With Colin Larkin absent due to a family bereavement, manager David Holdsworth was forced to change things around in attack for this Blue Square Bet Premier game against Tamworth at the Lamb Ground.
Holdsworth opted for Peter Bore as a partner for Vadaine Oliver with recent loan signing David Morgan handed a full debut on the right. A second change from the side that started against Hyde saw Jake Sheridan move across to the left with Nicky Nicolau dropping to the bench.
City, in all blue, kicked off but within the opening minute they found themselves a goal down when a through ball from Shaun Jeffers set Lloyd Kerry free and he neatly finished past Paul Farman for a 43 second advantage.
The Imps' response came within a couple of minutes when Jake Sheridan drilled over after the home defence failed to deal with a long Dan Gray throw-in whilst shortly afterwards another Gray throw ended with Bore having an effort blocked for a corner with the ball seemed destined for the back of the net. The resultant flag-kick came to nothing.
A slip at the back from John Dempster following a Scott Barrow throw-in then gave Oliver a sight of goal only for the striker to drill over when he could have taken the ball on and into a better position. Shortly afterwards David Morgan saw his low effort from a Bore cross hurriedly hacked away as the Imps pushed forward again.
City continued to dominate with another corner coming their way in the 17th minute which was headed with by Oliver whilst a rare Tamworth attack saw Tommy Wright drill a low shot well wide.
Five minuttes later a challenge by Morgan on Barrow was deemed worthy of a caution by referee Michael Bull despite the ball going out of play for a City throw-in. Drama then followed as skippers Gary Mills and Richard Tait clashed following an off-the-ball incident.
With both players going nose-to-nose in the Tamworth half referee Bull eventually spotted the incident with the ball at the opposite end of the field. Once he was on the scene he decided that that the incident was severe enough to hand both players a red card. Mills was the first to be dismissed before Tait followed him; the latter sprinting towards the changing rooms before being followed by representatives from the home dug-out as tempers threatened to boil over.
Despite things calming down a bit a late challenge on Sheridan earned George Baldock a 35th minute caution as the Imps continued to dominate, although a half-chance for the hosts forced Farman into action before Mamadou Fofana cleared his lines.
Shortly after the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of four minutes were to be added on, Sheridan curled a 25-yard effort inches wide for the last action of the opening period.
HT: Tamworth 1 Imps 0
The hosts restarted proceedings with neither side making any changes during the interval but City were quickly out of the traps with a Sheridan effort being deflected behind for a corner which ended up seeing taker Morgan test Breeden with a curling effort from 20 yards after the ball came back to the midfielder via Gray.
City kept pushing forward in search of a leveller with Tom Marshall being cautioned for dissent as his frustrations after he was penalised for a block on Sheridan were too much for Mr Bull's liking. The free-kick led to an unproductive Imps' corner.
As the Imps prepared to take another flag-kick, Adam Smith and Jamie Taylor came on for Jake Sheridan and Peter Bore and Taylor was quickly in the action, making it 6-0 on the corner count
Connor Gudger for Shaun Jeffers was Tamworth's first switch shortly after the hour mark whilst a couple of minutes later the Imps had Farman to thank as he palmed away an Adam Cunnington effort from a rare home attack.
City easily dealt with Tamworth's first corner and as the game entered its final quarter a tactical switch saw striker Conner Robinson come on for defender Graham Hutchison; the switch seeing John Nutter move inside in a back three.
A late challenge on Morgan earned Barrow a 71st minute booking whilst a couple of minutes later a home change saw Charlie Collins come on for Tommy Wright. It was still all City though but that elusive equaliser continued to elude the men in blue.
City had a let-off as the game approached its final 10 minutes when, after Jorden Ivey-Ward had come on for Barrow, a header came in from from the substitute following a corner only for the ball to bounce off the post before Farman was able to gather after Nutter cleared of the line.
That elusive killer ball continued to elude the Imps though as the game wore on and any hope of an attack in the 88th minute was curtailed when a blatant trip on Boyce by Cunnington robbed the City defender of a run forward. The Tamworth man picked up a deserved yellow card.
Four minutes of added time was indicated and these passed without incident with the hosts happy to see time out to earn themselves the maximum points.
FT: Tamworth 1 Imps 0
City: Paul Farman, Dan Gray, Andrew Boyce, Graham Hutchison, John Nutter, Gary Mills, Mamadou Fofana, David Morgan, Jake Sheridan, Peter Bore, Vadaine Oliver.
subs: Adam Smith (for Sheridan 57), Jamie Taylor (for Bore 57)s, Tom Miller, Conner Robinson, Jake Turner.
bookings: Morgan (23)
sent off: Mills (27)
Tamworth: Tony Breeden, Richard Tait, George Baldock, Tom Marshall, Adam Cunnington, Tommy Wright, Lloyd Kerry, Shaun Jeffers, Peter Till, Scott Barrow, John Dempster.
subs: Jorden Ivey-Ward (for Barrow 78), Lee Hendrie, Connor Gudger (for Jeffers 61), Charlie Collins (for Wright 73), Dale Belford.
goals: Kerry (1)
bookings: Baldock (35), Marshall (55), Barrow (71), Cunnington (88)
sent off: Tait (27)
Referee: Michael Bull
Assistants: Sam Purkiss & Jason Richardson
Fourth Official: Mark Hutchinson
Attendance: 1,042 (263 City supporters)