City dominant but forced to settle for a point...After clinching the Vanarama National League title success on Saturday, there were no less than nine changes to the City starting line-up for this penultimate game of the season at Maidstone United with Ross Etheridge and Riccardo Calder coming in for their league bows.
City got the game under way on the artificial surface and started brightly with Jack Muldoon getting on the end of a Terry Hawkridge cross but he saw his prodded effort claimed by Lee Worgan in the Maidstone goal.
In the eighth minute Muldoon fired over from 25 yards and three minutes later Alan Power sliced over after bursting into the box as City's enterprising opening continued.
A great burst of pace by Calder then saw him skip past a couple of challenges before winning the game's first corner and when this routine ended with Billy Knott's low drive being blocked, the hosts attacked with Power forced back to block an Alex Flisher effort.
The action switched to the other end on the quarter hour mark as Muldoon was denied by the legs of Worgan before a neat one-two between Alan Marriott and Muldoon ended with the former clipping the outside of the right hand upright with a snap-shot.
Shortly before the half-hour mark Maidstone's first attempt at goal saw Etheridge pull off a great save to push behind a Flisher drive. At the other end pressure from Muldoon and Marriott created a chance for Josh Ginnelly but he blazed over and the game remained goalless.
The last action of the half came in added time with Marriott firing over from the angle after appeals for a foul on Muldoon in the box were waved away.
HT: MAIDSTONE 0 IMPS 0
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half an City started brightly with a low Hawkridge cross going just under Muldoon's boot before clever play by Power saw the Imps win a corner.
Knott took the aforementioned flag-kick and picked out Sean Raggett who saw his downward header flicked on to the bar by Muldoon from close range. At the other end a ball into the City box ended up with Etheridge taking a blow to his face and he needed a good couple of minutes of treatment as a result.
Maidstone were the first to make a switch with Bobby-Joe Taylor coming on for Harry Phipps just before the hour mark. This came just before a low Knott drive was kept out by Worgan's left boot as City continued to knock on the door.
A loose pass from Lewis then let in Hawkridge but he was denied by Worgan who came off his line quickly to save. At the other end and an excellent block by the back-tracking Power saw him deny Pigott before Jack Paxman replaced Lewis for the hosts.
The game somehow remained goalless and in a bid to try and break the deadlock, Elliott Whitehouse replaced for Adam Marriott in the 78th minute. A minute later a slick City move down the right lead to a fifth corner before numbers six and seven followed.
The clock ticked on with Maidstone substitute Richards picking up a yellow card for dissent after he conceded a corner. When the corner came in Raggett headed inches wide before Alex Simmons replaced Josh Ginnelly.
Just before a minimum of six minutes was indicated Muldoon fired into the side netting following a Knott free-kick into the box. City won their ninth, tenth and eleventh corners in added time but the home defence refused to crumble.
The last action of the game saw a rare Maidstone attack end with the impressive Etheridge claiming the ball in the six yard box.
FT: MAIDSTONE 0 IMPS 0
39 Ross ETHERIDGE
6 Callum HOWE
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
10 Adam MARRIOTT
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
12 Sean LONG
25 Sean RAGGETT
34 Billy KNOTT
36 Josh GINNELLY
37 Riccardo CALDER
2 Bradley WOOD
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE (for MARRIOTT 78)
16 Alex SIMMONS (for GINNELLY 88)
27 Jamie McCOMBE
30 Alex WOODYARD
1 Lee WORGAN
3 Tom MILLS
5 Kevin LOKKO
8 Stuart LEWIS
11 Alex FISHER
14 Reece PRESTEDGE
21 Harry PHIPPS
22 Seth NANA-TWUMASI
23 Yemi ODUBADE
24 Magnus OKUONGHAE
32 Joe PIGOTT
4 Jamie COYLE
10 Jack PAXMAN (for LEWIS 67)
15 Anthony ACHEAMPONG
16 Bobby-Joe TAYLOR (for PHIPPS 59)
18 Jack RICHARDS (for ODUBADE 81)
BOOKING: RICHARDS (87)
REFEREE: Constantine Hatzidakis
ASSISTANTS: Callum Walchester & Andrew Williams
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Conor Farrell
ATTENDANCE: 3,014 (598 City supporters)