Bristol City 1 Imps 3

The Imps turned on the style to book their place in round four of the Carabao Cup with a stunning win at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City.

The Imps started brightly at Ashton Gate and took the lead after just six minutes when Matty Virtue collected the ball outside the area following some neat build-up play and rifled it beyond the outstretched arms of Stefan Bajic.

The early pressure continued from City as they doubled their advantage through Ben House after he showed strength to win the ball off Joe Low on the halfway line before darting towards goal and keeping his composure to finish past Bajic.

Bristol City looked to find a way back into the match through two quickfire chances as Mark Sykes’ back post header had to be pushed wide by Carl Rushworth before Antoine Semenyo peeled away from his defender to find himself in front of goal to fire narrowly wide of the post. 

Virtue tried his luck from distance once more in the 37th minute after Sean Roughan played him the ball, but his powerful effort failed to trouble the keeper as it sailed over the crossbar.

City started the second-half confidently and added a third in the 49th minute when Charles Vernam’s inswinging free-kick was sent against the post by Virtue which bounced up for Paudie O’Connor to nod in his first goal for the club.

The Imps were almost added a fourth shortly afterwards after TJ Eyoma did well to find Regan Poole down the right whose cross towards Ben House was sent goalwards to force a reaction save from Bajic.

Nigel Pearson’s side then had another two chances in quick succession after Semenyo fired over while in front of goal before Chris Martin’s cutback for Tommy Conway was cleared away by O’Connor.

The Robins continued to enjoy large spells of possession throughout the second half but they could not make it count as City threw bodies in front of everything that came their way.

In the 64th minute, the hosts had another chance to pull one back when Alex Scott found Joe Williams in space to strike one, however his effort was always rising over the crossbar.

City went close to adding another in the 77th minute after House showed composure to initially keep a cross alive inside the Robins' box, before his cross just evaded Sorensen and Vernam in the middle.

The home side eventually reduced the arrears three minutes later when Tommy Conway’s initial shot from a cross into the centre was pushed back into his path by Rushworth who could not keep the rebound out.

The hosts threw players forward and went close to scoring a second goal when Conway’s teasing delivery towards Chris Martin was flicked just wide of the far post - leaving the Imps to progress into round four.

Bristol City: Stefan Bajic, Jay Dasilva, Rob Atkinson (Nakhi Wells 77’), Chris Martin, Andy King, Antoine Semenyo, Andreas Weimann ©, Mark Sykes (Tommy Conway 46’), Timm Klose (Joe Williams 46’), Dylan Kadji (Alex Scott 54’), Joe Low (Zak Vyner 46’). Subs (not used): Max O’Leary, Cameron Pring, Sam Bell, Elijah Morrison.

Goals: Conway (80’).

Imps: Carl Rushworth, Regan Poole ©, Adam Jackson, Max Sanders (Jacob Davenport 78’), Charles Vernam, Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Lasse Sorensen 74’), Paudie O’Connor, Ben House (Freddie Draper 90'), TJ Eyoma, Sean Roughan, Matty Virtue. Subs (not used): Jordan Wright, Oisin Gallagher, Elicha Ahui.

Goals: Virtue (6’), House (15’), O’Connor (49’).

Referee: Sam Allison.

Attendance: 7,961 (410 away).