Loanees Delano Sam-Yorke and Mitch Austin both returned to the starting line-up as did skipper Alan Power for this Skrill Premier game against Macclesfield Town at a wet Moss Rose.
The hosts kicked off and were quickly on the offensive with the overlapping Danny Andrew having a cross palmed behind by Paul Farman for a corner 90 seconds in; the City stopper punched the delivery clear though to ease the pressure.
Town forced the next attempt at goal with a Peter Winn header skidding a foot wide before Jack Macreth won another corner which was again cleared by Farman who commanded his area well.
After City's first free-kick into the box came to nothing, Macclesfield broke quickly with Winn firing well over. Winn was then upended by the back-tracking Bohan Dixon but Power cleared the free-kick at the near post.
The Silkmen kept up the pressure with Andrew having a long-range drive deflect behind for another corner whilst chances at the other end remained at a premium as the game ticked into its second quarter.
In the 27th minute pressure from Sam-Yorke forced an error in the home defence and a first City corner of the evening and when Power's delivery was flicked behind, the follow-up flag-kick ended with Austin firing in a powerful effort which was tipped behind by Taylor. This corner, and another, also came to nothing.
City kept up the pressure with a wind-assisted Newton crashing a 40-yard free-kick against the top of the crossbar whilst a couple of minutes later Sam-Yorke won a fifth corner which sailed straight out of play.
Seven minutes before the break a strong challenge by Jon Nolan on Mackreth brought the home crowd to their feet. A yellow card to the City midfielder was the outcome before the Imps dealt with the free-kick.
Town's first real shot on target came via the boot of Danny Whitaker but Farman did well to tip behind. City's response was immediate as, as the half approached its finl minute, BEN TOMLINSON unleashed a thunderbolt from 25 yards after a Power drive was closed down. Home stopper Taylor was left clutching thin air as Tomlinson's effort flew past him and into the back of the net.
HT: MACCLESFIELD 0 IMPS 1
Danny Rowe replaced Bohan Dixon prior to the start of the second half and with rain sheeting down City cleared a deflected Whitaker effort as the hosts looked for an early leveller following the restart.
A questionable hand-ball decision against Tomlinson gave Town the chance to whip in a free-kick but the heads stayed firm and the danger was dealt with before Sam-Yorke gained possession before winning a throw-in.
A scrappy start to the second period continued with the heavy rain making it difficult for both sides but the crowd were woken up on the hour mark when Scott Boden latched on to a loose ball after the Imps' defence failed to clear a ball towards the edge of the box before curling past Farman for the leveller.
City looked for a quick response with Sam-Yorke getting the better of his marker before dragging a low effort across the six-yard box. The big striker then came close to beating Taylor to a ball down the middle but the home 'keeper cleared after sprinting off his line.
Town forced their seventh corner of the game in the 70th minute and 60 seconds later number eight came and went after Farman tipped behind a low effort from ex-Imp Paul Turnbull.
Farman then denied Boden after initially slipping whilst trying to clear his lines before the Silkmen made their first switch with Chris Holroyd replacing Danny Whitaker. A minute later Andrew fizzed a free-kick wide after Miller was booked for a foul on Williams.
Holroyd was quickly in the action following his introduction and when he gained possession he fed Mackreth on the right of the box and he duly took a touch before firing across Farman to edge his side in front for the first time.
Two minutes later Holroyd made it 3-1 with a fine solo effort; the substitute advancing forward before drilling into the top corner of Farman's net from 20 yards.
City's response saw Austin win a corner on the left but this was headed well wide by Brown at full-stretch. Austin was then replaced by Conner Robinson with four minutes on the clock whilst Dan Gray for Jon Nolan was the final switch shortly afterwards.
Macclesfield's two-goal salvo had certainly seen them take the sting out of the game and were keen to see the clock tick down before the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of three minutes were to be added on.
The only incidents of note during the extra stages saw Sam-Yorke fire wide after latching on to a Power through ball before a deflected Tomlinson effort led to a corner. Shortly after this was cleared, referee Adrian Holmes brought play to a close.
FT: MACCLESFIELD 3 IMPS 1