City progress in the Cup as unbeaten run stretches to nine...City boss Danny Cowley named an unchanged starting line-up for this Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper tie against Altrincham at a decidedly chilly and blustery Sincil Bank Stadium.
Altrincham got the game underway attacking the Stacey West Stand but it was the Imps who were the first to press with Nathan Arnold sprinting forward in the opening minute before firing just over from a narrowing angle.
After a quiet spell the first corner went City's way after Arnold had a drive deflect behind. Sam Habergham's delivery found the head of Sean Raggett but the big defender directed his effort over.
In the 12th minute a spell of City pressure ended with Theo Robinson forcing another corner but this ended with referee Steve Rushton spotting a push by a Lincoln man. Shortly afterwards a rasping drive from Harry Anderson clipped the top of the bar as the Imps pressed for an opener again.
A low Robinson effort then warmed Altrincham keeper Andrew Dawber's fingers before Anderson won a corner on the right. Habergham's delivery this time was pin perfect as, in the 21st minute of the game, he picked out SEAN RAGGETT who headed powerfully into the visitors' net.
City came close to adding a second a couple of minutes later as Anderson drove over after Rhead flicked on a cross into the box and on the half-hour mark Arnold set up Robinson who fired over.
Robinson was again at the centre of things as his shot on the turn went straight at Dawber whilst at the other end Altrincham striker Reeves stretched for a ball and was in need of treatment as a result.
Seven minutes before the break Dawber dropped a Wood cross under pressure from Rhead before he gathered Arnold's drive when the ball ran free. Another break in play followed as Altrincham's Tom Hannigan received treatment.
City won their fifth corner in the first of three added minutes and in the closing stages of the half there was a yellow card for Altrincham left-back Andy McWilliams after he grabbed hold of the ball following a tangle with Anderson. The resultant free-kick was headed goalwards by Rhead before referee Rushton spotted a push on 'keeper Dawber as the ball loops into the net.
HT: IMPS 1 ALTRINCHAM 0
Whilst the Imps emerged unchanged for the start of the second half, the visitors made a change with Sam Patterson replacing Tom Hannigan.
The first half chance of the second period fell to Robinson who fired over and five minutes in Arnold and Robinson combined before the former fired at Dawber. Habergham then picked out Robinson with a deflected cross but the City striker guided his header wide of the target.
Robinson was replaced by Jack Muldoon in the 57th minute and three minutes later the Imps eventually doubled their lead; Arnold intercepting a poor John Cyrus clearance before playing in ALAN POWER who slotted neatly past the advancing Dawber for his first of the season.
A couple of minutes later a deft back-heel from Rhead saw him release Anderson who advanced before his low shot was blocked for a corner by Dawber. Before the flag-kick was taken Simon Richman and Phil Marsh replaced Simon Lenighan and Curtis Obeng for Altrincham.
A high boot on Wood earned Greg Wilkinson a 72nd minute yellow card and a minute later Terry Hawkridge came on for Matt Rhead.
As the game ticked into its final quarter hour, the visitors got in their first effort on target and it resulted in a goal; an inswinging corner being headed home by centre-back John Cyrus at the back post.
The goal clearly lifted Altrincham whose tails were well and truly up all of a sudden, forcing the City defence into action on a number of occasions. The back-line repelled things well though and there was a sense of relief in their as referee Rushton blew for time after four additional minutes of play, which included a booking for Hawkridge for kicking the ball away.
FT: IMPS 2 ALTRINCHAM 1
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
12 Harry ANDERSON
25 Sean RAGGETT
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
31 Theo ROBINSON
7 Jack MULDOON (for ROBINSON 57)
10 Adam MARRIOTT
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE (for RHEAD 73)
14 Taylor MILES
27 Jamie McCOMBE
29 Jack WEATHERELL
21 Richard WALTON
GOAL: RAGGETT (21), POWER (60)
BOOKING: HAWKRIDGE (90+1)
1 Andrew DAWBER
2 Curtis OBENG
3 Andy McWILLIAMS
4 Jake MOULT
5 John CYRUS
6 Tom HANNIGAN
7 James LAWRIE
8 Simon LENIGHAN
9 Greg WILKINSON
10 Damian REEVES
11 Sean MILLER
12 Phil MARSH (for OBENG 65)
14 Simon RICHMAN (for LENIGHAN 64)
15 Sam HEATHCOTE
16 Sam PATTERSON (for HANNIGAN h/t)
17 Billy HASLER-CREGG
18 Danny HALL
20 Tim DEASY
GOAL: CYRUS (75)
BOOKINGS: McWILLIAMS (45+3), WILKINSON (72)
REFEREE: Steve Rushton
ASSISTANTS: Richard Watson & Mark Billingham
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Richard Woodward
ATTENDANCE: 3,529 (161 visiting supporters)