Lincoln City have today beaten Premier League Burnley 1-0 to earn a place in the FA Cup quarter finals.
The result signifies a historic moment in the life of Lincoln City, the win undoubtedly being the greatest result in the club’s 133-year history.
Over 3,000 Lincoln fans travelled to Turf Moor in high spirits at just being at the game. Very few imagined that the Imps could get a result — just being there was reward enough for a fantastic season so far.
The first half gave Imps hope that maybe, just maybe, they could grab a replay at Sincil Bank. Neither side really asserted their dominance and that was testament to Lincoln’s hard work and endeavour.
It was hard to spot which team were from the top flight and which were languishing in the National League. The expected class of Burnley failed to shine through, and bar a couple of half chances for Andre Gray, neither side looked like stealing the lead.
Jack Muldoon came closest for Lincoln, his shot flew high of the goal when it looked like City might grab a goal.
In the second half Burnley looked to assert their dominance, but Lincoln stuck to their game plan. Matt Rhead was rattling Burnley midfielder Joey Barton, and the latter was booked for an altercation with Bradley Wood.
It looked like the Premier League side weren’t prepared to cope with the physical approach from Lincoln, but that was far from the only weapon in the Imps’ arsenal. Nathan Arnold looked a constant threat on the wing, and Lincoln often threatened without creating any clear-cut chances.
As the game wore on Burnley became increasingly frustrated, but Lincoln held firm. Again, the Clarets had a couple of half chances, but the defensive pairing of Luke Waterfall and Sean Raggett were outstanding.
With just a minute of normal time remaining, the Imps won a corner after a Dayle Southwell cross was deflected out of play. Sam Habergham whipped in a corner which Luke Waterfall nodded back across goal. Towering centre half Sean Raggett headed the ball towards goal which the Burnley defence thought they’d hooked off the line.
After a moment of indecision, the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the centre circle to signal a goal. The 3,200 Imps fans were a mixture of pure jubilation and absolute disbelief. Lincoln were 1-0 up against Premier League Burnley.
The final five minutes saw Lincoln clinging on desperately to their 1-0 lead, but Burnley never really looked like getting back into the game. As the final whistle blew, the David Fishwick stand erupted as the Imps became the first non-league team to reach the quarter finals of the FA Cup since the modern format took over in the 1920s.
Fans stayed behind in the ground for half an hour afterwards cheering their heroes. They had witnessed arguably the greatest result in Lincoln City’s history, and stayed behind to let the players and manager know what a wonderful, record breaking achievement they had masterminded.