FA Cup: Lincoln and Millwall most likely to provide the shocks - if history anything to go by

Mark Lawford
Millwall manager Neil Harris watches his side beat Bournemouth 3-0 in round 3

The FA Cup reaches the ‘round of 16’ this weekend – and history would suggest there will be at least two shocks: At Burnley and Millwall.

Non-League Lincoln City will join Sutton United and attempt to become the first teams in the modern era to reach the quarter-finals (Spurs won the trophy as an amateur side in 1901) – but both face huge tests.

Yet Lincoln – who are away to Premier League Burnley – can draw inspiration from when non-League Wimbledon took on a far more formidable top-flight Clarets team at Turf Moor in 1975.

Lincoln celebrate their round 4 defeat of Brighton

That was in the third round – and the Dons stunned the hosts, Micky Mahon’s 49th-minute goal clinching a stunning 1-0 win.

Only one non-league team since – Luton (at Norwich in 2013) – have won at top flight opposition and that is the only time a Premier League team have been upset by such ‘amateurs’.

But Lincoln – who have already beaten Championship Ipswich and Brighton – are leaders of the National League will fancy their chances even if Burnley do put out a full-strength side.

Steve Morison scores Millwall’s winner against Watford in round 4

Sutton entertain Arsenal on Monday and will also have a great chance especially if the Gunners put out a full-strength side…

History, meanwhile, would also suggest that Millwall will get the better of Leicester at The Den.


In 1985 the Lions – in the third tier as they are now – took on the Division 1 Foxes and won 2-0 in round 5.

Back then Leicester might not have been champions but they were favourites to see off a Millwall team managed by George Graham and chasing promotion.

Manager Gordon Milne unleashed his deadly strike duo of Gary Lineker and Alan Smith but they fired blanks as goals from John Fashanu and Alan McLeary sealed a 2-0 win.

Lincoln manager Danny Cowley is up for the cup

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has already suggested that his side are underdogs against a team who have already beaten Bournemouth and Watford reserves in this season’s competition.

And with a Champions League match next followed by the resumption of their Premier League relegation battle – he might be right.