Anthony Scully-inspired Lincoln City end Cambridge United’s unbeaten home run in League One
Cambridge United's unbeaten form at the Abbey Stadium this season came to an end with a 5-1 defeat to an Anthony Scully-inspired Lincoln City in Sky Bet League One.
It was a first half to forget for the U's.
They made the worst possible start to the game, going a goal down inside the first 24 seconds.
Tom Hopper had a chance in the area, which United keeper Dimi Mitov got down low to palm out, but former Comberton Village College pupil Scully picked up possession to square for Hakeeb Adelakun to drive into the net.
United rallied though, and got on the front foot.
Wes Hoolahan drove forward to fire wide at the edge of the area, Joe Ironside shot off target at the edge of the box, and then hit wide at the front post under pressure from Lewis Montsma.
There was an end-to-end feel about the game as Adelakun burst into the area and shot wide at the near post, and then Hopper guided Jamie Robson's cross the wrong side of the upright.
Lincoln did have a second goal in the 16th minute, they moved play from right to left and Scully teed up Conor McGrandles in the box, who curled a shot into the bottom.
It was 3-0 in the 24th minute.
Liam Bridcutt switched play for Scully to break the U's offside trap, cut inside and then curl high into the top corner.
Lincoln were being afforded far too much time on the ball to pick their pass, and were making too many gains out wide.
Scully hit a 25-yard free kick against the post, Teddy Bishop then fired a 25-yard effort just wide and Adelakun had a shot from distance pushed out by Mitov.
It meant that the second half presented a very different challenge for United.
They started brightly, but could have gone behind in the 53rd minute when Scully played through Adelakun, who was thwarted by Mitov.
United went straight up the other end, and a deep pass to the back post by Shilow Tracey was met first time on the volley by Sam Smith, who forced Lincoln keeper Josh Griffiths into a smart stop low down.
But the frenetic nature meant Lincoln went straight down the other end, and Scully laid a pass across for Lewis Fiorini who took a touch about 20 yards out and picked out the top corner with a brilliant shot.
United could quite easily have gone into their shells, but the reverse happened.
They got on the attack and Wes Hoolahan rolled a pass back across the six-yard box for the onrushing Ironside to smash home from close range.
Centre-back Lloyd Jones strode forward and unleashed a vicious effort from 30 yards which Griffiths had to tip over the bar.
United were certainly enjoying the greater share of territory, but Lincoln were lethal on the counter attack.
Tracey had fired across goal from inside the area, and it led to the Imps going straight down the other end to get a fifth.
Adelakun played through Scully to break the offside trap, and he burst into the area, cut inside onto his right foot and curled into the top corner.
In a match of many chances, the final opportunity of note came in stoppage time for United, with Jensen Weir's inswinging corner hitting the top of the bar.
It was certainly a learning curve for the U's agaisnt a Lincoln City side who were breathtaking on the counter-attack.
Cambridge United: Mitov, Williams, Jones, Masterson, Iredale, Tracey, Digby, O'Neil, Hoolahan, Smith, Ironside.
Substitutes: Lankester (Tracey, 73), Weir (Digby, 73), Knibbs (Hoolahan, 79). Not used: Brophy, Dunk, McKenzie-Lyle, Okedina.
Lincoln City: Griffiths, Poole, Montsma, Hopper, Scully, Bishop, Adelakun, McGrandles, Eyoma, Bridcutt, Robson.
Substitutes: Fiorini (Bishop, 53), Maguire (Hopper, 75). Not used: Jackson, Bramall, Nlundulu, Sorensen, Long.
Referee: Sam Purkiss.
Bookings: Cambridge United - Williams (foul, 36).
Attendance: 5,883 (away 1,124).