Bristol City 1-3 Lincoln: Imps on right side of cup upset
Lincoln bounced back from FA Cup embarrassment to storm into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 victory over Championship club Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
The League One side took a seventh-minute lead when midfielder Matty Virtue was allowed time and space 25 yards out to the left of goal and netted with a sweetly struck right-footed drive.
It was 2-0 on 15 minutes as Ben House robbed young defender Joe Low, making his first start for the Robins, and ran through to slot home from inside the box.
Four minutes into the second half Lincoln were in dreamland as Paudie O’Connor headed the third from virtually on the goal line after a free-kick was not dealt with.
Substitute Tommy Conway shot home from close range on 80 minutes after his initial effort had been saved to give the home side hope.
But Lincoln, dumped out of the FA Cup by non-League Chippenham at the weekend, were in no mood to surrender their advantage and defended their box strongly to clinch a memorable win.
Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson gave a debut to 20-year-old French goalkeeper Stefan Bajic, also naming Low and 19-year-old midfielder Dylan Kadji in the starting line-up. Sixteen-year-old Elijah Morrison was on the bench.
The Championship side made a sluggish start and were punished by the two early strikes from a much sharper-looking Lincoln.
It took Bristol 23 minutes to get an effort on target, Mark Sykes’ far-post header parried for a corner by Carl Rushworth.
Seconds later they should have pulled one back, Antoine Semenyo shooting badly wide from a great chance 12 yards out.
After that, Lincoln defended with little difficulty to the half-time whistle, which was greeted by loud booing from the home supporters who had seen their team turn in an insipid display.
Pearson reacted by making three changes at the break, sending on Zak Vyner, Joe Williams and Tommy Conway for Low, Timm Klose and Sykes.
Still his side looked way off the pace and O’Connor’s goal left them a mountain to climb. It could have been four as Bajic made a diving save to deny House.
Semenyo blasted over from another good chance and Conway had a shot blocked before Pearson made a fourth change, replacing Kadji with Alex Scott.
Conway’s goal after Rushworth had parried his first shot lifted Bristol spirits and Chris Martin fired wide with the goal at his mercy from a Conway cross.
Lincoln had to defend strongly against incessant late pressure. But the hosts deserved nothing, having given away poor goals and been guilty of some wretched finishing.