Liam Hearn replaced Greg Tempest as the Imps made just the one change to their starting line-up for this Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying Replay against Tranmere Rovers at Sincil Bank Stadium. Tranmere, meanwhile, made two changes and were without ex-Imp Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
With the prize of a trip to Whitehawk up for grabs, the game got underway with the visitors kicking off; the first action seeing Lee Beevers swing in a deep second minute centre but Matt Rhead was flagged offside as he prepared to launch himself forward.
Tranmere's response saw ex-Imp Marlon Jackson test Paul Farman with a low effort from outside the box and followin a series of stoppages Farman punched a Liam Ridehalgh free-kick away before Tranmere forced a corner which was prodded well wide by Lois Maynard.
There was drama shortly after the quarter hour mark when Rovers keeper Scott Davies came off his line as Liam Hearn chased an Alan Power ball. Davies appeared to handle well outside his box and referee David Rock agreed. Out came the red and after Davies eventually left the pitch a good couple of minutes later, sub 'keeper Iain Turner replaced striker Jonny Margetts.
Chris Bush drilled the resultant free-kick straight at the wall before Luke Waterfall had a header from a Bush throw held by Turner for his first touch.
More drama followed midway through the half when a ball into the Tranmere box was handled by Matt Hill. Referee Mr Rock was again up with play and duly pointe to the spot. Rhead, however, saw his low penalty tipped on to the post and out for a corner by Turner.
When play switched to the other end a blatant dive from Norwood went unpunished before Turner held a Muldoon drive from City's next attack. Norwood then went in late on Beevers and Rhead fired over following good link-up play between Hearn and Hawkridge.
In the 32nd minute Turner claimed a long Wood throw-in at the second attempt under pressure from Hearn whilst at the other end City kept out a Ridehalgh free-kick after Waterfall was penalised for a foul on Norwood.
A 38th minute Harris challenge on Hearn saw the Rovers man pick up a deserved booking but Callum Howe headed Hawkridge's free-kick over the bar. A rare quiet spell followed before four additional minutes was indicated.
In the first of these extra minutes a block on Hawkridge gave him the chance to whip in a free-kick which was headed across the box by Wood only for Turner to claim. At the other end a Tranmere corner came to nothing before Mr Rock blew for the break.
HT: IMPS 0 TRANMERE 0
The teams were unchanged as the Imps restarted proceedings.
City were the first to press with a Muldoon cross cleared for a throw-in by the back-tracking Jackson before Ridehalgh was forced to clear a Hawkridge cross from the left.
Seven minutes after the restart Conner Robinson replaced Jack Muldoon on the right and shortly after this change a shocking offside decision against Hearn after Beevers played a ball into the striker's path robbed him of a sight of goal.
Hawkridge was booked in the 55th minute following a tug on Maynard and two minutes later Matt Sparrow came on for Chris Bush. This saw Beevers move to left-back and Wood to right-back.
Skipper Power joined Hawkridge in the book after running in front of, and blocking, Hill in the 62nd minute before the Imps upped the tempo with the following five minutes spent almost entirely in the Rovers half.
In the 69th minute a Wood cross-cum-shot was palmed behind by Turner but nothing came of Hawkridge's delivery.
A scrappy period of play followed but this changed in the 80th minute when, after Rhead headed a Waterfall cross across the face of there was LIAM HEARN to edge the Imps in front.
The visitors responded by bringing on Ritchie Sutton for Marlon Jackson before Hearn came close to bagging a second after he latched on to a Rhead ball only to fire inches wide.
As the clock ticked on Turner hesitated under pressure from Hearn and conceded a corner and when the visitors failed to deal with the set-piece, the ball fell to CONNER ROBINSON who fired home through a crowd of players to double the advantage.
In the final minute a Wood trip on Ridehalgh gave Tranmere a free-kick on their left but Norwood wasted the chance with Hawkridge easily clearing his lines.
Greg Tempest replaced Terry Hawkridge midway through four added minutes and in the closing stages saw a corner and free-kick to Tranmere; neither of which threatened the Imps' defence which held out for a third successive clean sheet.
A trip to Whitehawk awaits in the First Round Proper...
FT: IMPS 2 TRANMERE 0
3 Greg TEMPEST (for HAWKRIDGE 90+2)
14 Conner ROBINSON (for MULDOON 53)
15 Kegan EVERINGTON
16 Alex SIMMONS
17 Elliot HODGE
21 Matt SPARROW (for BUSH 57)
13 Aidan GRANT
GOALS: HEARN (80), ROBINSON (87)
BOOKINGS: HAWKRIDGE (55), POWER (62)