Lyth scored his runs from 168 deliveries, with 14 boundaries but squandered the opportunity of a third first-class ton of the campaign by pushing at a widish delivery from Luke Fletcher to become the first of five catches taken by wicketkeeper Chris Read.
As well as Lyth, Adil Rashid made 78 while Fletcher was the stand-out bowler on display, claiming 5-66, only the second five-wicket haul of his career.
The championship leaders, asked to bat first by home skipper Read, got off to a fast start in putting 80 on the board inside the first sixteen overs.
By then they had lost Alex Lees, who had fallen cheaply to Harry Gurney and Phil Jaques, who had become Fletcher’s first victim, for 19.
Fletcher, the strapping 24-year old, brought his side back into the contest soon after lunch with wickets from consecutive deliveries as Andrew Gale, who made 272 when the sides met at Scarborough earlier in the season, edged behind for 33, and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, on debut, fended a ball straight to Samit Patel at third slip.
Rashid joined Lyth and dominated the scoring, in a third-wicket stand of 65, as he advanced to his own 50 from 109 deliveries.
The returning Fletcher ended Lyth’s stay, with Read taking his third catch of the innings and then Rashid fell to the second new ball, given out lbw to a ball that pegged him back deep into his crease.
The popular Fletcher could give no more - unable to complete his 25th over as he limped off, seemingly with cramp.
Jonny Bairstow, omitted from the England Test squad earlier in the day, hurried up from The Oval and arrived at the ground at around 2.20pm but he was not required to bat for a further three hours, sufficient time for his kit to be brought down by family members from Headingley.
Liam Plunkett made an attractive 41 before falling to Gurney, to another catch by the Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper, whose fourth catch of the innings took him past Bruce French’s tally of 737 for the county - and another edged catch soon afterwards, off Sidebottom, took him to within six of Nottinghamshire’s all-time record-holder Thomas Oates.
Bairstow ended the day on 24 with his side in sight of a fourth batting bonus point.