Lincoln boss Danny Cowley said guiding the Imps to the fifth round of the FA Cup was “beyond my wildest dreams”, as the non-league side once again stole the headlines on a day of high drama.
Lincoln’s 3-1 win over Championship leaders Brighton was just one chapter in an enthralling afternoon of football that also saw Wolves dump out Liverpool, Oxford upset Newcastle, and League Two Wycombe come agonisingly close to stunning Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
The fourth-round action led BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks to proclaim the FA Cup “alive and well”.
“It was a magnificent day with some wonderful performances,” he said. “Wycombe were sensational, as were Lincoln.”
- BBC One is showing two live FA Cup ties on Sunday. Millwall host Watford at 12:00 GMT, followed at 16:00 GMT by holders Manchester United against Wigan.
- Catch up with all of Saturday’s FA Cup goals and reports
Red-hot Imps roll on
The last time Lincoln reached the last 16 of the FA Cup was in the 1901-02 season, a run that featured a victory over a cash-strapped team from the north-west of England named Newton Heath, who within weeks would be issued with a winding-up order before being saved and renamed Manchester United in April 1902.
against in-form Brighton, who made nine changes for the game at Sincil Bank but nevertheless deservedly led at the break.
Chris Hughton’s visitors went in front through Richie Towell’s well-taken strike, but the hosts rallied after the break, levelling through Alan Power’s penalty before Fikayo Tomori’s own goal gave them the lead.
Theo Robinson, who scored twice at Ipswich in the third round, added the third on the break to confirm the Imps’ place in the next round.
“I’m surprised. It’s not often football surprises me, but today…” said Lincoln boss Cowley. “I was really pleased that we were able to stay in the game [after going behind].
“We were brave all afternoon, we wanted to press high and be committed to our style and what we believe in.
“I can’t believe the scenes and the emotion and the support.”
Son late show shatters Chairboys
It was a case of what might have been for brave Wycombe, who led 2-0 and 3-2 before succumbing to a heartbreaking 4-3 loss at White Hart Lane.
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‘I am responsible for this performance’
At Anfield, Championship strugglers Wolves recorded a stunning 2-1 victory over a Liverpool side who have now managed only one win in eight games in 2017.
Richard Stearman put the visitors ahead after only 53 seconds, left unmarked to head in Helder Costa’s free-kick, before Costa set up Andreas Weimann to double Wolves’ lead before the break.
Divock Origi pulled one back but Paul Lambert’s men held on to fifth round for the first time since 2008.
- What is going wrong for Liverpool?
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “I am responsible for this performance because I thought this line-up was ready for this game but obviously we weren’t and that doesn’t feel too good.
“I could look for excuses but I don’t want to. Maybe we should use this time to be disappointed, to be frustrated, to be angry at ourselves. All I can say, sorry.”
Oxford impress en route to ousting Magpies
League One Oxford reached the fifth round for the first time in 23 years with a 3-0 win over Championship promotion-chasers Newcastle.
Kane Hemmings met a Chey Dunkley back-post header to put Oxford ahead before Aleksandar Mitrovic missed the chance to level when his penalty was saved low down by Simon Eastwood.
Curtis Nelson added Oxford’s second before Toni Martinez sealed a famous win.
“I said to the players at half-time that they wouldn’t get a better opportunity to get into the last 16 of the FA Cup,” Oxford manager Michael Appleton said.
“I said that we’d need to keep our concentration and that Simon would have to make one more important save – thankfully he did that from the penalty.
“I thought we’d scored the first goal too soon and for 15 to 20 minutes, they pinned us in a little bit. But the players rode the storm and I think the penalty save gave everyone a lift.
“I think that belief really told in the last 15 minutes and I thought the players were magnificent.”