Lincoln City’s history-making hero Sean Raggett insisted his team always believed they could upset top-flight Burnley and reach The Emirates FA Cup quarter final.
In a tie with little between the two sides, England C international Raggett sneaked a header over the line in the 89th minute as the National League leaders became the first non-League club to reach the last-eight since 1914.
In the Premier League this season, only Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have taken more points from home games than Burnley, but Raggett said his team felt they could defy the odds.
- The Emirates FA Cup
- Fifth Round Proper
- Saturday 18 February 2017
- Turf Moor, Burnley FC
- Live on BT Sport
“We had massive belief,” said Raggett.
“We didn’t come here for the occasion, we came here to win the game and believed we could. We proved that we can.
“A non-League side through to the quarter finals in modern day football. It’s unheard of, it’s crazy.”
Lincoln, playing in round five for the first time since 1902, created a gilt-edged chance to take the lead inside five minutes. Nathan Arnold latched onto a long pass forward, turned inside defender James Tarkowski and squared to Jack Muldoon, but the nippy striker blazed over the crossbar from six yards.
There are 81 league places between the two clubs, but there was little evidence of such disparity in the opening quarter of the tie, with Lincoln disciplined, impenetrable and eager to bypass midfield and get the ball forwards as often as possible.
In fact it took 27 minutes for Burnley to test keeper Paul Farman as Andre Gray latched on to Scott Arfield’s clever flick and burst into the box, but his first-time strike on the half volley was well-held by the Imps stopper.
Six minutes before the interval, Lincoln defender Luke Waterfall’s headed clearance fell nicely for Joey Barton lurking on the edge of the penalty area, but the 34-year-old midfielder’s volley was blocked by Farman.
Clear-cut opportunities were at a premium in a tempestuous second half, and Burnley boss Sean Dyche introduced Ashley Barnes to his attack in the final 20 minutes to try and take advantage of potential tired legs in the Lincoln backline.
Barnes met a deep free-kick from Barton with 12 minutes remaining, but the ball bounced into Farman’s arms.
Farman then raced off his line to smother the ball at Ashley Westwood’s feet after Gray had failed to connect with Tendayi Darikwa’s low cross from the right.
As Burnley continued to pile on the pressure both Arfield and Gray struck over the crossbar after finding rare pockets of space in behind Lincoln’s back four.
It looked like one-way traffic, but in the final minute of normal time Lincoln won it.
A deep corner from Sam Habergham found Waterfall in acres of space at the far post. The defender’s header back across goal into a crowd of players was met by Raggett, whose header crept past the line.
“I didn’t know how to celebrate,” added Raggett.
“The fans were amazing, you could hear them throughout the game and they really gave us a boost.
“Burnley are a top quality side, they drew with Chelsea last week and we’ve gone and kept a clean sheet and won the game, it’s amazing.
“We won’t be celebrating, we have North Ferriby away in the league on Tuesday!”
Burnley (4-4-2): Tom Heaton; Tendayi Darikwa, Michael Keane, James Tarkowski, Jon Flanagan; Scott Arfield, Joey Barton, Ashley Westwood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson; Andre Gray, Sam Vokes
Substitutes: George Boyd for Gudmundsson 20, Ashley Barnes for Vokes 73
Substitutes not used: Paul Robinson, Matthew Lowton, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, Daniel Agyei
Manager: Sean Dyche
Lincoln City (4-4-2): Paul Farman; Bradley Wood, Luke Waterfall, Sean Raggett, Sam Habergham; Terry Hawkridge, Alan Power, Alex Woodyard, Jack Muldoon; Nathan Arnold, Matt Rhead
Substitutes: Dayle Southwell for Muldoon 64, Joe Ward for Hawkridge 81, Jamie McCombe for Rhead 90
Substitutes not used: Adam Marriott, Sean Long, Richard Walton, Jack McMenemy
Manager: Danny Cowley
Goal: Raggett 89
Referee: Graham Scott