City fell to their first defeat in five games - with a narrow 2-0 loss on the road at Shrewsbury Town in Sky Bet League One.
The first real attempt of the afternoon came in the third minute as Matty Virtue pounced on Charles Vernam’s blocked shot on the edge of the box to fire an effort narrowly wide of the far post.
Ben House had a big opportunity to put his side ahead in the 12th minute after he dispossessed Marko Marosi on the edge of the area, but took too long to strike leaving the goalie to get back in position and tip the shot wide.
House was involved again in the 20th minute when he won City a free-kick in central position 30-yards out. Vernam took responsibility for the set-piece and sent a driven strike over the wall to force Marosi into a diving save.
Virtue combined nicely with Vernam in the 26th minute in a flowing move forward which saw the latter’s effort at goal deflected kindly into the gloves of the keeper, as the Imps continued their search for the opener.
Mark Kennedy’s side continued to create openings in the first half with the next one coming from some neat build up play involving Jack Diamond and House to allow Virtue to fire one at goal, which failed to test the stopper.
Shrewsbury almost went ahead in the 34th minute through a shot from Christian Saydee which dipped over the crossbar before a dangerous cross fizzed past the face of goal.
The hosts grew into the game as the first half came to a close and were denied by two smart stops from Carl Rushworth as Tom Flanagan’s angled shot from the right was soon followed by Matt Pennington’s towering header from Tom Bayliss’ corner.
Steve Cotterill’s side were awarded a penalty in the 44th minute as Jamie Robson was seen to have handled the ball in the box. Shrewsbury captain Luke Leahy stepped up and stroked it just past Rushworth into the bottom left corner to put his side in front before the interval.
Salop started the second period brightly and called Rushworth into action in the 53rd minute after Bayliss was allowed space to drive at goal before rifling his shot straight into the goalie’s grasp.
Paudie O’Connor looked to be a threat from a City corner in the 58th minute as Vernam floated a corner into the centre, but the defender could only send his header over the crossbar.
Shrewsbury doubled their lead on the hour mark when Shipley played an inviting ball to Bayliss from the left who got in front of Jamie Robson at the back post to tap into the back of the net.
Max Sanders went close to reducing the arrears in the 80th minute after he received a short corner and struck a fierce strike from range across goal and force Marosi into a save at full stretch - leaving the hosts to claim the points.
Shrewsbury: Marko Marosi, Luke Leahy ©, Matt Pennington, Taylor Moore, Carl Winchester, Rob Street (Rekeil Pyke 83’), Tom Bayliss, Chey Dunkley, Christian Saydee (Ryan Bowman 83’), Jordan Shipley, Tom Flanagan. Subs (not used): Harry Burgoyne, Tom Bloxham, Josh Barlow, Declan Hutchings.
Goals: Leahy (45’ pen), Bayliss (60’).
City: Carl Rushworth, Regan Poole ©, Max Sanders, Charles Vernam (Tom Hopper 67’), Paudie O’Connor, Joe Walsh, Jamie Robson, Ben House, TJ Eyoma, Matty Virtue, Jack Diamond. Subs (not used): Jordan Wright, Lasse Sorensen, Sean Roughan, Jacob Davenport, Freddie Draper, Elicha Ahui.
Attendance: 5,461 (405 away).
Referee: Robert Madden.