Sean Newton returned following suspension and Jon Nolan was recalled to the starting line-up for this Vanarama Conference fixture at Nuneaton Town. Newton replaced Tony Diagne at left-back whilst Nolan came in for Hamza Bencherif, who was absent with a hamstring strain.
After morning rain, clearing skies and sunshine greeted the two teams as they were led out on to the pitch by referee Simon Bennett and once the pre-match formalities were done and dusted play got underway with City kicking off.
The Imps won an early second minute corner but this was cleared before Ben Tomlinson was pulled up for a high boot and they kept up the pressure with a Marcus Marshall cross smothered by Reice Charles-Cooke under pressure from Karl Ledsham before Anthony Charles was forced to head back a long Tom Anderson ball under pressure from Delano Sam-Yorke.
In the 13th minute Sam-Yorke appeared to be blocked off the ball as he sprinted into the area but referee Bennett was having none of it and let play carry on. City kept up the tempo a minute later and when Ben Tomlinson got a sniff of goal he saw his low drive hacked off the line by Charles.
A second City corner in the 17th minute was headed down by Sam-Yorke before Anderson sent an effort just wide of the target. Three minutes later Anderson took a knock as he defended a free-kick into the City box; the offside flag bringing Nuneaton's threat to a halt.
Anderson came back after a couple of minutes' attention on didn't doesn't look comfy as he trotted out to defend another Nuneaton free-kick which was punched away by Nick Townsend who was duly barged over by Gareth Dean.
At the other end Sam-Yorke was taken out by keeper Charles-Cooke only for the referee to only award a throw-in and before this was taken Tony Diagne replaced the struggling Anderson.
Nuneaton won their first corner in the 28th minute but City cleared only to concede another free-kick. And when this was played into a packed box, Lee Fowler got a touch to divert past Townsend for a scrappy opening goal.
City had a great chance to bag a leveller three minutes later when Miller picked out Ledsham but he headed well wide with only Charles-Cooke to beat. Two corners then failed to come up with the goods as a frustrating opening period continued.
Eight minutes before the break Arnaud Mendy drilled well over following a swift City attack but City's heads didn't drop and a couple of minutes later, after Tomlinson was fouled by Theo Streete, Newton swung in a free-kick and there to plant a firm header past Charles-Cooke was TOM MILLER for the leveller.
As the half wore on a Nuneaton free-kick ended with Ben Hutchinson going in hard on Townsend but the former City man came off worse and needed treatment as a result. At the other end and just before the Fouth Official indicated that a minimum of four minutes were to be added on, Nolan fired wide following good work by Tomlinson.
City forced a couple of corners during the extra stages but the half ended all-square.
HT: NUNEATON 1 IMPS 1
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and City started with a succession of throw-ins and from one of these three minutes in, Ledsham saw a volley crash against the crossbar.
At the other end Nuneaton hit the woodwork with Townsend beaten and after City cleared their lines a couple of Tomlinson centres were dealt with by the home defence before a Mendy cross was claimed by Charles-Cooke.
Nuneaton's first switch saw Adam Walker replace Jack Dyer in the 54th minute and this was followed five minutes later by a City change as Alan Power came on for Jon Nolan in midfield.
Shortly after the hour mark a questionable free-kick to Nuneaton gave them a chance from a central set-piece position but Hutchinson drilled wide from 25 yards. Craig Curran was then booked for leading with an arm on Nat Brown.
Midway through the second half the hosts regained the lead in very fortuitous circumstances when debutant Adam Dawson saw his cross from the right sail straight over Townsend before flying into top corner of the net.
City looked for a quick response and after Power curled in a great cross, Brown was denied by a fine Charles-Cooke save. An offside flag was then raised before Streete was helped off for attention.
Chances remained at a premium as the Imps looked to salvage something from the game and as Nuneaton pushed for a third, Curran turned his marker before firing wide from range. A rare City foray forward ended with Power having an effort held by Charles-Cooke.
City had three additional minutes in which to get something but with the ball out of play for a Nuneaton throw, Anton Brown replaced Lee Fowler to eat up some seconds for the hosts. This proved to be the last action of note before referee Bennett brought things to a close.
FT: NUNEATON 2 IMPS 1
4 Gavin COWAN
6 Adam WALKER (for DYER 54)
17 Ryan SMITH
18 Anton BROWN (for FOWLER 90+2)
19 James WREN
GOALS: FOWLER (29), DAWSON (68)
BOOKING: CURRAN (64)