Greenwich pair make FA Cup history – and Match of the Day!
Danny (right) and Nicky Cowley in the Match of the Day hot seats
Greenwich graduates Danny and Nicky Cowley wrote themselves into FA Cup folklore on Saturday (18 February) with Lincoln City’s sensational victory over Premier League side Burnley.
Lincoln, the club they manage, became the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals with a dramatic last-minute winner at Turf Moor.
There were jubilant scenes at the final whistle as Lincoln’s travelling support celebrated their club reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in their 133-year history.
Danny, City’s manager, and brother Nicky, his assistant, both took Physical Education degrees at Greenwich, graduating with first class honours in 2002 and 2003 respectively.
Both started out wanting to become professional footballers but, curtailed through injuries, embarked on careers in teaching and football management instead.
On Saturday night, the brothers achieved another footballing distinction by appearing as guests on BBC One’s Match of the Day, to discuss the day’s drama in front of several million viewers.
“It’s a football miracle for a non-league team to be in the last eight,” Danny said. “The boys were excellent, playing against a Premier League team.
“We are always realists, I will never ask the players to do something they’re not capable of. But we thought if we could get the game plan right we could compete.”
During his stint on Match of the Day, Danny added: “It’s a great day for us and the football club. I am immensely proud of the players and they probably do not understand what they have achieved.
“We are in North Ferriby on Tuesday night. It becomes a harder game on the back on this win. It will be good to go back to proper football.”
Nicky Cowley told viewers: “It has not sunk in. I definitely think the magic of the cup is still alive where we live.”
Under the brothers’ leadership, Lincoln have won 15 of their past 18 matches in all competitions and have now beaten Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley in this season’s FA Cup run.
This latest victory also means ‘The Imps’ are the first non-league side since Telford in 1985, and only the third ever, to knock out four league clubs in a single season.
The club are now just one win from a semi-final at Wembley. The FA Cup quarter-final draw has pitted them away against either Arsenal, or fellow National League outfit Sutton United, who play tonight (20 February).