luton town beat Norwich City 1-0 with a late goal.

This time, the striker was on the receiving end as his, and the Clarets', disappointing performance saw Lincoln City progress to the quarter-final stage, becoming the first non-league team to do so in 103 years.

Sean Raggett scored the winner in the 89th minute, as a deep Lincoln corner was headed back across goal and met by the defender who, despite Tom Heaton's best efforts, powered the ball into the top corner, with referee Graham Scott ajudging the ball to have crossed the line.

Prior to that goal, the fifth round tie had been a scrappy, fiesty affair on a cold, windy afternoon at Turf Moor. Chances were evenly split, with Jack Muldoon having the best early on after he was slipped in by Nathan Arnold who had beat James Tarkowski with some neat footwork, but Muldoon fired over the bar.

Right from the start, it was clear to see that Burnley were in for a tough game, with Alan Power's sliding challenge catching Johann Berg Gudmundsson, causing the Icelandic international to limp off the pitch with injury.

After the Muldoon chance in the fifth minute, Burnley looked the more likely to score in the first half. Scott Arfield flicked the ball through to Andre Gray, who's shot was comfortably saved by Lincoln keeper Paul Farman, with Joey Barton also testing the Red Imps goalkeeper with a stinging volley after Tendayi Darikwa had beat his man on the right hand side.

The half-time whistle was met with cheers from the City fans, but the best was yet to come as far as they were concerned.

Burnley started the second half well, as Sam Vokes and Gray linked up well before the latter's slightly overhit ball meant Arfield couldn't reach the pass before goalkeeper Farman was able to intercept.

Next, it was Gray who was unable to quite provide the finishing touch, as he failed to divert Joey Barton's exquisite in-swinging free-kick on target.

Barton was right in the thick of the action again as tensions between players, fans and coaches began to rise as the game neared the hour mark. After appearing to try and trip Imps striker Matt Rhead, Barton went down feebly after making contact with an oblivious Rhead's flailing arm.

As both teams tried to find the breakthrough, the quality of the game slipped and chances became few and far between, with the Clarets in particular being wasteful with the ball going forwards.

Another collision in the 68th minute led to more uproar between the players, as Woodyard went down on the edge of the box. Referee Graham Scott proceeded to award Burnley a free-kick for obstruction, which the Lincoln players appeared to disagree with.

Accusatory fingers were thrown, as Jon Flanagan pushed Terry Hawkridge in the midst of a strongly-worded conversation between Hawkridge and Barton.

Barton was booked as a result of this interaction, with some suggestions that he caught Hawkridge in the face.

As Burnley continued to try and find a way through the Lincoln defence, Gray was presented with another good chance, following a one-two between Darikwa and Arfield. Gray miscued his shot horribly, and a combination of George Boyd and Ashley Westwood couldn't engineer a clear goalscoring opportunity, as City cleared.

Arfield and Gray linked again to try and find a goal for the Clarets, but Gray's shot blazed high over the bar. It didn't seem to be going to plan for Burnley, and an upset seemed more and more likely as the game reached its climax.

The Vanarama National League leaders upped-the-anti in the final five minutes, winning a succession of corners and piling on the pressure with their domineering physicality, and the breakthrough came from a Sam Habergham corner in the 89th minute.

The corner was high and long, and a Lincoln head, left in acres of space, directed the ball into the crowded six yard box, where Raggett leapt highest and sent his header goalwards.

Despite their most desperate efforts, the Burnley defence couldn't keep the ball out as the referee indicated that the ball had crossed the line, and Lincoln City entered dreamland.

Burnley threw Michael Keane and James Tarkowski up front in injury time to try and find an equaliser, with skipper Tom Heaton joining the pair, but it wasn't to be, and as the full-time whistle blew, the Lincoln fans, players and management celebrated the biggest day in their club's history - that is, until the quarter final comes along in a few weeks time.