City’s second-half fightback fell just short with defeat at Wem Town Ladies - for whom captain Kimberley Bebbington was in inspired form and bagged all five of her side’s goals.
The game exploded into life with the Imps sharing the most of the early chances, but were unable to capitalise on their early pressure.
With the opposition pressing high, Wem were able to win the ball high up the pitch. A ball placed in behind was reached by Bebbington who was able to lift the ball over Lana Timson to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
The Imps continued to attack but fell further behind after Bebbington headed home from a Taylor corner which put them two down after 23 minutes.
The end to end nature of the game continued as the Imps pulled one back through Toni McHamilton after 25 minutes following miscommunication between Wem’s goalkeeper and defender but, three minutes later, Bebbington completed her hat-trick with another header at the far post to make the score 3-1.
Wem were able to add a fourth five minutes before the interval after another ball in behind sent Bebbington away - she lifted the ball past Timson before impressively volleying home.
Goalkeeper Timson had suffered an injury during the opening 45 minutes and could not continue, with centre-back Rachel Howes coming on and having to go between the sticks.
City knew they had it all to do in the second half, but they battled hard and McHamilton’s
second of the game on the hour mark gave them a lifeline.
But, five minutes later, Bebbington’s smart flicked header from Davies’ free-kick restored Wem’s three-goal advantage. Stand-in keeper Howes had no chance of stopping the effort.
Lee Mitchell’s side continued to push for a way back into the game, with a Jess Rousseau header in the 68th minute making the score 5-3
The Imps dominated play in the final 20 minutes, believing there was a way to get something out of the game.
Leah Hardy did score a stunning 25-yard strike which went into a top corner, but it was deep in time added on and there was no time to go on and get a 10th goal of the match to claim a point.