Tuesday 21 February 2017

Ton Up For Walcott As Arsenal End Sutton's Dream Cup Run


Sutton United's FA Cup fairytale ended as Arsenal forward Theo Walcott scored his 100th goal for the club in a 2-0 fifth round victory on a surreal night at Gander Green Lane on Monday.

England forward Walcott added to Lucas Perez's 26th minute effort shortly after the break as the 12-times winners avoided what would have been one of the competition's greatest shocks.

The 5,000 capacity crowd wedged into the Borough Sports Ground in south London for the biggest night in the club's humble 119-year history were even treated to a 15-minute cameo by Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez on the glistening artificial pitch.

Sutton, 17th in the fifth-tier, 105 places lower down the English football ladder than Arsenal, could be proud of their effort in matching their famous visitors.

They will bank about 700,000 pounds for a fairytale Cup run that included a famous victory over former FA Cup winners Leeds United in round four.

"It was a dream to watch my team play against Arsenal. The quality of the team they put out showed what's at stake," said Sutton manager Paul Doswell, who works for nothing and loaned the club 450,000 pounds interest free for its 3G pitch.

"I'm very, very proud. This was our cup final and these players will go down in history at the end of the day."

Arsenal will play Sutton's National League rivals Lincoln City in the quarter-finals after they became the first minor league side for 103 years to reach the last eight by beating Premier League side Burnley away on Saturday.

"They were organised and had a huge desire. If we were not mentally prepared we would not have gone through today," said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who made seven changes to the side that lost 5-1 at Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week.

"I didn't really enjoy tonight because we absolutely had to do the job and it is tricky."



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