Nathan Arnold's late goal steers Lincoln to FA Cup upset
Nathan Arnold was Lincoln's hero as he struck in the final minute to fire the Imps to a momentous 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Ipswich at a packed Sincil Bank.
The National League leaders had almost produced the goods at Portman Road 10 days ago following their 2-2 draw with the Championship side, but this time they made no mistake, with Arnold being sent clear by sub Adam Marriott to round goalkeeper Dean Gerken and slot the ball into the empty net to send the 8,000 City fans into delirium.
After an emotional minute's applause in memory of former Lincoln boss Graham Taylor, who died last week, both sides eased their way into the match and it took 10 minutes for the first meaningful attempt when Tom Lawrence made Paul Farman stretch low to his right to make the save.
That was as about as good as it got in the first 45 minutes for Ipswich, who made five changes from the first tie, while Lincoln named an unchanged starting XI from the game in Suffolk.
Matt Rhead headed a Terry Hawkridge cross wide as the Imps, who were more than holding their own again, responded.
Theo Robinson, the two-goal hero from the original tie, was crowded out by the Town defence in the six-yard box as he attempted to shoot, before Alex Woodyard headed Bradley Wood's cross narrowly wide.
City were completely in the ascendancy and Rhead again went close, but could not quite get enough of his head to a superb Hawkridge cross, with the ball squirming wide of Gerken's right-hand post.
Just before the break, Town stopper Gerken kept the scores level with a brilliant one-handed save from Lincoln skipper Luke Waterfall, who prodded the ball goalwards from Rhead's knockdown.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, Josh Emmanuel brought out a smart low save from Farman
The ball went loose, but City hacked it to safety.
Ipswich were starting to get more of a foothold in the game, but were still being matched by their National League hosts.
Imps winger Hawkridge had a 20-yarder saved by Gerken, before Arnold shot high and wide after superbly bringing the ball down.
A Hawkridge clearance fell to Jonas Knudsen and the Town left-back's first-time shot went well wide.
Rather than be content to take their chance in extra-time, City still pressed forward and got their reward in the final minute, when an Imps clearance reached Marriott and spotting Arnold's run, he guided the ball through to him.
As Gerken came out to close him down, Arnold simply took the ball around the goalkeeper and poked the ball home to sink the Tractor Boys and send the home fans wild.
Source : DSG