City made it back-to-back wins in Sky Bet League One with an enthralling 2-0 victory at high-flying Plymouth Argyle.
After an early shot wide of the mark from Mide Shodipo, Tyreik Wright played an inviting ball right across the face of goal which evaded all the Plymouth attackers in the area.
Wright was involved in another Pilgrims’ chance in the 10th minute as he picked up the ball midway inside City’s half before surging at goal to send a low effort comfortably past the post.
Steven Schmacher’s side continued to control the opening phases and tested the City resilience again with Ryan Hardie’s low shot from the edge of the area followed by Jay Metete’s first-time effort from 10 yards out which was blocked by Adam Jackson a few minutes later.
Carl Rushworth then had to pull off a strong save in the 19th minute to keep the score level after Hardie broke beyond the Imps’ defence, only to strike straight at the City goalkeeper.
The Imps had a chance to break the deadlock in the 26th minute as Lasse Sorensen burst down the right to lay the ball to Ben House whose deflected effort looped up into Callum Burton’s gloves.
City then took the lead two minutes later from a superb counter-attacking move which started when Rushworth sent Sorensen off down the right wing. The Dane then played an inch-perfect crossfield ball to Danny Mandroiu who crossed towards Mide Shodipo at the back post to lift over the goalie and in.
Mark Kennedy’s side thought they had doubled their lead when Mandroiu’s corner was headed down and in by Regan Poole, although the linesman had his flag raised after Shodipo was adjudged to have obstructed play from an offside position.
The Imps grew into the half and created a few chances before the break as Mandroiu’s flicked header was held shortly before House and Virtue both had goalbound efforts blocked following a dangerous free-kick in.
House netted his third goal in two matches just after half-time when he took down the ball inside the area from Harry Boyes’ cross before turning James Wilson to slot home into the bottom corner.
The Pilgrims went close to pulling one back on the 50 minute mark as Mickel Miller’s deflected delivery from the left was volleyed at goal by Matete who was denied by a last-ditch Boyes block.
Following a series of Plymouth substitutions the hosts enjoyed some larger spells of possession which saw Finn Azaz loft a ball in for Ben Waine who got ahead of Rushworth but failed to keep his header down.
City had the ball in the back of the net again in the 67th minute after Mandroiu’s driven effort from the edge of the box was parried to Luke Plange who converted but was flagged offside.
Mandroiu was involved again minutes later in a counter attack which saw Shodipo feed the ball to the frontman inside the area who couldn’t find a way past Burton who made himself big to make the save.
Plange had a golden opportunity to put the game out of sight with 15 minutes to go after Shodipo broke forward before playing it forward to the loanee who turned away from his defender only to strike wide.
Plymouth: Callum Burton, James Wilson (Finn Azaz 61’), Dan Scarr, Matt Butcher (Jordan Houghton 52’), Joe Edwards © (Callum Wright 61’), Ryan Hardie (Sam Cosgrove 61’, Danny Mayor, Mickel Miller (Ben Waine 52’), Nigel Lonwijk, Jay Matete, Tyreik Wright. Subs (not used): Adam Parkes, Macaulay Gillesphey.
City: Carl Rushworth, Regan Poole, Harry Boyes, Adam Jackson, Mide Shodipo, Ethan Erhahon, Paudie O’Connor, Ben House (Luke Plange 63’), Danny Mandroiu (Joe Walsh 75’), Lasse Sorensen, Matty Virtue (Max Sanders 68'). Subs (not used): Jordan Wright, Sean Roughan, Dylan Duffy, Jovon Makama.
Goals: Shodipo (28’), House (48’).
Attendance: 16,298 (381 away).
Referee: Tom Nield.