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Match Reports

Burnley 0 Lincoln City 1

18 February 2017

Burnley 0 Lincoln City 1

Burnley were the victims of a remarkable giant-killing as non-league Lincoln scored a dramatic late winner to go through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

The Clarets had been unbeaten in their last six Premier League games at Turf Moor and knocked out Sunderland and Bristol City here to reach the last 16 for the first time since 2011.

But Lincoln stood up heroically to the challenge to put a dent in that proud home record and become the first non-league side to reach the quarter-finals for 103 years thanks to an 89th-minute header from defender Sean Raggett.

The Imps therefore joined Wimbledon from the ranks of non-league football to knock Burnley out as they repeated the Dons’ upset of 1975 to take their place in the competition’s history and leave Burnley to rue a badly-missed opportunity.

Lincoln had already beaten three League sides – Oldham, Ipswich and Brighton – to reach this stage for the first time since 1902.

And with 15 wins from their previous 18 games in all competitions, the National League leaders had every reason to approach one of the biggest days in their history with confidence.

That was reflected in a positive start which brought the Imps, backed by a sell-out away crowd of 3,200, the first chance of the tie.

Collecting a headed clearance, Nathan Arnold turned inside Jon Flanagan but rather than shoot tried to pick out former Rochdale forward Jack Muldoon, who lifted his effort over the bar under pressure from Tendayi Darikwa.

The visitors, as rigidly-organised, deep-lying and competitive as expected under highly-rated young manager Danny Cowley, made it difficult for Burnley to get a grip on a scruffy contest littered with fouls throughout a tight first half.

The Clarets, who lost the injured Johann Berg Gudmundsson after 20 minutes, created the better chances but none of them were straight-forward, the best falling to Andre Gray following a flick-on from Scott Arfield.

Gray had been in the Luton side who were the last non-league team to beat top-flight opposition (and only one to do so in the Premier League era) when they knocked out Norwich City in 2013.

But Paul Farman saved the striker’s effort, struck left-footed on the bounce, as Gray tried to avoid being on the other side of a similar upset.

Burnley’s other openings before the break came largely from second-balls knocked down around the edge of the penalty area as set-pieces dominated.

Sam Vokes and Scott Arfield both struck efforts over the bar, with Joey Barton at least testing Farman with a sweetly struck volley from a further chance created by Darikwa’s fine run and cross.

The Clarets looked to up the tempo after the break with Gray nearly slipping in Arfield, who was just beaten to the through-ball by Farman, and then poking a shot wide from Barton’s free-kick.

It was full-blooded stuff as a physical Lincoln side – visibly growing in confidence - competed superbly and the Clarets not wanting to take a backward step in an increasingly niggly and nervy clash.

Lincoln clearly sensed the possibility of an upset and as tempers flared Barton, who had been involved in a running battle with battering-ram striker Matt Rhead, was booked following a melee in the Burnley box.

The chances had dried up for the Clarets but the introduction of Ashley Barnes helped get Burnley on the front foot again.

Barnes had a header easily held by Farman following a Barton free-kick and Gray should then have done better when Darikwa and Arfield did well to feed the striker, who mis-cued from a shot on the turn.

Burnley were finally able to generate a sustained spell of pressure with Michael Keane heading over the top from a corner and Arfield skewing a shot over the bar as he was running wide from a Gray pass.

Gray also failed to hit the target after running onto a George Boyd ball over the top and the Clarets were then made to pay when Lincoln grabbed their dramatic winner in the 89th-minute.

The visitors forced back-to-back corners and from the second, an unmarked Luke Waterfall headed the ball back for central defensive partner Raggett to nod in a famous winner at the far post to keep Lincoln's fairy-tale run going.

Burnley: Heaton, Darikwa, Keane, Tarkowski, Flanagan, Gudmundsson (Boyd 20), Westwood, Barton, Arfield, Vokes (Barnes 73), Gray.
Subs: Robinson, Lowton, Ward, Mee, Agyei.

Booked: Barton, Barnes.

Lincoln: Farman, Wood, Waterfall, Raggett, Habergham, Arnold, Woodyard, Power, Hawkridge (Ward 81), Rhead, Muldoon (Southwell 64).
Subs: Marriott, Long, Walton, McMenemy, McCombe.

Booked: Power, Wood.

Referee: Graham Scott

Att: 19,185

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