Belfast Telegraph

Sutton handed chance to shoot down Arsenal

By Robert Jones

Non-League Sutton landed a "fantastic draw" in the fifth round of the FA Cup at home to Premier League Arsenal.

The Vanarama National League side earned rich reward for their defeat of Championship Leeds on Sunday when they were handed a visit from Arsene Wenger's Gunners side in the draw for the last 16.

Sutton are 16th in the National League, English football's fifth tier, and play at Gander Green Lane which has a 5,000 capacity - 55,000 less than Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

They have beaten League Two Cheltenham Town, League One AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United to get this far.

Assistant manager Micky Stephens said: "I've had to come and sit down, I can't quite believe that.

"I'm a lifelong Chelsea fan so I had my fingers crossed for that - but it can't be much better," he added.

"Craig Eastmond and Roarie Deacon have both been involved at Arsenal in their younger days and I've never seen them jump up and down as much. It's a fantastic draw."

National League leaders Lincoln will also face top-flight opposition as they travel to play Burnley.

Lincoln have already beaten three league sides in Oldham, Ipswich and Championship leaders Brighton during their cup run.

It is the first time in the history of the competition two non-League sides have reached the last 16.

"It's a great draw to pit our wits against Sean Dyche and hopefully something we'll learn a lot from," said Lincoln manager Danny Cowley.

Elsewhere in the draw, which doesn't feature any all Premier League ties, Wolves' reward for knocking out Liverpool on Saturday is a home clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Oxford, who also pulled off a giant-killing against Championship high-flyers Newcastle, will travel to Middlesbrough.

Tottenham, after surviving a scare against Wycombe, face an all-London clash at Fulham while holders Manchester United and Manchester City will make the short journeys to Blackburn and Huddersfield respectively.

The final tie will see League One Millwall, conquerors of Watford, host the winners of the replay between Derby and Premier League champions Leicester, who meet again tomorrow week.

All ties are scheduled to be played from February 17 to 20.

FA Cup Fifth Round Draw: Burnley v Lincoln City, Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United, Sutton United v Arsenal, Middlesbrough v Oxford United, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea, Huddersfield Town v Manchester City, Millwall v Derby County/Leicester City.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph