Two rare goals from Alex Woodyard propelled Lincoln to a 4-1 win over Reggie Lambe and his 10-man Carlisle United teammates.
Midfielder Woodyard, who scored just one goal for the club last season, fired Danny Cowley's side in front in the 31st minute with a sublime curling effort.
Carlisle looked more threatening at the start of the second half, but it was Woodyard who scored the crucial second goal for the Imps in the 62nd minute. The former Braintree man slotted home after exchanging passes with Matt Rhead.
It was Rhead who scored Lincoln's third goal from the spot in the 67th minute. Strike partner Matt Green won the penalty after being hauled down by Tom Parkes, who was sent off after receiving his second booking.
Lambe pulled a goal back for Carlisle United in the 75th minute but substitute Billy Knott restored City's three-goal lead in the 87th minute.