There were two changes to the City starting line-up for this Vanarama National League game at Barrow with Kegan Everington and Conner Robinson coming in for Craig Stanley and Jack Muldoon respectively. Jon Nolan, meanwhile, returned to the bench at the expense of Alan Power.
City kicked off and were quickly out of the traps with Matt Rhead firing just wide in the opening minute following good work by Robinson on the right. Barrow's first attack saw Andy Haworth win a corner off Everington but when the ball was played in referee Ryan Johnson spotted a push and awarded the Imps a free-kick.
The Imps defended two more Barrow corners before Andy Cook headed a Haworth cross wide whilst Haworth should have done better shortly afterwards when he fired wide with only Paul Farman to beat after he was set up by Dan Pilkington.
A quiet spell ensued before Farman pulled off a superb 20th minute save to deny Niall Cowperthwaite; the midfielder having exchanged a couple of passes whilst going on a surging run forward down the middle before drilling goalwards.
On the half-hour mark Joel Dixon did well to claim a long Bush throw in a packed box and shortly afterwards a long clearance from the home stopper found Andy Cook who sliced a first time effort well wide from the edge of the box.
Another long ball forward by Dixon led to another Barrow corner and when this was headed away by Bradley Wood, Paddy Lacey let fly from 25 yards but Farman pulled off a fine save to palm the ball over his bar.
City's response saw Everington curl an effort from 25 yards which Dixon tipped over at full stretch. Nothing came from the resultant corner but the Imps kept up the pressure with a late sliding challenge on Simmons seeing Lacey pick up a deserved yellow card. Chris Bush let fly from the free-kick only to see his effort clip the wall before deflecting behind for a corner.
Two minutes before the break Lee Beevers was harshly cautioned for a foul on Jason Walker and in the second of two additional minutes Wood got in a great block to keep out a header from a corner before Cook nodded the second flag-kick well over.
HT: BARROW 0 IMPS 0
The two teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and it was the hosts who had the first half-chance but Cook was unable to latch on to a missed Farman punch and Wood was able to clear.
Five minutes after the restart the home fans were up in celebration as Walker netted from a Haworth cross but the offside flag was up and the cheers silenced. At the other end Matt Sparrow drilled in a low effort which Dixon got down well to save, although a pass through to Rhead who was in space on the right was probably the better option.
In the 55th minute Simmons warmed Dixon's hands with a rasping drive from just inside the box but within the space of 60 seconds play switched to the other end and when Walker slotted a ball through to Cook, the striker slotted neatly past the advancing Farman to open the scoring.
Before play resumed Jack Muldoon replaced Conner Robinson and he was quickly in the action, winning a corner after an Everington effort was charged down. Bush then headed a Sparrow cross over the bar as the Imps looked for a quick response.
At the other end Cook blazed over after he was picked out by Ashton whilst the Imps' reply saw a deflected Wood cross lead to a corner before Rhead headed a Hawkridge cross wide of the target.
A superb point-blank save by Farman saw him keep out a Cook header in the 64th minute and four minutes later during a delay for treatment to Steve Williams, Craig Stanley replaced Kegan Everington in midfield for the Imps. Simon Grand eventually came on for Williams who hobbled off.
In the 71st minute Wood was booked for going to ground in the box; more a case of him avoiding a stray leg rather than a dive but referee Johnson deemed otherwise. Dixon then claimed a Rhead header after the striker met a deep Hawkridge cross at the back post.
As the game entered its final quarter hour Farman was at full stretch to palm a Haworth effort behind whilst at the other end a Hawkridge free-kick caused problems for the Barrow defence before Dixon held Rhead's header.
Elliot Newby for Dan Pilkington was Barrow's second switch and a minute later Dixon appeared to carry the ball out of his box but Muldoon's appeals fell on deaf ears. A further spell of City pressure forced a corner but when the ball was cleared, Haworth advanced before firing well over.
An end-to-end finish continued with a Hawkridge drive from the edge of box going agonisingly wide of the left hand upright before Beevers cleared off the line after Haworth beat Farman with an angled drive.
Ex-Imp Mo Fofana replaced Andy Haworth for Barrow for the final two minutes and just before the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of five minutes were to be added on, home skipper Danny Livesey was booked for a hard challenge on Simmons.
The last action of the game saw Waterfall head a Hawkridge free-kick on the roof of the net as Farman came up in support.
FT: BARROW 1 IMPS 0
6 Simon GRAND (for S WILLIAMS 69)
16 Mo FOFANA (for HAWORTH 88)
20 Elliot NEWBY (for PILKINGTON 79)
27 Sam COSGROVE
1 Aaran TAYLOR
GOAL: COOK (56)
BOOKINGS: LACEY (39), LIVESEY (90)