There's no argument that the Imps' march to the Fifth Round of this
season's competition has been mightily impressive, with wins over Oldham
Athletic, Ipswich Town and Premier League-chasing Brighton & Hove Albion
sure to treasured at Sincil Bank for a long, long time.
But this isn't totally unfamiliar territory to Lincoln, and it highlights
the growth of the Vanarama National League in the strength of the teams within.
City have progressed to the last 16 of the FA Cup on three previous
occasions, but it's now time to make new memories – those runs came in 1887,
1890 and 1902.
The first of those saw the club overcome Middlesbrough and local rivals
Gainsborough Trinity en route to the Fifth Round, but their progress was halted
by Rangers – yes, the Scottish ones!
It was Preston North End who shattered Lincoln's FA Cup dreams three years
later, easing to a 4-0 win at Deepdale. The Imps couldn't be too disheartened,
though, as the Lilywhites went on to win the First Division that season.
Newton Heath were dumped out of the cup by Lincoln as the club reached the
last 16 again in 1902. The victory all the sweeter after manager James West
left the Imps to take charge of the team now known as Manchester United.
Derby County became the next team to deny the Imps a last-eight spot
though, in a season which saw the club earn their highest-ever league finish –
fifth in the Second Division.
Now, 115 years on, the National League leaders seem well-equipped and ready
to go one step beyond for the first time.
The primary focus may well be on clinching the league title but, with the
season they're having, manager Danny Cowley is sure to have plenty of belief
that his players can upset the odds at Turf Moor this weekend.
Lincoln City have a long and proud 133-year history, but the current crop
stand on the brink of making the 2016/17 season one of the most memorable yet.
Watch the National League leaders in Emirates FA Cup action this weekend,
with Burnley versus Lincoln City screened live on BT Sport 2, Saturday 18th
February, 12:30pm kick-off.