Lincoln heroes handed quarter final at Arsenal... or Sutton
FA Cup sixth-round draw also pits League One Millwall against Spurs as Chelsea face Manchester United
Lincoln City's reward for pulling off what their manager described as a "football miracle" and becoming the first non-league club in 103 years to reach the quarter-final of the FA Cup is a away trip to either Sutton United or Arsenal.
Millwall, who also caused an upset in beating Premier League champions Leicester face Tottenham in a mouth-watering London derby at White Hart Lane, while a similar adjective can be used to describe Chelsea clash with Manchester United.
But the eyes of romantics in the next round will be on Lincoln, who stunned Burnley on Saturday with a goal on 89 minutes from Sean Raggett. His looping header was clawed out by Clarets keeper Tom Heaton but the goal was correctly given when goalline technology showed the ball had crossed the line.
It was a remarkable climax to a bad-tempered match which, for long periods, was dominated by the Premier League side. But for all their possession, Burnley lacked the killer touch in front of goal, allowing Raggett the one opportunity he needed to create history for the club who are 81 places beneath Burnley in the football league pyramid.
"It's crazy. A non-league side in the quarter-finals in modern football, it's unheard of," said Raggett. "Thank god for goalline technology. We don't have it at our level so I'm not sure the goal would have been given in the National League."
The victory means Lincoln are the first non-league team since Queens Park Rangers in 1914 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and never before in their 133-year history have Lincoln made it to the last eight of football's oldest club cup competition.
"Football at our level is not romantic and this moment in the limelight is special," said Danny Cowley, who was invited into the Match of the Day studio on Saturday evening. "It was a one in 100 chance and thankfully we got that opportunity. It's a football miracle for a non-league team to be in the last eight."
Lincoln have knocked out four league clubs, including two from the Championship and one from the Premier League, in the competition. "I am immensely proud of the players and they probably do not understand what they have achieved," said Cowley.
Reality kicks in on Tuesday night with Lincoln playing North Ferriby United and Cowley admitted it will be a challenge to refocus on the National League following their cup heroics at Turf Moor in front of 19,000 fans.
"It becomes a harder game on the back on this win," he said, no doubt all the more so following the draw that potentially sends them to the 60,000 capacity Emirates next month. "For us it's a win-win," said Cowley. "We either play Sutton for an opportunity to be in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Or we have a fantastic tie away at Arsenal. It's completely surreal. You feel like you're going to wake up any moment. It's been a great journey. Our players deserve this. They've been incredible, it's them that have carried us, it's been fantastic."
Full FA Cup quarter-final draw:
Chelsea v Manchester United
Middlesbrough v Huddersfield/Manchester City
Tottenham v Millwall
Sutton/Arsenal v Lincoln
Ties to be played March 10-13