New loan signings Thierry Audel and Charlee Adams both came in for their debuts for this Skrill Premier game against FC Halifax Town at Gelder Group Sincil Bank Stadium with Luke Foster and Mo Fofana the men dropping out.
Halifax kicked off on a sunny, yet chilly, afternoon and they were quick to push forward, winning two corners in the opening minute but when the Imps dealt with the second, a swift break forward saw Conner Robinson press his marker who conceded a corner at the other end.
Although this set-piece was cleared, the resultant throw-in came up with the goods as Tom Miller's delivery was flicked on by Todd Jordan and there to fire home at the back post was BEN TOMLINSON whose volley at full stretch beat Matt Glennon before nestling in the corner of the net.
With a strong breeze at City's backs, an encouraging start to the game continued and in the 11th minute the lead was doubled when, after latching on to a forward ball, TOMLINSON lobbed high over the advancing Glennon with the ball bouncing just under the bar before going over the line.
Six minutes later Conner Robinson cut in from the left and was inches away from making it 3-0 with his right-footed effort deflecting just wide. The resultant corner was headed wide by Todd Jordan.
Town stopper Glennon was then at full stretch to tip behind a Robinson effort and Delano Sam-Yorke drilled a low effort wide as the Imps pushed forward in numbers again in a very positive first quarter of a game.
A rare Halifax attack saw ex-Imp Adam Smith square for Craig Clay who was denied by a superb Paul Farman save after the City 'keeper came off his line quickly to block. Smith was then booked for diving after going down acrobatically in box under Brown challenge.
City continued to look lively going forward with Tomlinson stabbin over a Newton cross five minutes before the break whilst shortly afterwards, Sam-Yorke sprinted forward and when his cross to Robinson was intercepted, the ball ran to Tomlinson who fired against the post.
The half ended after two additional minutes.
HT: IMPS 2 HALIFAX 0
Whilst City emerged unchanged for the start of the second half, Halifax made a switch with Reece Gray coming on for Craig Clay.
The Imps were quickly out of the traps with Sam-Yorke firing over following a Newton corner before Matt Pearson was booked for a foul on Adams and it wasn't long before there was an addition to the scoring but unfortunately in came via the boot of Halifax debutant Ryan Crowther, whose free-kick from the left flank caught pace in the wind before sailing straight into the top corner.
City's heads didn't drop though and within two minutes the two-goal lead was restored when TOMLINSON was set free by Sam-Yorke and he clinically completed his hat-trick with a neat dink over the advancing Glennon.
Jordan fired over from the next break forward and on the hour mark Robinson curled inches wide from just inside the box. Tomlinson was then booked for going to ground under a challenge in the box.
A trip on Smith then earned Adams a ticking off, with the Birmingham teenager quick to point out to referee Barratt that he didn't touch the Halifax man. City then had an escape when Lee Gregory hit the post from inches out having escaped the offside flag.
At the other end Tomlinson fired straight at team mate Robinson after a clever back-heel from Sam-Yorke. Marlon Jackson then replaced for Adam Smith for Town.
In the 73rd minute Mitch Austin for Conner Robinson was the Imps' first change whilst a couple of minutes later Crowther fired over after a loose ball fell to him. Gray was booked for dissent before Farman took the goal-kick.
Halifax were having a spell of pressure as the game entered its final 10 minutes with Brown booked for a tussle with Gray before Jake Sheridan replaced three-goal Tomlinson.
Skipper Power came close to making it 4-1 shortly afterwards when he dragged an effort wide following a Sam-Yorke cross.
The action continued in the closing stages of four additional minutes when, after Farman superbly tipped over a Roberts header, the resultant corner brought about an almighty scramble in the City six-yard box with at least three efforts cleared off the line before the Imps broke forward.
FT: IMPS 3 HALIFAX 1