Macclesfield 1 Imps 2Matt Rhead returned from injury and came in for Adam Marriott and Jamie McCombe replaced Sean Raggett for this Vanarama National League game against Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose.
With pre-match rain and plenty of exercise for the sprinklers, the surface was somewhat greasy as referee Andrew Miller led the two teams out of the tunnel; City skippered by Luke Waterfall against his former side.
City kicked off and it was a cagey opening with both teams taking their time to settle into things. In fact it wasn't until the seventh minute before a goalkeeper was called into action; Town's Ritchie Branagan easily holding Terry Hawkridge's low 25-yard drive.
Four minutes later Branagan flapped at and missed a Hawkridge free-kick but saw the ball go out for a goal-kick and from the Imps' next foray forward Rhead flicked on a long Sam Habergham throw-in but Harry Anderson fired over at the back post.
On the quarter-hour mark Town's first attack saw McCombe block well from Danny Whitaker after Hawkridge gave possession away cheaply to Kingsley James and shortly afterwards Paul Farman got down well to save a low David Fitzpatrick shot.
Rhead and Jonny Margetts linked up well in the 20th minute before the latter was sent tumbling by John McCombe. The Town defender saw yellow before Nathan Arnold fired the resultant free-kick straight into the wall.
In the 24th minute Arnold skipped past McCombe but fired straight at Branagan whilst at the other end Farman tipped behind a James effort for the game's first corner which was headed clear at the near post by Arnold.
City repelled another Macclesfield corner on the half-hour mark and five minutes later Margetts was inches away from opening the scoring but his curling effort from the edge of the box flew just wide
Shortly afterwards there was a worrying sight for City as Habergham went down and needed treatment. He gingerly got up and walked off before returning to the fray; Whitaker then saw yellow for a late challenge on Hawkridge.
With the teams looking as though they would be going into the break level, Town grabbed a 44th minute lead when midfielder James was on hand to fire a loose ball into the roof of the net after a shot from just inside the box came back off the right -hand upright.
Town's Jack Sampson was booked before play restarted following a clash with Farman following the goal and the half ended after three additional minutes of play.
HT: MACCLESFIELD 1 IMPS 0
Whilst the Imps emerged unchanged, Neill Byrne replaced John McCombe for the hosts prior to the start of the second half.
A tug by Habergham on Paul Lewis gave the Silkmen an early free-kick following the restart but Whitaker sliced his effort well wide. A McCombe trip on Rowe then earned the City man a ticking off but the free-kick was easily held by Farman.
A corner to Macclesfield, who had started the second half brightly, followed, but when this was cleared a swift City counter-attack ended with HARRY ANDERSON setting his sights and beating Branagan with a low, fizzing drive from 20 yards to level the scores.
The goal clearly knocked the stuffing out of the hosts, with the Imps now in the ascendancy, and in a bid to keep things ticking over in the middle of the park Alan Power came on for Arnold with Hawkridge moving to a wide role.
In the 67th minute Margetts required treatment following a knock. Adam Marriott had a pep talk with Nicky Cowley on the sidelines as a result but play continued with City putting the home defence under almost constant pressure.
Both sides made a switch with 71 minutes played; Adam Marriott for Matt Rhead for City and Ollie Norburn for Danny Whitaker for the Silkmen.
After a rare Macclesfield attack ended with Rowe slicing a shot well over, Marriott was quickly in the action, seeing his shot on the turn deflect into the side netting for a corner.
City kept the ball in the attacking third and when a ball was played in to the mix, Waterfall got in a great knockdown and there to control, beat his marker and fire home clinically was ADAM MARRIOTT.
Marriott was booked for delaying the restart due to his goal celebrations and a third and final Town substitution saw Jack Mackreth come on for Paul Lewis two minutes later.
City thought they had won a penalty with 10 minutes on the clock when Marriott was tripped right on the edge of the box, but referee Miller awarded City a free-kick rather than a spot kick. Hawkridge saw his effort claimed low to his right by Branagan.
A great piece of defending from McCombe saw him shadow Mackreth before winning a goal-kick whilst at the other end goal scorers Marriott and Anderson combined before the latter ran out of options having been driven out towards the corner flag.
A minimum of four additional minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official with the only threat from the home side coming in the form of a free-kick which was headed away by Waterfall.
City held firm and the excellent second half showing was rewarded with three points on the board.
FT: MACCLESFIELD 1 IMPS 2
1 Paul FARMAN
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
9 Matt RHEAD
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
12 Harry ANDERSON
13 Jonny MARGETTS
18 Lee BEEVERS
27 Jamie McCOMBE
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
8 Alan POWER (for ARNOLD 64)
10 Adam MARRIOTT (for RHEAD 72)
16 Alex SIMMONS
25 Sean RAGGETT
23 Jimmy WALKER
GOALS: ANDERSON (56), MARRIOTT (75)
BOOKING: MARRIOTT (76)
1 Ritchie BRANAGAN
3 David FITZPATRICK
5 George PILKINGTON
6 John McCOMBE
8 Paul LEWIS
9 Chris HOLROYD
10 Jack SAMPSON
11 Danny ROWE
12 Dan COWAN
14 Kingsley JAMES
23 Danny WHITAKER
4 Neill BYRNE (for McCOMBE h/t)
7 Jack MACKRETH (for LEWIS 78)
15 Ollie NORBURN (for WHITAKER 72)
16 Mitch HANCOX
13 Craig ROSS
GOAL: JAMES (44)
BOOKINGS: McCOMBE (21), WHITAKER (40), SAMPSON (44)
REFEREE: Andrew Miller
ASSISTANTS: Richard Watson & Simon Brown
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Kenwyn Hughes
ATTENDANCE: 1,650 (380 City supporters)