A late goal in extra-time from schoolboy Jack McMenemy booked the under-18s passage into the first round of the 2014/15 FA Youth Cup on Tuesday evening at the expense of Oadby Town.
The Imps kicked off against Oadby and Jordan Harper fired wide before Kieran Helsdown forced a good save. Josh Barr-Rostron rattled the crossbar and Andy Wright saw two efforts fly narrowly wide as the Imps piled on the pressure but the visitors defended their box very well.
Liam Harris fired over the bar, Harper had a goal disallowed from Leon Loftus' cross and Helsdown headed over from a corner, while at the other end Henry Smith was called on to make a smart save following a rare Oadby break.
Despite the Imps' dominance they couldn't break the deadlock thanks to some excellent defending and an outstanding display from the Oadby goalkeeper. Then on the stroke of half-time Helsdown found Harper but for the second time his goal was disallowed, this time for a foul.
Minutes into the second half Jordon Cooke headed against the bar from Mason Love's corner, before Harper broke clear but his shot was well saved. The Imps forced a string of corners but some last ditch defending kept the scores level.
Meanwhile Oadby still looked a threat on the break and caused the Imps back line a couple of scares, and the drama continued when Wright was dismissed for a late tackle with just five minutes to play.
Into extra time and the game was becoming stretched but once again it was Oadby's goalkeeper denying first Harper, then Helsdown, and a remarkable double block on the line as 10-man City piled on more pressure.
Sam Fewkes' effort was also blocked, then Lewis Millington and Marlon Grundy fired crosses into the box which couldn't be converted. With just five minutes to play, Grundy found Helsdown and his shot was saved but Jack McMenemy reacted quickest to fire home from close range.
Credit must go to the players from Oadby Town who were a true credit to their club and who made this a fantastic cup tie, but the Imps hard work and resilience was just enough to earn a trip to Shrewsbury Town in the First Round Proper.