City are into the Fifth Round of The Emirates FA Cup!Sam Habergham returned to the City team as Imps' boss Danny Cowley named the same starting line-up for this Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion that began the Third Round Replay win over Ipswich Town.
The atmosphere was electric as referee Andy Madley led the two teams out of the tunnel and the noise was deafening as play got underway with the Seagulls kicking off.
Brighton were the first to press with Paul Farman forced to palm away a Glenn Murray header before Habergham cleared for a throw-in whilst at the other end in the fifth minute skipper Luke Waterfall was close to connecting with a Matt Rhead knock on after Alan Power floated in a cross from the left.
In the seventh minute the first corner was won by Terry Hawkridge with the visitors hurriedly clearing their lines and as the Imps kept the ball in the attacking third a swift attack ended with Theo Robinson netting but the offside flag ruled out his effort.
City kept up the pressure with a Bradley Wood cross being intercepted by keeper Niki Maenpaa as Rhead prepared to pounce whilst at the other end Solly March made the most of a lucky break in midfield before seeing his 30-yard thunderbolt crash against the Imps' crossbar.
The Imps responded with a another corner causing problems but in the 24th minute a punt down the middle from Connor Goldson was flicked on by Murray and there was Richie Towell to fire the Seagulls into an undeserved lead.
Shortly after the restart Steve Sidwell was spoken to following a late challenge on Power before good play from City down the right ended with Hawkridge forcing a another corner. When this was half-cleared, Nathan Arnold curled in a beauty but saw Maenpaa pull off a superb save to tip the ball behind
A 35th minute trip on Jiri Skalak saw Power pick up the game's first yellow card and two minutes later Robinson was crudely hacked down by Fikayo Tomori who deservedly joined Power in the book.
The yellow cards continued with Wood penalised for a 41st minute trip on Murray and the half ended after almost three added minutes, during which Rhead was flattened following a challenge from behind but referee Madley awarded a free-kick to Brighton, much to the annoyance of the 8,000 plus home fans inside the stadium.
HT: IMPS 0 BRIGHTON 1
There were no changes in personnel as the Imps restarted proceedings and it was a fast paced opening to the second period as City looked to get back on level terms as soon as possible.
Eight minutes in, the Imps were awarded a penalty when Robinson was dragged to the deck as he went for a ball amongst a clutch of players. Referee Madley was up with play and was quick to point to the spot, booking Murray in the process although there was a significant delay before it could be taken as keeper Maenpaa needed attention after falling awkwardly.
Two minutes later Casper Ankergren came on as Maenpaa's replacement and his first touch saw him pick the ball out of the back of the net as ALAN POWER showed nerves of steel to slot home from 12 yards.
Sincil Bank erupted and it wasn't long before the decibels were increased as, just five minutes later Arnold whipped in a peach of a cross from the right and watched on as visiting defender FIKAYO TOMORI hammered the ball into his own net to put the Imps in front.
Rhead was inches away from connecting with a Hawkridge cross shortly afterwards and in a bid to get back into the game Seagulls' boss Chris Hughton brought on Tomer Hemed and Jamie Murphy for Richie Towell and Jiri Skalak.
After things quietened down a bit on the pitch a great block from Waterfall saw him divert a 77th minute Murray shot out for a corner which ended up with the City skipper forcing an error which led to a goal-kick.
Farman then held a bouncing March volley before City managed to get the ball at the other end with a couple of throw-ins eating up some valuable seconds.
Then, with five minutes on the clock, a slip in the Brighton defence let in Rhead who fed THEO ROBINSON who sloted neatly past Ankergren to make it 3-1.
Jack Muldoon for Theo Robinson and Sean Long for Matt Rhead were the first two City changes before Farman pulled off a superb save to deny Hemed. In the final minute there was a yellow card for Norwood following a foul on Muldoon before the Fourth Official indicated a minimum of eight minutes.
In the third of the added minutes Arnold pulled the trigger but his effort was blocked and the ball went out for a throw-in. The clock ticked on with Jamie McCombe coming on for Alan Power but it wasn't long before Sincil Bank rose as one to salute the history-making Imps of 2016/17.
FT: IMPS 3 BRIGHTON 1
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
25 Sean RAGGETT
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
31 Theo ROBINSON
7 Jack MULDOON (for ROBINSON 87)
10 Adam MARRIOTT
12 Sean LONG (for RHEAD 88)
14 Taylor MILES
27 Jamie McCOMBE (for POWER 90+8)
35 Archie MOYSES
23 Jimmy WALKER
BOOKINGS: POWER (35), WOOD (41)
GOALS: POWER (57 pen), TOMORI (62 og), ROBINSON (85)
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
1 Niki MAENPAA
4 Uwe HUENEMEIER
8 Jiri SKALAK
14 Steve SIDWELL
17 Glenn MURRAY
18 Connor GOLDSON
20 Solly MARCH
21 Oliver NORWOOD
27 Fikayo TOMORI
29 Richie TOWELL
44 Sam ADEKUGBE
5 Lewis DUNK
7 Beram KAYAL
10 Tomer HEMED (for TOWELL 68)
15 Jamie MURPHY (for SKALAK 68)
24 Rohan INCE
43 Benjamin WHITE
16 Casper ANKERGREN (for MAENPAA 56)
GOAL: TOWELL (24)
BOOKINGS: TOMORI (37), MURRAY (54), NORWOOD (90)
REFEREE: Andy Madley
ASSISTANTS: James Wilson & Philip Dermott
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Mark Brown
ATTENDANCE: 9,469 (1,391 visiting supporters)