Tom Miller was a surprise inclusion for Jake Caprice in defence, new loan signing Tom Anderson replaced the injured Nat Brown and Marcus Marshall came in for Arnaud Mendy as the Imps tackled Aldershot Town at the Electrical Services Stadium.
Grey skies greeted the teams as they were led out by referee Adam Hopkins and once the pre-match formalities were done and dusted, play got underway with the hosts kicking off.
It was a fast and furious start to the game with a swift City break on the 30 second mark coming to nothing before a Shots attack ended with Nick Townsend claiming a cross from the right.
City immediately pressed with Jordan Burrow firing a low effort inches wide of the post and as an entertaining start continued, Aldershot's Dan Fitchett fired wide from 12 yards.
In the sixth minute the Imps came close to opening the scoring when Hamza Bencherif kept the ball alive and crossed for Burrow who saw his effort deflect behind. Nothing camr from the corner though.
Five minutes later great vision from Jon Nolan saw him pick out Ben Tomlinson but he wasted the cross with Burrow up in support. At the other end the overlapping Jaydon Gibbs forced his side's first corner which as flicked out for another Shots flag-kick which came to nothing.
The Shots' next break forward saw Brett Williams volley a Joe N'Guessan cross goalwards but Townsend's was well positioned to gather. City's response saw Alan Power release Tomlinson but a very late and questionable offside flag robbed him of a run on goal.
As the half approached its midway point Tomlinson did well to win a corner but Newton's delivery was easily claimed by Shots' stopper Phil Smith and from the next break a Tomlinson cross was flicked off Burrow's head for a throw-in.
There was a break in play in the 27th minute for treatment to N'Guessan who eventually left the pitch with blood streaming from a head wound. Miller looked to be in some discomfort as well with stud marks showing on his leg; he was able to resume duties though whilst N'Guessan went to the dressing room area for further attention.
It soon became clear that N'Guessan was unable to continue and was replaced by Tom Derry and he hardly had time to dirty his boots before the home side took the lead; Brett Williams on hand to fire home after a blocked Fitchett shot fell straight to him.
City's response saw Bencherif fire a snap-shot wide of the mark whilst a minute later Smith was quickly off his line to clear under pressure from Tomlinson. Burrow was then denied by Smith, who tipped behind his effort following a quick break forward.
Three added minutes failed to come up with anything noteworthy so the half ended seeing Aldershot have their noses in front.
HT: ALDERSHOT 1 IMPS 0
Both sides emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and it was a pretty uneventful first 10 minutes with chances at either end at a premium; a dangerous Gibbs cross which was headed behind by Diagne being the only highlight.
Another Shots corner followed in the 57th minute but Newton was on hand to head away whilst at the other end Power was pulled up for a foul as he looked to get the better of Anthony Tonkin on the right.
In a bid to inject some fresh impetus, Jake Caprice was brought on in place of Tony Diagne; the switch seeing Miller and Anderson partner each other in the centre of defence with Marshall pushing forward having been operating at right wing-back since the quarter-hour mark.
A scrappy half continued with chances still at a premium and in a last throw of the dice, Imps' boss Gary Simpson threw on Karl Ledsham and Delano Sam-Yorke for Nolan and Marshall. The clock showed 74 minutes played.
A couple of minutes later Josh Scott replaced Dan Fitchett for the Shots before a City break was brought to an abrupt halt when Sam-Yorke was pulled up for a foul. At the other end, and with just 10 minutes on the clock, Williams had an effort deflect inches wide for a corner which was cleared.
A long clearance from Townsend was flicked on by Burrow but Smith sprinted off his line to clear under pressure from Bencherif. Shortly afterwards a Caprice centre was cleared and when the resultant throw-in fell to Ledsham he was denied by Smith at full stretch. Smith was then booked for timewasting before Hatton replaces Forbes for the home side.
In the first of four additional minutes Ledsham had an effort blocked before Tomlinson had a late effort easily held by Smith. At the other end a combination of Ledsham and Caprice committed a foul, giving the hosts the chance to take their time over a free-kick.
FT: ALDERSHOT 1 IMPS 0