Mon, Jan 30, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Lincoln’s fairy-tale run continues

Reuters, LONDON

The steep, cobbled streets of Lincoln’s majestic city center were reverberating on Saturday after the town’s soccer club produced another FA Cup shock to reach the round-of-16.

Lincoln City have inhabited the backwaters of English soccer throughout most of their 113-year existence, never playing in the top flight.

In 2009 they even slid out of the league, but the Imps are rising again.

Top of the National League and heading for promotion, they beat Championship (second-tier) leaders Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 on Saturday to continue their FA Cup adventure.

After they beat another Championship side, Ipswich Town, in a third-round replay this month, old Sincil Bank was rocking to its rafters again as Lincoln came from a goal down to put their names in the fifth-round draw for the first time since 1887.

“You always go into games thinking you have a chance,” Lincoln manager Danny Cowley said. “I’m surprised. It’s not often football surprises me, but today ... I can’t believe the scenes and the emotion and the support — it’s beyond all of my wildest dreams.”

Brighton manager Chris Hughton fielded an inexperienced side, but the visitors held the upper hand early on, striking the crossbar before youngster Richie Towell put them ahead.

Lincoln fed off the atmosphere provided by a 9,000 sellout crowd and were level early in the second half when Alan Power coolly rolled a penalty into the corner.

An aerial bombardment followed and Brighton were wobbling when Fikayo Tomori turned Nathan Arnold’s dangerous cross into his own net.

Theo Robinson made sure of the victory in the 85th minute, prompting a pitch invasion at the final whistle.

“I was really pleased that we were able to stay in the game. Halftime gave us a chance to regroup,” Cowley said. “We were brave all afternoon — we wanted to press high, and be committed to our style and what we believe in.”

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