Non-League Clubs in FA Cup Quarter Finals and Beyond

FA Cup Factfile

National League sides Lincoln City and Sutton United are making waves in this year’s FA Cup competition, both reaching the 5th Round after giant-killing after giant-killing after giant-killing.

The ill-informed mass media trumpet that this is the first time since the Football League was established in 1888 that two non-league sides have made it to the last 16 of the FA Cup in the same season. Not to denigrate the two clubs’ fantastic achievement, but that fact is baloney, a fact iterated out of the ignorance of lazy research and the desire to make a memorable soundbite.

Technically it’s true that it is the first time that two non-league clubs have made the Fifth Round in the same season since the Football League began, but not actually the last 16, as that statement conveniently forgets that for almost 40 years after the League’s formation there wasn’t actually a round known as…

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