Saluting Lincoln City’s Emirates FA Cup heroes
For the first time in over 100 years, a Non-League side will play in the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup. And in light of Lincoln’s incredible success, we’re heralding the heroes who got them there.
It all began back in October, and the remarkable journey has taken the Imps from Guiseley’s Nethermoor Park to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, via clashes with Altrincham, Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley.
Under Danny Cowley, the National League outfit have already dealt with four opponents from the Football League, including two Championship sides and one Premier League scalp.
We could make a case for every Lincoln player to be on this list, but for the sake of brevity, we’ve picked out five of the Imps’ biggest heroes along this famous cup run.
We couldn’t start with anyone else. He may have left to join Southend, but Lincoln wouldn’t be here without the goals of Theo Robinson.
The 28-year-old got the ball rolling with a double over Guiseley in the final qualifying round.
The real heroics were yet to come however, and Oldham were Robinson’s first victims back in October.
A brace helped Lincoln to a 3-2 win in the Second Round, and then Robinson held Ipswich to a 2-2 draw at Portman Road with another double.
And Robinson made it five for the official tournament – seven in total – with the final goal to complete the 3-1 turnaround versus Brighton.
The hero of the famous win over Ipswich, Arnold has been a constant cup presence for the Imps this season, and has played every minute of the run.
And in addition to that strike against the Suffolk side, the 29-year-old forward has also provided three crucial assists in the competition.
The first came way back in the opening round versus Altrincham, while two more followed in the win over Brighton.
In truth, that cup form has come as no surprise. The left midfielder has been one of his team’s brightest sparks all season, and is into double figures for both goals and assists in the National League.
Sean Raggett & Luke Waterfall
A consistent and reliable centre-half pairing can make a huge difference, and in Sean Raggett and Luke Waterfall, Lincoln have reaped the rewards.
Aside from Raggett’s suspension for the Second Round, the pair have shared every minute of the cup run, marshalling the defence.
But they’ve had their say on things at the other end of the pitch too, with Raggett becoming the hero at Turf Moor by heading the winner against Premier League Burnley last time out.
You won’t achieve much without a solid presence in goal, and Paul Farman has been a rock for the Imps.
Burnley’s Andre Gray couldn’t get past him, neither could the experienced Glenn Murray for Brighton.
And no matter who Mick McCarthy put upfront for Ipswich, the Tractor Boys just couldn’t get the job done against the 27-year-old stopper.
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