TARIQE Fosu hit a hat-trick as Oxford United recorded their record away victory in the Football League to leave Lincoln City stunned.

Jamie Mackie, James Henry and Matty Taylor also found the net on a perfect afternoon for Karl Robinson’s men.

It was the sort of joyous away day seen under Michael Appleton’s leadership, but he will have had a nightmare watching on from the stands a day after taking over at Sincil Bank.

Fosu’s clinical double put United in the box seats by half-time.

But what followed after the break was extraordinary.

Mackie’s improvised finish and Henry’s thumping volley quickly made the points safe and knocked the remaining resistance out of Lincoln.

Also read: Record Oxford United win 'just another good performance' says boss Karl Robinson

Fosu ensured he would be taking home the matchball with an unstoppable 30-yard strike which rubbed salt into the wounds, before substitute Taylor snaffled a sixth goal late on.

It completed a decent week for United, who have picked up seven points to move up into the top half of Sky Bet League One.

The teamsheet showed just one switch to the XI from Tuesday’s goalless draw at Bolton Wanderers, Mackie replacing Taylor.

There was also a change of shape, with Alex Gorrin sitting deep to man-mark the dangerous Jack Payne.

Appleton quietly took his seat in the directors’ box, only to see his old side score against his new one with their first shot of the game.

United had laboured in attacking areas in midweek, but in the fifth minute Fosu exchanged passes with Mackie and from 20 yards he drove a low left-footed shot which beat Josh Vickers diving to his left.

Lincoln threatened an equaliser within seconds, Bruno Andrade firing inches wide of the far post, just out of Harry Anderson’s reach.

It was a rare moment of defensive danger before the break for the visitors, who otherwise looked very solid.

Gorrin did a sterling job cutting off the supply line to Payne and keeping it simple when he got the ball.

It helped the U’s establish a dominance of the ball which they never managed against Bolton, much to the home fans’ displeasure.

Also read: Lincoln C v Oxford Utd - as it happened

Time and again Robinson’s men moved the ball well to engineer a crossing chance for Chris Cadden, but City’s centre back pairing of Cian Bolger and Jason Shackell rarely looked troubled.

The visitors had more luck in central areas. Vickers saved a dipping effort from Cameron Brannagan when a corner was taken short, while Ben Woodburn’s 20-yard effort fizzed just wide midway through the half.

United were compact out of possession and just as thoughts began to turn to half-time, they sprung forward to double the lead.

Mackie dropped deep, allowing space for Fosu to burst forward. Woodburn spotted the run with a high-quality pass which beat the defender and lured out Vickers, who was caught in no man’s land as the U’s winger rounded him and slotted into the net.

It meant the 23-year-old had scored as many goals in 45 minutes as he managed in the whole of last season.

At the other end Simon Eastwood, wearing a converted training top due to a kit clash, made his first save of the afternoon late in the half to parry Anderson’s piledriver round his near post.

John Akinde and Jorge Grant came on at half-time as Lincoln went to Plan B, but with nine minutes of the restart their challenge was in tatters.

Mackie made it 3-0 when he ran on to Brannagan’s pass, cut inside Bolger and ended up scooping a shot which beat Vickers and snuck inside the far post.

It came in front of a jubilant away end, who were quickly celebrating again in the Lincolnshire sunshine.

Woodburn had a shot blocked, but the ball rebounded perfectly for Henry to smash a volley in at the near post.

It killed the game off, allowing United to rest Henry and Mackie with one eye on West Ham in the Carabao Cup next week.

There was still time for the afternoon to go from very good to extraordinary.

With 20 minutes remaining Fosu found a pocket of space and with no obvious pass on he tried his luck from fully 30 yards with a shot which swerved into the top corner.

Taylor opened his account for United with a close-range header late on from Cadden's cross to ensure a superb afternoon became a record-breaking one.

Lincoln C (4-2-3-1): Vickers, Eardley, Bolger, Shackell, Toffolo, Morrell, Connolly, Anderson (Akinde HT), Payne (Grant HT), Andrade, Walker.

Unused subs: Smith, O’Connor, Chapman, Lewis, Melbourne.

Booked: Andrade, Eardley.

Oxford Utd (4-1-4-1): Eastwood, Cadden, Dickie, Mousinho, Ruffels, Gorrin, Henry (Forde 56), Brannagan, Woodburn, Fosu (Thorne 75), Mackie (Taylor 69).

Unused subs: Stevens, Long, Hall, Baptiste.

Booked: Ruffels, Dickie, Mackie, Taylor.

Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria).

Attendance: 8,746 (668 visitors).