Manager Gary Simpson rang the changes for this Vanarama Conference game against Macclesfield Town at Sincil Bank with Tony Diagne, Alan Power, Jon Nolan and Marcus Marshall all dropping to the bench. In to the side came fit-again Nat Brown, Arnaud Mendy, Karl Ledsham and Delano Sam-Yorke as the Imps looked to get back to winning ways against the Silkmen.
City kicked off attacking the Stacey West Stand end and were the first to press with Sam-Yorke having a snap-volley tipped behind by Taylor at full stretch but Macclesfield were able to clear their lines from the resultant corner.
The Imps pressed forward again in the ninth minute with some good link-up play between Sam-Yorke and Sean Newton seeing the latter win a throw-in. Newton took this himself and after Taylor flapped and missed the ball ran to TOM MILLER who drilled a low effort through a crowded box to open the scoring.
City, buoyed by the goal, saw Ledsham win a corner before Sam-Yorke fired wide from range and a succession of throw-ins were putting the visiting defence under pressure; Hamza Bencherif coming within inches of connecting with one Miller delivery.
The lead was doubled in the 19th minute with the Imps gifted a second; Jordan Burrow won an excellent header and after Andy Halls made a hash of a ball back to Taylor, in nipped BEN TOMLINSON who duly rounded the keeper and smashed the ball into the roof of the net from six yards.
It was all City as the half continued with a Miller cross flying inches over Burrow before Ledsham sent a long-range volley wide of the mark. Macclesfield's first attack of note came on the half-hour mark with Adriano Moke firing over from 25 yards.
With 36 minutes played Lewis appeared to lead with an arm on Ledsham but referee Paul Rees opted just to award a free-kick and a ticking off. Burrow wasn't so fortunate a couple of minutes though when a late challenge on Moke saw the City striker see a straight red card. Moke pushed Burrow in retaliation but only received a caution.
With temperatures still on the high side, Brown got in a great block to deny Arthur Gnahoua after good work by Moke, who was Town's best performer by some distance. At the other end, Sam-Yorke was flattened by Halls in an aerial challenge 20 yards out but Bencherif blasted the free-kick into the wall before Tomlinson was flagged offside.
The only incident of note during three additional minutes saw Brown clear a Fairhurst corner.
HT: IMPS 2 MACCLESFIELD 0
Whilst the 10-man Imps emerged unchanged, Macclesfield made a change prior to the start of the second half with Chris Holroyd replacing David Gonzalez Diaz.
The first action of the second half saw Bencherif head a Miller throw goalwards but Taylor saved well at full stretch whilst at the other end a Daniel Cowan cross was just missed by the onrushing Scott Barrow, who was shepherded well by Miller.
Ten minutes in, Miller was booked for bringing down Moke and shortly afterwards Newton joined him, again for a trip on Moke. This caution was Newton's fifth of the season with a one-game ban lurking on the horizon.
The next half-chance came in the 64th minute when Tomlinson nipped in to meet a Sam-Yorke flick-on but lifted the ball wide as Taylor came off his line. Appeals for corner fall on deaf ears before Alex Grant replaced Daniel Cowan for the Silkmen.
Shortly afterwards Tomlinson was close to connecting with an excellent Newton cross whilst at the other end Townsend blocked a Gnahoua snap-shot. City's response saw lone striker Sam-Yorke volley wide.
In the 76th minute Bencherif let fly from 30 yards with Taylor doing well to pull off a save whilst a minute later Marcus Marshall replaced Sam-Yorke who received a standing ovation from the Sincil Bank faithful as he left the pitch.
Malachi Lavelle-Moore for Waide Fairhurst was Town's third and final switch with nune minutes remaining and shortly afterwards Gnahoua drilled wide from 25 yards as Macclesfield pushed forward at pace.
Tony Diagne then replaced Karl Ledsham on the left side of midfield and from Town's next break forward, Bencherif got in a timely block to keep out an effort from ex-Imp Paul Turnbull. As the clock ticked on Holroyd fired well over from 20 yards.
A minimum of four additional minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official and in the first of these, Townsend was forced to get down low to claim a Halls effort. At the other end a succession of throw-ins gave the Imps the chance to eat up some valuable seconds.
FT: IMPS 2 MACCLESFIELD 0
6 Tony DIAGNE (for LEDSHAM 83)
8 Alan POWER
14 Jon NOLAN
22 Marcus MARSHALL (for SAM-YORKE 77)
31 David PREECE
GOALS: MILLER (9), TOMLINSON (19)
BOOKINGS: MILLER (55), NEWTON (57)
SENDING OFF: BURROW (38)