Can Lincoln City’s youngster Sean Raggett help them to cause the biggest upset in FA cup history?
Having scored an 89th-minute header to secure a famous 1-0 victory over Premier League side Burnley in the FA Cup three weeks ago, the question is whether 23-year-old Sean Raggett can pull off the near impossible in today’s match against Premier League giants Arsenal FC, and allow Lincoln City’s fairy-tale FA Cup run to continue.
Sean signed for Lincoln City last summer from Dover on a free transfer. Since then, the Gillingham born player has been a key figure in Lincoln’s first team squad, scoring six goals this season, the most crucial being his header which flew past Burnley Goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, sending Lincoln City sailing into the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
Thanks to Sean Raggett’s stunning finish, Lincoln City have become the first non-league club to reach the last eight of the FA Cup since Queens Park Rangers achieved the near impossible in 1914, 103 years ago.
Sean Raggett is a strong example of young, English players progressing through the academy system. A product of Gillingham’s academy which he became part of aged 12, Sean joined Dover Athletic at 16 where he went on to make over 150 appearances for the National League Club. A string of impressive performances led to Sean’s national call up to the England C team for a friendly match with the Republic of Ireland Under-21s in June 2015. A year later, Raggett transferred to Lincoln City, and has played a decisive role in wins against Championship sides Brighton and Ipswich, and more recently, Premier League side Burnley.
Raggett’s strong performances have also helped Lincoln City to hold their firm position as the National League leaders, currently standing six points clear of closest rivals, Forest Green. The 6ft5 defender’s involvement in dangerous set pieces throughout the season so far has resulted in convincing wins against Chester (5-2), Guiseley (3-1), and a stunning 4-0 win over Braintree last weekend.
Lincoln City are around 30-1 underdogs to beat the Premier League’s 5th placed team Arsenal this afternoon at The Emirates, with Sean Raggett to be the first goal scorer reaching odds of 125-1. However, as Sean himself said on social media earlier this week: “If Barca can do that against PSG, surely we can beat Arsenal!” The youngster and his team are certainly displaying their top form and have nothing to lose.