This season’s FA Cup will be profoundly remembered for it’s giant killers. Eastleigh embarrassed League One’s Swindon. Leeds United and AFC Wimbledon fell to a spirited Sutton United, while Millwall defeated Premier League title-holders Leicester City.
Lincoln City, however, still remain in the world’s oldest cup competition after defeating Guiseley, Altrincham, Oldham, Ipswich Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley. The Imps are the first non-league side to appear in the quarter-final round since 1914 and reportedly made £2.5 million thanks their FA Cup journey so far.
Lincoln City: A Brief Overview
Formed in 1884, the club have predominantly been a Football League club, mainly featuring in the third and fourth tiers of English football. Playing at the 10,000-seat capacity Sincil Bank, the Lincolnshire club have been on an emotional rollercoaster during much of their history; experiencing financial difficulties, spirited play-off campaigns and the odd cup run including three appearances in the FA Cup Round of 16.
Their 127-year stay in the Football League ended during the 2011-12 season, following a tragic final-day drop after losing to Aldershot while relegation rivals Barnet won. Since then Lincoln have become a mid-table side, occasionally flirting with relegation until brothers Danny and Nicky Crowley’s appointments last summer.
The Crowley’s takeover has seen a vast improvement in the team’s fortunes, with Lincoln City currently six points clear at the top of the National League and enjoying a historic FA Cup run.
With only one loss in 2017 (a 3-0 loss to Barrow) across all competitions, the National League outfit are six points clear of second-place Forest Green Rovers. As Bayern Munich put five past Arsenal on Tuesday night, Lincoln continued their title surge with a 4-0 win over Braintree just 50 miles away.
Outside of their FA Cup exploits, Crowley’s men are also in an FA Trophy semi-final against York City, with the first leg being played only days after their quarter-final tie at the Emirates. Lincoln have proven to stand up against the face of adversity, meaning Arsene Wenger’s men should not take the non-league club lightly.
While Theo Robinson left for Southend United shortly after scoring against Brighton, there are still plenty of threats elsewhere. Leading club goalscorer Matt Rhead will spearhead any Lincoln City attack, supported by creative attacking midfielder Nathan Arnold, who previously scored an injury-time winner over Ipswich Town.
Paul Farman has proven to be a reliable shot-stopper. On-loan Peterbrough and former Spurs striker Lee Angol scored a mid-week hat-trick against Braintree, but will unfortunately not be able to take part at the Emirates after playing in the tournament already with the Posh.
Notable former players and managers
There are not many, sadly. The most famous figure would be West Brom’s Gareth McAuley, who spent two years at the club and appeared 77 times from 2004 to 2006. Elsewhere, former England international Mick Harford started his career at the club in the late 1970’s.
In terms of managers, former England manager Graham Taylor guided the Imps to a Fourth Division league title in 1974 before managing Watford. Former Celtic and Chelsea striker Chris Sutton was appointed as manager in September 2009 before leaving for personal reasons, and further reported disagreements with Lincoln’s boardroom 12 months later.