City boss Chris Moyses had the luxury of naming an unchanged squad for this Vanarama National League home game against Macclesfield Town.
Rain was sheeting down as referee Jason Whiteley led the two team out of the tunnel and once the pre-match formalities were completed, City kicked off attacking the Bridge McFarland Stand.
After a quiet start with both teams looking to get used to the greasy surface, the visitors grabbed a third minute lead; ex-Imp Paul Turnbull was the creator with his free-kick from the right picking out Kristian Dennis who flicked a header past Paul Farman from 10 yards.
Chris Holroyd, who was fouled by Jon Nolan to earn the aforementioned set-piece, then won a corner a couple of minutes later and when the ball was swung in powerfully from the quadrant, there was Paul Lewis to head home a second for the Silkmen.
City's response to this double blow saw Craig Stanley volley over after a Chris Bush throw was cleared into his path whilst a minute later a rasping Jack Muldoon drive was tipped over by Shwan Jalal.
The resultant corner, taken by Stanley, was met by LIAM HEARN who reduced the arrears with a header into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box.
Things quietened down after this early goal-glut although Bush came close to adding to the scoreline in the 19th minute when he saw his 25-yard free-kick crash against the foot of the post via Jalal's fingertips.
City kept pressing though and five minutes later the equaliser came along; Bush chipping in a centre and there was LIAM HEARN who chested the ball down before firing clinically past Jalal for his second of the game.
Two minutes later the Imps took the lead; Lee Beevers crossing from the right and MATT RHEAD powering home a header which bounced past Jalal to cap a remarkable opening 25 minutes.
Another nine minutes elapsed before the next attempt at goal with Muldoon firing over after he was released by Stanley down the right; a ball back to Rhead would have been better option but Muldoon went for glory instead.
At the other end Sampson dragged a low drive well wide of Farman's right hand upright whilst City's reply saw Jalal claim a low Muldoon centre as Hearn threatened in the box.
The last action of the half saw a Bush free-kick lead to a City corner which was taken deep by Sparrow but cleared at the back post.
HT: IMPS 3 MACCLESFIELD 2
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and it was the Imps who were the first to press and when Beevers swung in a deep cross, there to control the ball and blast it past Jalal was MATT RHEAD for his second of the game and fourth of the season.
This early goal clearly rocked the Silkmen with a number of misplaced passes adding to their frustration. It also saw the Imps' fans continue the excellent support with a shot on the turn by Bush which was held well by Jalal bringing them to their feet once again.
As the hour mark approached Muldoon won a corner on the attacking right but the short routine between him and Sparrow came to nothing. Macclesfield then made a switch with Danny Rowe replacing Chris Holroyd.
A deflected Dennis effort lead to a Macclesfield corner in the 64th minute which Nolan cleared whilst at the other end Town 'keeper Jalal stayed grounded after sliding to claim a Rhead flick under pressure from Muldoon.
The stopper looked to be in some discomfort as he was helped off the field on a stretcher with Ritchie Branagan coming on as his replacement a good four minutes later.
Branagan was quickly in the action, but to pick the ball out of the back of the net as a poor header back from Turnbull let in LIAM HEARN who took a touch before drilling home to complete his hat-trick.
Hearn received another standing ovation three minutes later when he was replaced by
Conner Robinson. Former City man Paul Turnbull meanwhile was replaced by Danny Whitehead at the same time.
Alan Power for Jon Nolan was the Imps second switch and Greg Tempest for Jack Muldoon was the third; Tempest making his City bow and becoming the 18th player to play for City in the opening four fixtures of the campaign.
With five minutes of normal time remaining Sparrow fired a drive just over from the edge of the box whilst a rare Macclesfield attack four minutes later saw Rowe twice denied by Farman before the City stopper kept out a third follow-up effort.
A minimum of six minutes added time was indicated by the Fourth Official with Farman holding a low Whitehead drive in the first of these whilst the visiting substitute sliced a shot well wide in the third.
The Silkmen did manage to bag a third goal with Dennis netting his second of the game with a fine finish from just inside the box but the evening belonged to the Imps with the front pairing of Liam Hearn and Matt Rhead too hot for the visitors to handle.
FT: IMPS 5 MACCLESFIELD 3