There was one change to the side that started the previous league game for this Boxing Day clash against FC Halifax Town at Sincil Bank Stadium with Greg Tempest replacing Chris Bush at left-back. Nat Brown, meanwhile, returned to the bench having been out injured since returning from a loan spell with the Shaymen.
Not for the first time this season, conditions were blustery, but at least it was dry following rain over the 48 hours leading up to kick-off. Richard Wigglesworth was the man in the middle and once he'd sorted the formalities out with the two captains play got underway with City kicking off attacking the Stacey West Stand.
City were quick to press with a Matt Sparrow drive being charged down by ex-Imp Hamza Bencherif in the opening minute. Bencherif was in the action again five minutes later as an aerial challenge on Matt Rhead left the Imps' top scorer on the floor.
A cheeky overhead kick from Craig Reid in the ninth minute flew across the face of goal and just out for a goal-kick whilst the only half-chance during the next five minutes saw Rhead head a Hawkridge cross well wide.
In the 17th minute the first shot at goal saw Paul Farman hold well from Connor Hughes' right-footed shot whilst at the other end Jack Muldoon curled an effort wide from 25 yards when a pass out to Terry Hawkridge on the left would probably have been the better option.
Kingsley James fired wide for Halifax following a quick break down the middle whilst a long punt forward by Farman ended with Bencherif heading back and out for a corner which unfortunately came to nothing.
Ten minutes before the break Muldoon shrugged off his marker but saw his low effort held well by Johnson and five minutes later Muldoon got in another shot but again he was he's denied the Halifax stopper.
Matt Sparrow pick up a caution following fair-looking challenge on James whilst Rhead joined him in the book during added time an off the ball incident with Bencherif.
HT: IMPS 0 HALIFAX 0
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half so it was as you were as the Shaymen restarted proceedings.
City were quickly out of the traps with Hawkridge having a shot blocked and cleared for a corner and this ended up in a goalmouth scramble before the visitors cleared.
Eleven minutes after the restart a Muldoon cross was tipped off Rhead's head by Johnson; referee Wigglesworth then booked Scott McManus following a foul on Wood in the build-up to Muldoon's centre.
Reid then fired wide and sent a second effort over as the Imps got in a good spell of pressure before Waterfall failed to get any purchase on a header after he was picked out by a Hawkridge free-kick.
In the 64th minute Wood was booked for a foul on Hughes a foot outside the box with Farman well positioned to hold Walker's free-kick. At the other end five minute later Hawkridge curled goalwards from 20 yards but Johnson held.
Shortly afterwards, Halifax opted for the route one approach and when a long ball was nodded down in nipped Sam Walker to fire past Farman for the opening goal of the game.
Three minutes later Shaquille McDonald replaced Connor Hughes for Halifax as they prepared to take a corner whilst Ben Clappison replaces goalscorer Walker as the clock ticked towards the 80 minute mark.
Halifax's Nicky Wroe was booked following a tug on Reid's shirt before Alan Power and Nathan Blissett replaced Matt Sparrow and Reid.
A great save by Farman saw him deny substitute McDonald before Waterfall headed a corner over at the other end before a great Wood cross somehow missed everyone in a packed box.
Five additional minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official and midway through these extra stages a City corner was played straight at Johnson by Waterfall. Josh MacDonald for Shaun Tuton was Halifax's last change. The game ended shortly after Farman denied MacDonald with a fine save.
FT: IMPS 0 HALIFAX 1
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Greg TEMPEST
4 Craig STANLEY
5 Luke WATERFALL
7 Jack MULDOON
9 Matt RHEAD
12 Terry HAWKRIDGE
21 Matt SPARROW
24 Craig REID
26 Callum HOWE
8 Alan POWER (for SPARROW 81)
15 Kegan EVERINGTON
23 Nat BROWN
29 Nathan BLISSETT (for REID 81)
13 Aidan GRANT
BOOKINGS: SPARROW (45), RHEAD (45+2), WOOD (64)
FC HALIFAX TOWN
23 Sam JOHNSON
2 James BOLTON
3 Scott McMANUS
4 Kingsley JAMES
6 Hamza BENCHERIF
11 Sam WALKER
14 Matty BROWN
15 Kevin ROBERTS
18 Shaun TUTON
24 Connor HUGHES
35 Nicky WROE
16 Jake HIBBS
17 Josh MACDONALD (for TUTON 90+3)
22 Ben CLAPPISON (for WALKER 78)
40 Shaquille McDONALD (for HUGHES 74)
1 Jordan PORTER
GOAL: WALKER (71)
BOOKINGS: McMANUS (56), WROE (80)
REFEREE: Richard Wigglesworth
ASSISTANTS: Luke Watson & George Warren
FOURTH OFFICIAL: James Turner