Match report...George Maris for James Caton was the only change for this Vanarama National League fixture at Southport as the Imps hit the road for the penultimate time of the season.
City kicked off and after a scrappy opening it was the hosts who were the first to press with Andy Bishop firing a fourth minute effort a foot wide from just inside the box following good play by Paul Rutherford on the left.
In the eighth minute City's first attack ended with Jack Muldoon firing just wide whilst shortly afterwards Robbie McDaid shot past the same post after Muldoon had capitalised on a slip from home 'keeper Max Crocombe before crossing the ball into the danger zone.
Great play from Elliot Hodge then saw him jink his way forward before he was tripped by the back-tracking Gary Jones and when Terry Hawkridge saw his free-kick palmed away by Crocombe, Hodge appeared to be pushed over as he went for the loose ball. Nothing was given though and play restarted with a Southport goal-kick.
The first corner went to Southport as Bradley Wood deflected a Jones cross behind but City stood firm and it took until the 28th minute for the next effort to come in; a swift break forward from Maris seeing him set up Muldoon who fired into the side netting.
Six minutes later Wood tried his luck from range but his effort was straight at Crocombe and a couple of minutes later a snap-shot from Hodge was held by the Southport stopper.
At the other end Farman pulled off a great save to deny Rutherford who found himself one-on-one with the City stopper but it wasn't long before the hosts were pressing forward again and when ex-Imp Louis Almond got space on the right in the 44th minute he chipped in a centre for Andy Bishop to head his side in front.
City's response was immediate though and were level within a minute of the restart; Hodge crossing for Hawkridge who saw his effort parried by Crocombe and there was ROBBIE McDAID to fire home from six yards.
HT: SOUTHPORT 1 IMPS 0
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and City were the first to press but the offside flag robbed McDaid after he got on the end of a Maris centre.
In the 51st minute Wood headed forward but, after McDaid shook off his marker who was clearly pulling him back, he saw his lob over Crocombe bounce just wide. Referee Tom Nield was happy to let play carry on rather than bring it back and dish out a red card.
Luke Waterfall replaced Chris Bush in defence a couple of minutes later and Jamie Allen came on for Craig Westcarr for Southport as both teams made changes early in the second period.
Hodge and Sparrow combined before McDaid saw his flicked effort claimed by Crocombe and a Wood bullet from 25 yards but was tipped over by Crocombe as the Imps pressed for the lead. The resultant corner was headed goalwards by Waterfall only for his effort to be cleared off the line.
Mike Phenix for Andy Bishop was Southport's second change on the hour mark and five minutes later Matt Rhead replaces Jack Muldoon for the Imps. Rhead's first touch sees him head a Sparrow cross a foot wide.
Good defending from Waterfall saw him clear a dangerous Phenix cross out for a corner and after the Imps dealt with the danger the ball was pumped forward only for McDaid to be flattened by a covering defender's arm. Referee Nield, not up with play, waved play on though, much to the annoyance of the City players, bench and supporters.
Alex Simmons replaces Robbie McDaid with 78 minutes played and five minutes later a low Hawkridge cross was cleared over his own bar by Liam Nolan. Hawkridge took the corner himself but saw Waterfall head his delivery a foot over.
Despite the dominant second half from City they were undone by a quick 87th minute counter attack; Crocombe claiming a ball into the box, delivering to Almond who released Phenix down the right. He duly picked out substitute Allen who swept his side in front.
As was the case in the first half City's response was immediate and when Hawkridge curled in a deep centre there to head home his first of the season was BRADLEY WOOD.
Southport brought on Steven Hewitt for Paul Rutherford before the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of four minutes - which passed without further incident - were to be added on.
FT: SOUTHPORT 2 IMPS 2
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
6 Chris BUSH
7 Jack MULDOON
12 Terry HAWKRIDGE
17 Elliot HODGE
18 Lee BEEVERS
19 Robbie McDAID
21 Matt SPARROW
26 Callum HOWE
29 George MARIS
3 Greg TEMPEST
5 Luke WATERFALL (for BUSH 53)
9 Matt RHEAD (for MULDOON 65)
16 Alex SIMMONS (for McDAID 79)
13 Aidan GRANT
GOALS: McDAID (45), WOOD (89)
25 Max CROCOMBE
2 Matt CHALLONER
5 Josh THOMPSON
8 Andy WRIGHT
3 Alex WHITTLE
16 Paul RUTHERFORD
4 Liam NOLAN
11 Gary JONES
17 Louis ALMOND
9 Craig WESTCARR
10 Andy BISHOP
7 Jamie ALLEN (for WESTCARR 55)
10 Jon VISCOSI
12 Adam BLAKEMAN
22 Mike PHENIX (for BISHOP 60)
23 Steven HEWITT (for RUTHERFORD 90)
GOALS: BISHOP (44), ALLEN (87)
REFEREE: Tom Nield
ASSISTANTS: Lindsey Robinson & Daniel Woodward
FOURTH OFFICIAL: David Fisher
ATTENDANCE: 961 (146 City supporters)