Match report...City boss Danny Cowley made five changes to his starting line-up as the Imps returned to Vanarama National League action with an away game at North Ferriby United.
Coming in were Elliott Whitehouse, Sean Long, Dayle Southwell, Billy Knott and Josh Ginnelly with Bradley Wood, Jack Muldoon, Alan Power, Matt Rhead and Terry Hawkridge dropping out.
The hosts kicked off with City fans making up almost all of the record 2,389 crowd and it was a scrappy opening, although United dominated the first five minutes in terms of possession without threatening Paul Farman's goal.
The first corner of the game went City's way after Whitehouse put his man under pressure in the ninth minute but Nathan Arnold's delivery was cleared and although the Imps kept the ball in the attacking third, they couldn't force a shot on target.
Three minutes later a long throw lead to a home corner but the delivery sailed straight out of play whilst at the other end a deflected Southwell volley flew inches wide but referee Steve Rushton awarded a goal-kick, much to the annoyance of the City players.
Shortly afterwards Sam Habergham fed Ginnelly down the left and he cut in before seeing his flashing drive crash against the foot of the left hand upright and in the 20th minute a deflected Ginnelly effort lead to a City corner which in turn led to another on the opposite flank.
This one was taken by Habergham and there to meet it was skipper LUKE WATERFALL to plant a superb header into the top corner of Rory Watson's net to give the Imps the lead.
United's Matt Dixon picked up a 28th minute yellow card following a tug on Arnold and when the free-kick was played in the ball was helped across by Waterfall before Whitehouse fired over. A dipping effort from Arnold then went wide as the Imps pressed again for a second.
Whitehouse headed a Long cross over at full stretch and as the Imps continued to dominate play, Arnold and Long linked up well on the right before the latter's surging run and cross saw the ball fly just past both Southwell and Whitehouse as they sprinted into the box, although Southwell could have got a slight touch.
The half ended after one additional minute of play.
HT: NORTH FERRIBY 0 IMPS 1
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half so it was as you were as the Imps retarted proceedings.
The first incident of note following the restart came in the form of a free-kick to the hosts after Long was harshly penalised for a foul but Farman duly flew full length to tip behind Bateson's dipping delivery from the set-piece.
At the other end a loose header in the United defence let in Ginnelly but his prodded effort went wide of the target whilst a double City change on the hour mark saw Matt Rhead and Alan Power replace Dayle Southwell and Billy Knott.
Ryan Kendall came on for Sam Cosgrove for the hosts at the same time and five minutes later Mark Gray made way for Matty Templeton. An incident-free second half continued with Jack Muldoon replacing Elliott Whitehouse for the final 20 minutes.
In the 72nd minute a Habergham throw was flicked on by Waterfall and Rhead saw his hooked effort tipped on to the bar by Watson before Muldoon fired the loose ball over and three minutes later a jinking run by Arnold saw him set up Power whose drive deflected behind for a corner.
This corner was headed down and cleared for another flag-kick and when this was curled straight into the net by Ginnelly, the effort was ruled out after referee Rushton spotted a push.
With 10 minutes on the clock Muldoon found himself one-on-one with Watson but screwed his effort wide of the target and two minutes later there was another woodwork strike for City and a second of the game for Ginnelly whose powerful shot hit both post and bar after a slip in the home defence.
Connor Oliver for Curtis Bateson was United's final switch as the clock ticked past the 87th minute mark and shortly afterwards Arnold set up Woodyard but he fired wide left footed from the edge of the box.
In the first of three added minutes Ginnelly curled a shot across goal but wide following good work by Muldoon and in the closing stages there was a yellow card for Power after referee Rushton deemed him to have kicked the ball away after a free-kick went to United.
City held firm though and were thoroughly deserving of another hard-earned three points which capped a superb few days for Danny Cowley's troops.
FT: NORTH FERRIBY 0 IMPS 1
1 Paul FARMAN
3 Sam HABERGHAM
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE
5 Luke WATERFALL
12 Sean LONG
25 Sean RAGGETT
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
31 Dayle SOUTHWELL
34 Billy KNOTT
36 Josh GINNELLY
2 Bradley WOOD
7 Jack MULDOON (for WHITEHOUSE 70)
8 Alan POWER (for KNOTT 60)
9 Matt RHEAD (for SOUTHWELL 60)
38 Joe WARD
GOAL: WATERFALL (21)
BOOKING: POWER (90+3)
NORTH FERRIBY UNITED
1 Rory WATSON
2 Sam TOPLISS
5 Mark GRAY
15 Ben MIDDLETON
12 Taron HARE
20 Jake SKELTON
16 Robbie TINKLER
21 Matt DIXON
8 Curtis BATESON
7 Sam COSGROVE
25 Reece THOMPSON
9 Matty TEMPLETON (for GRAY 66)
10 Ryan KENDALL (for COSGROVE 61)
18 Ross ARMSTRONG
19 Jordan COOKE
4 Connor OLIVER (for BATESON 87)
BOOKING: DIXON (28)
REFEREE: Steve Rushton
ASSISTANTS: Dale Baines & Ben Speedie
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Aaron Bannister
ATTENDANCE: 2,389 (1,700+ City supporters)