Stunned Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley was lost for words after his National League leaders dumped Premier League Burnley out of the FA Cup.
Centre-back Sean Raggett headed the only goal from an 89th-0minute corner to book Lincoln’s spot in the quarter-finals – making them the first non-league side to achieve such a feat for 103 years.
The sight of captain Luke Waterfall peeling off into space at the far post to set up Raggett’s winner marked the goal out as one fashioned on the training field and Cowley was delighted to see the hard work pay off.
“We said it was probably a one in a 100 chance and it had to [come down to] that one opportunity,” he told BT Sport.
“We had to believe there would be that one opportunity and thankful there was.
“Last eight of the FA Cup sounds pretty good. It’s not often that I’m lost for words but I think today is one of those occasions.
“We work hard on our corners and our free-kicks and we are mightily proud of the players.”
Congratulations to @LincolnCity_FC.
Enjoy your day and good luck in the quarter finals.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) February 18, 2017
Cowley’s assistant and brother Nicky conceded the brief moment between Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton pushing Raggett’s header away from behind the line and referee Graham Scott signalling the goal seemed to last an age from his vantage point on the touchline.
“It was difficult to see if it was over the line and you are just willing the referee to point to the centre circle and it was a great moment when it happened,” he said.
“It is a fantastic day, just brilliant for the supporters, the players and their families.
“You have to believe and dream big, we had fantastic results against Oldham, Ipswich and Brighton but coming to a Premier League ground was a new challenge and it is unbelievable.”
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) February 18, 2017
That was a sentiment shared by Lincoln striker Matt Rhead, who spoke to BBC Sport after being at the heart of a tempestuous battle with Burnley midfielder Joey Barton during the second half.
“It is unbelievable,” Rhead said. “When we started back in October it was a dream. I enjoyed every minute of it. The lads have done unbelievable.
“We’ve got a good squad here and we believe we can beat anyone. We continue to beat teams.
“It is something you dream of as a kid. We went toe-to-toe with a Premier League team. We are confident if we set up as we have today we can beat anyone.”
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