With an appeal over Tony Diagne's red card against Braintree Town on Saturday being successful, manager Gary Simpson was able to name an unchanged line-up for this Vanarama Conference game against an FC Halifax Town side who went into the match top of the pile. There was a change on the bench, however, with Karl Ledsham replacing Kegan Everington.
Heavy drizzle greeted the two teams as they were led out of the tunnel by referee Ross Joyce and once the pre-match formalities were done and dusted play got underway with the hosts getting the game underway.
City were the first to press with a long punt forward from Nick Townsend seeing Jordan Burrow hold the ball up well before feeding Sean Newton whose cross to Hamza Bencherif took a deflection before looping into Matt Glennon's gloves.
In the eighth minute a sweeping City attack ended with the home side scrambling clear after Bencherif muscled his way forward before squaring towards Ben Tomlinson.
The Imps kept up the pressure though and a couple of minutes later had a great stroke of luck which saw them take the lead; a ball forward saw BENCHERIF close down his marker and when the clearance crashed against the City man the ball looped over Glennon and into the back of the net.
Shortly after the restart Tomlinson was booked for a crunching challenge near half-way line and from the resultant free-kick Townsend tipped over a Steve Williams header.
City pushed forward in response with some neat build-up play almost opening up the home defence whilst at the other end Townsend kept the Shaymen at bay with a save through a crowded box before the offside flag was raised.
As the half approached its midway point, a long throw in to the City box saw Halifax come close but fortunately the outstretched legs didn't connect with a goal kick being the outcome.
The home side drew level shortly before the half-hour mark when centre-back Mark Roberts prodded home from close range after a goalmouth scramble, which came about after he saw his header from a free-kick crash against the crossbar.
Bencherif was booked in the 35th minute, presumably for dissent after no doubt questioning the referee's decision not to punish Adam Smith for an earlier dive in the Imps' box.
Halifax's goal had certainly brought them to life with ex-Imp Smith seeing plenty of the ball on the flank but the next half-chance came at the other end when a Smith corner was cleared only for the counter-attack to end with Tomlinson firing wide.
An outstretched leg denied Bencherif of a sight of goal from the Imps' next attack before Diagne tried his luck from range; his effort flying well over though.
In the dying stages of three additional minutes of play, Diagne was in the action again as when a cross from the right crashed against him, the assistant referee raised his flag indicating hand ball. Scott Boden duly did the honours from the spot, drilling low past Townsend's fingertips.
HT: HALIFAX 2 IMPS 1
Both sides emerged unchanged for the start of the second half so it was as you were as the Imps restarted proceedings.
The first action of the second half saw Townsend spread himself to deny Boden who found himself one-on-one with the City keeper following a long punt down the middle.
Play quickly switched to the other end and after Tomlinson sprinted forward after being released by Nolan, he was crudely upended by James Bolton with referee Ross Joyce quick to award a penalty. Bolton was booked before TOMLINSON blasted home from the spot.
City attacked again straight from the restart with Newton picking out Burrow who saw his clipped effort crash against the crossbar. Shortly afterwards Danny Schofield replaced Smith for the hosts.
Burrow headed a Caprice cross inches wide from the Imps' next attack before a jinking run by skipper Alan Power saw him ride the challenges before seeing his ball into the six yard box deflect off Bencherif for a goal-kick.
The Imps kept pushing forward with a 62nd minute snap-shot from Tomlinson beig superbly kept out by Glennon at full stretch but they were handed a blow three minutes later when Bencherif was sent off for a second bookable offence. The Town man he challenged in the centre circle appeared to slip on the greasy turf rather than by the force of the challenge with the decision harsh to say the least.
Town quickly made a second switch with Paul Marshall being replaced by Jamie Jackson who immediately upended Caprice on the right. Five minutes later Mendy was booked for foul close to the Halifax left flank. The resultant free-kick led to a corner and when this wasn't claimed by Townsend, Steve Williams was on hand to net from close range.
City's heads didn't drop though with a deflected Power effort leading to a corner. Before this was taken he was replaced by Marcus Marshall with Karl Ledsham replacing Jon Nolan at the same time. When it was taken the ball hit a Halifax man before bouncing off the foot of the post.
With six minutes on the clock Sahr Kabba replaces Burrow for his City debut and a minute later Diagne was booked for dissent after Bolton, already on a yellow, went in late on Tomlinson.
Shortly afterwards Kabba went down in the box but nothing was given whilst at the other end Jackson was denied by a fine Townsend save.
A minimum of four additional minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official and in the first of these Tomlinson fizzed a low effort inches past the post. At the other end Newton was booked for a foul on Peniket.
This gave the hosts the chance to eat up some seconds before play ended following a succession of throw-ins to the home side.
FT: HALIFAX 3 IMPS 2
7 Sahr KABBA (for BURROW 84)
10 Karl LEDSHAM (for NOLAN 77)
16 Conner ROBINSON
22 Marcus MARSHALL (for POWER 77)
1 Paul FARMAN
GOALS: BENCHERIF (10), TOMLINSON (50 pen)
BOOKINGS: TOMLINSON (12), BENCHERIF (35), MENDY (74), DIAGNE (85), NEWTON (90+3)
SENDING OFF: BENCHERIF (65)