City were made to settle for a point at the LNER Stadium after conceding a late equaliser against MK Dons.
The Imps started quickly again as they scored the opening goal in the fifth minute when Jack Diamond spotted Danny Mandroiu with a ball across the edge of the box which the frontman struck first time in off the underside of the bar.
The two sides continued battling to gain a foothold in the match during the next 30 minutes that followed this, with the best chance falling to Regan Poole inside the area whose low cross evaded everyone.
Paudie O’Connor made a crucial challenge to deny a goalscoring opportunity in the 42nd minute as Mo Eisa raced into the left side of the box before getting tackled last minute by the defender.
O’Connor was there for City once again in the 57th minute as Jonathan Leko got the better of Harry Boyes to cross towards Eisa at the back post whose header was cleared off the line by the Irish defender.
In what was a fairly even second half the Imps had a chance to double their lead through two crosses from the right as Ted Bishop’s mistimed effort was shortly followed by Boyes who couldn’t get the ball out of his feet to shoot.
A few minutes later Mark Jackson’s side had a big chance to level as a ball was whipped in from the right to Will Grigg in the centre whose shot couldn’t beat the reactions of Carl Rushworth in the City goal.
Rushworth was called into action again in the 79th minute as Zak Jules rose highest to meet an inswinging corner into the box which he could only place straight into the goalie’s gloves.
Mandroiu was very close to netting his and City’s second of the night in the 88th minute after finding space outside the area to drive a powerful right-footed effort against the base of the left post.
The Imps were made to pay for this missed opportunity as the visitors levelled with a minute left to play when Paris Maghoma met a dangerous corner in the box to send a looping effort into the far corner of the net.
City: Carl Rushworth, Regan Poole ©, Harry Boyes, Luke Plange (Ben House 68’), Ted Bishop (Max Sanders 80’), Ethan Erhahon, Paudie O’Connor, Danny Mandroiu, TJ Eyoma (Lasse Sorensen 49’), Sean Roughan, Jack Diamond (Mide Shodipo 80’). Subs (not used): Jordan Wright, Charles Vernam.
Goals: Mandroiu (5’).
MK Dons: Jamie Cumming, Tennai Watson, Jack Tucker, Josh McEachran © (Dawson Devoy 58’), Ethan Robson (Nathan Holland 58’), Mo Eisa (Will Grigg 68’), Jonathan Leko, Daniel Harvie, Sully Kaikai, Zak Jules, Paris Maghoma. Subs (not used): Franco Ravizzoli, Matt Smith, Bradley Johnson, Henry Lawrence.
Goals: Maghoma (89’).
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge.
Attendance: 7,056 (186 away).