Although Alan Power and Todd Jordan were absent through suspension, City boss Chris Moyses was able to call upon the services of Hamza Bencherif, who had recovered from a sickness bug, and Charlee Adams who was back from a hip injury for this Vanarama Conference home game against Dover Athletic. Also back was Jon Nolan following a ban although Conner Robinson was out injured. Delano Sam-Yorke, meanwhile, replaced Jordan Burrow up front.
It was a chilly, breezy late January afternoon as referee Ian Hussin led the two teams out. City were skippered by Nat Brown in Power's absence and once he exchanged pleasantries with his counterpar Connor Essam and the officials play got underway with Dover kicking off.
The visitors were the first to press, forcing a corner on their right in the opening minute but Adams cleared Nick Deverdics' delivery whilst City's response came in the fourth minute with Ben Tomlinson volleying wide after he was picked out by Nolan's sweeping cross-field pass.
Barry Cogan curled a low effort wide as play switched to other end shortly afterwards before centre-back Sean Raggett, up for a throw-in, got in a poor effort which hit the roof of the Bridge McFarland Stand.
In the 10th minute a first City corner was won by Jake Caprice on the right but Brown's header from Sean Newton's delivery was cleared off the line. And end-to-end start continued with Deverdics firing a low shot into the side netting.
On the quarter hour mark Brown was left grounded after Stefan Payne led with elbow. Referee Hussin didn't spot it though with Brown able to resume duties after play was restarted via a bounce-up.
After the Imps had a good shout for a free-kick when Tomlinson was upended by Wynter, waved away, a Dover free-kick was headed on to the roof of the net by Richard Orlu. A surging Sam-Yorke run then ended with a corner to City which came to nothing.
A 33rd minute Dover corner, which came after the assistant referee failed to spot a clear offside against Payne, was punched clear by Paul Farman and as the Imps responded Sam-Yorke saw his header from a Tomlinson cross held by Andrew Rafferty.
A quiet spell followed before the half ended exactly on the 45 minute mark.
HT: IMPS 0 DOVER 0
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half with the Imps restarting proceedings.
City were immediately on the offensive with some great play from Marcus Marshall seeing him jink his way into space but his cross just evaded Nolan in the six-yard box. The Imps kept up the pressure with Newton winning a corner on the left.
Nolan played the flag-kick short to Newton and he curled in a peach of a cross which was dropped by Rafferty and there to hammer home was BEN TOMLINSON to open the scoring.
Four minutes after the restart Tomlinson got in 35-yard volley which dipped just over the bar with Dover's response seeing Farman push a Cogan effort behind for a corner which ended with Farman holding Orlu's weak header.
In the 56th minute Dover's Deverdics became the first recipient of a yellow card after he left a foot in on Brown. City then had a good spell of pressure, although Rafferty was untroubled between the Dover sticks.
A sweeping City attack in the 63rd minute ended with Sam-Yorke having a shot cleared off the line by a back-tracking defender. A couple of minutes later the striker needed treatment after coming off second best in a 50-50 tackle for which he was penalised for.
A questionable 71st minute offside decision against Adams brought about some frustration before Tomlinson's pace down the right saw him create space but his cross was cleared for a throw-in.
A minute later Newton was having treatment off the pitch after jarring his foot on the turf. Adams was then penalised for a trip on Cogan inches outside the box but Deverdics blazed the free-kick well over.
With 13 minutes on the clock Ricky Modeste replaced Payne for Dover and three minutes later a Caprice cross was tipped over his bar by Rafferty but Newton's inswinger was claimed by the visiting keeper. James Poole for Tom Wynter was Dover's second change.
Tyrell Waite replaced Sean Newton for the last five minutes; Caprice switching to left-back with Marshall dropping to right-back as a result. With City still reshuffling, Connor Essam headed a cross from the visiting right on to the top of crossbar and out fo a goal-kick.
In the final stages of normal time Murphy had a shot deflect off Caprice for a corner which saw Raggett head against the bar before the ball went out for another corner. This one ended up with Farman's gathering a lame effort from 25 yards.
A minimum of four additional minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official and towards the closing stages Brown was deemed to have fouled Sterling 25 yards out. Fortunately the free-kick was played straight into the wall before the follow-up effort was held by Farman, who was taken out by Poole in the process.
Play eventually ended with Adams winning a free-kick in the City box with Tomlinson's effort proving enough to earn the Imps a seventh successive home league win and put an end to Dover's 13 match unbeaten run.
FT: IMPS 1 DOVER 0
1 Paul FARMAN
17 Jake CAPRICE
23 Nat BROWN
5 Hamza BENCHERIF
3 Sean NEWTON
20 Charlee ADAMS
12 Arnaud MENDY
14 Jon NOLAN
22 Marcus MARSHALL
11 Ben TOMLINSON
15 Delano SAM-YORKE
9 Jordan BURROW
18 Kegan EVERINGTON
19 Alex SIMMONS
25 Tyrell WAITE (for NEWTON 85)
30 Aidan GRANT
GOAL: TOMLINSON (47)
30 Andrew RAFFERTY
3 Tom WYNTER
5 Sean RAGGETT
6 Richard ORLU
10 Tom MURPHY
11 Barry COGAN
14 Stefan PAYNE
16 Tyrone STERLING
17 Nick DEVERDICS
28 Solomon TAIWO
29 Connor ESSAM
4 Chris KINNEAR
7 Ricky MODESTE (for PAYNE 77)
19 Jake REID
21 Adam MEKKI
31 James POOLE (for WYNTER 81)
BOOKING: DEVERDICS (56)
REFEREE: Ian Hussin
ASSISTANTS: James Turner & James Thornhill
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Shaun Barry
ATTENDANCE: 2,509 (126 visiting supporters)