Full-back Rachel Daly scored twice as Lincoln began the second half of the Women's Super League season with a 3-2 win at Bristol.
Grace McCatty's third-minute own goal put the hosts behind before Daly doubled the lead from close range.
McCatty made amends by scoring at the right end to pull one back for Bristol, but a second predatory finish from Daly all but sealed the result for the Imps.
Corrine Yorston converted a penalty late on but it was too little too late.
After scoring only twice in seven games before the 10-week World Cup break, Lincoln at last found their shooting boots to hand Bristol their first WSL home defeat of the campaign.
A crowd of 373 watched a game dominated in the early stages by Lincoln but, in rainy conditions, Academy fought back in the final half-hour.
The home side went behind as full-back McCatty turned a Jodie Handley shot past her own keeper Siobhan Chamberlain.
Daly converted Lucy Staniforth's 14th-minute corner to extend Bristol's lead.
McCatty made up for her earlier own-goal four minutes into the second half, cleverly lobbing goalkeeper Nicola Hobbs to give the home side hope.
But four minutes later Daly, with another shot from close in, restored Lincoln's two-goal cushion.
Academy worked hard in an attempt to force their way back into contention, but a last minute penalty scored by captain Yorston was no more than consolation.
Victory took Lincoln above Bristol to fourth in the table but, with three further WSL games to come over the weekend, the Imps may slide back a place or two.